Australian Bush fire Appeal
We are fortunate living in our Country that allows us such freedom and the Australian way of life, however we also have many challenges and at this moment in time our Nation is gripped by many devastating Bush fires.
For many years Rotary Clubs and their members have assisted in times of natural disasters that occur from time to time.
This current bush fire season has affected so many across our great country that you may be wondering how you and your Rotary Club can assist.
To this end yesterday most District Governors across Australia had a meeting to discuss the options and best way forward. 
This email is to bring you up to date with the current position and future planning.
  • Because of the number of bushfires this season Rotary Australia World Community Service  (RAWCS) have set up several RABS * accounts by Rotary Districts to collect funds for bush fire victims.
  • It is proposed that a single RARF* account to be commenced to raise funds to cover all of the Australian bush fires.
  • I believe that it has now been set up as68. 2019-20 Rotary Australia Bushfire Appeal ( confirmation on this account
  • The RAWCS Board is meeting this weekend and I believe further information will be available shortly on how the fund will operate and distribution of funds will work.
  • Several Districts affected by the bush fires also have Disaster Relief Committees and are investigating the best way to assist their Districts
  • I have requested the Districts that are affected by the bush fires and have the ability to collect funds and distribute directly to their communities advice me so I may pass on this information to our clubs.
  • As the bush fires have been declared Natural Disasters by several authorities , the Emergency Services and relevant Organisations are in control the situation. It is believed by the Australian District Governors that while these events are occurring there is little Rotary can do.  As an Organisation we have an excellent record in providing assistance to our communities once they are in recovery mode. To this end over the next few weeks we will be having several meeting to discuss and plan how best to raise and distribute funds and help our affected communities.
  • We are seeking ideas from all members to a National approach or event/s that could assist in our maximizing our impact to help our communities.
  • An idea from one of our Assistant Governors was for Rotary to raise funds from within its own ranks eg, clubs, members and family to distribute to the deceased volunteer firefighters  families to assist in their immediate future. If anyone is interested in joining a committee to investigate this option please contact myself.  
  • I will keep you informed of the updates as and when they become available to me as we move to formulating our response from the Rotary Districts and Clubs of Australia
*  RABS – Rotary Australia Benevolent Society is a Public Benevolent Fund to register projects within Australia to enable Rotary Clubs and District to provide assistance to people in need within their local or wider community.
* RARF – Rotary Australia Relief Fund is a Public Benevolent Fund for donations applied to RAWCS projects responding a sustainable need or for disaster relief, both here in Australia and overseas. It is administered by a RAWCS committee and a committee from a Rotary Club or District in the country where the project is located or the disaster occurs.

Wayne Milnes

District Governor 2019-2020
District 9465, Western Australia