Message from Regional Arts Australia

Sadly it has been a sobering start to 2020. We know that many people, communities, wildlife, landscapes, ecosystems and Indigenous cultural sites are impacted by the bushfires currently affecting much of Australia.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen multiple emergency incidents across the country and many of our state colleagues and friends have been effected by fire on top of coping with drought.

We’ve seen the strength and courage of our emergency services workers and volunteers and incredible resilience and generosity across communities. The immediate concerns remain on community safety, food and shelter. In the coming months, there will be a time to focus on supporting and helping communities and the land to recover. This is going to be a year of recovery for many.

We have many challenges ahead and it is important to continue to look after one another. Emergencies and disasters are extremely stressful and it is normal to feel overwhelmed.

Below are some links to a range of resources from @emergingMindsAU. These kits, including a podcast and resources for young people, provide a starting point to help navigate the different stages of a disaster. The Community Trauma Toolkit contains resources to help and support adults and children before, during, and after a disaster or traumatic event. It helps to understand some of the impacts of disaster and how you can help lessen these impacts.

There has been much activity in the media and many charities, not-for-profits and community organisations doing their best in response to the devastating and continuing bushfire emergencies.

The team at Our Community have compiled a list of more than 40 verified bushfire-related causes that use GiveNow, as well as a list of trustworthy campaigns that use other platforms

Arts Hub have compiled several resources in relation to fire preparedness and how to care for and recover artworks after bushfire.

There is a place for the arts to show leadership within the regions and to assist where and when required to help communities recover and heal from events like what we are currently seeing.

RAA acknowledges the First Nations communities whose care for country has occurred for millennia and we extend our respect to Ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging of all First Nations People during this challenging time.

RAA recognises the importance of an immediate climate response and hopes that through the ongoing devastation currently being experienced there will be a collective cross governmental climate response.

In our capacity at Regional Arts Australia we will work together with our colleagues as we navigate the rebuilding process and provide support to those affected by the fires and the ongoing drought.

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