In 2019-2020, bushfires had a devastating impact on Australians, burning more than 12.6 million hectares. The fire season was traumatic for NSW residents, local businesses, and firefighters. It affected Aboriginal Communities along the east and south coast of Australia with several areas including regional towns, experiencing consecutive days of smoke and hazardous air quality. NSW was declared the worst affected state in the country. The AH&MRC offered immediate assistance to Communities impacted by the fires and worked in partnership with the Southern Region Members, the Rural Doctors Network (RDN), and other organisations to provide bushfire relief.
Member Services impacted by the bushfires last year, including Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation, Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service and Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Regional Health and Community Services, have shared their insights and experiences so that Aboriginal communities can be bushfire ready in the future. This information guided the development of AH&MRC’s informative and culturally safe bushfire resources.
Plan, prepare, protect your Mob
The AH&MRC has designed bushfire resources to help prepare communities in the event of a bushfire. Most recorded deaths from bushfires are as a result of injuries related to smoke inhalation. For this reason, AH&MRC recommends leaving early as the safest option for families living in bushfire affected areas. The AH&MRC has created community videos, factsheets and social media posts, with a Getting Your Mob Bushfire Ready activity book on the way. We hope that these resources will be utilised by our Member Services as educational tools to help Communities plan, prepare and protect against bushfires.