The devastating impact of the bushfires

Help us continue to provide the very best support to people with a disability in the aftermath of the devastating bushfires.

The recent bushfires have left devastating damage to homes, businesses and, most of all, people’s lives. Whether you’ve been directly impacted or not, there’s been a heaviness felt all around Australia and the globe.

Here’s how some of our customers felt the brunt of the fires

Unfortunately, many of our staff and customers at Aruma, across New South Wales, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria, have felt the full force of the fires since they started some five months ago.

In the height of the emergency, Aruma had to urgently evacuate approximately 35 people with a disability who live in our Supported Independent Living services to evacuation centres, hotels, beaches, and in some cases, to support workers’ own homes.

With some customers requiring specialist transport and support needs, these evacuations were logistically complex and challenging.

We’re pleased to say that these customers did not lose their homes, however, for many it was a close call. It‘s certainly hard to fathom the levels of confusion and anxiety that they felt during the height of the crisis.

People caught in the fires who have physical and intellectual disabilities were left displaced, confused and in need of help, guidance and support in this dreadful situation.

Most have now been able to return home and daily routines have been re-established and access to power and essential supplies, like food and water have been monitored and assessed for safety.

The heartbreaking impact on our dedicated staff

“Words cannot describe the level of commitment shown by our staff over the past few weeks putting their own personal impacts aside to support customers and coordinate staff.” said Kristine Flanagan, Aruma Regional General Manager Southern NSW.

It was heartbreaking for dedicated Aruma staff who could not reach our customers because they were separated by the active burning fires.

Other support workers were not able to physically leave some of the services, and get back to their families. Many worked around-the-clock to ensure that customers were safe.
Commitment doesn’t quite cover the willingness of our staff to go above and beyond.

We had a number of them willing to fly to the other areas and help relieve tired and worn out support workers who had been on the frontline for days. Thankfully we didn’t need them to… this time.

In one instance in Victoria, a staff member, Ray, chose to stay and offer continued support so that our customers felt reassured and comforted. He did this despite the fact that his own family was being evacuated and despite knowing his own home was under threat. Sadly, Ray lost his home, but he has since told us that he does not regret his decisions as, knowing his family were safe, the customers were his priority.

Your ongoing support means so much!

We’re very happy to say that all our staff and customers are safe, and there was no damage to any of our properties.

But, that doesn’t mean we don’t still need your support. Your generosity always goes a long way to help us continue to be able to provide much-needed services for people with a disability.

Please donate now

Donate online

Please donate online now

Donate by phone

Call our team on 1800 068 064

Donate by electronic funds transfer

IMPORTANT: your ID number (found in your email) MUST be included in this transaction.
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Name: Aruma Fundraising
BSB: 062 295
Acct: 0009 0013

Donate by cheque or money order

Please make payable to ‘Aruma Fundraising’ and return to: Aruma – Fundraising, PO Box 93, Frenchs Forest, NSW 1640.