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The Advertiser Article - Supporting each other the Australian way

Supporting each other the Australian way

John Lynch, The Advertiser - Published February 10, 2020 5:45pm

The recent bushfires have had a long-lasting effect not only on communities affected by them but also on the thousands of firefighters and other volunteers.

Where do we begin with trying to deal with the devastation left behind. Families have lost loved ones and many producers the very raw materials that allow them to make a living. It is now that we all must respond to assist them in rebuilding their lives.

The Country Fire Service Foundation was established to assist volunteer firefighters and their families in the event they suffer in the course of performing their duties while serving the community. We enjoy the support of many corporate partners, particularly ElectraNet, SA Power Networks and The Advertiser Foundation. To them, we say “thankyou”. Statewide Super is one of these partners, having been with us since mid-2019. As the need for our response increases, so has their support.

A CFS firefighter battles a fire as it runs across a paddock near a home on Ridge Road at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills on December 20, 2019. AAP Image/Kelly Barnes.

A CFS firefighter battles a fire as it runs across a paddock near a home on Ridge Road at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills on December 20, 2019. AAP Image/Kelly Barnes.

What an incredible basis for your generosity. People from all walks of life giving of themselves so selflessly for the greater good of others when the bottom line is that sometimes they are doing so without the knowledge that their own properties and families are under threat.

For almost 10 years, Rob Snowdon has been a board member and chairman of the CFS Foundation, championing its work. For that we say a huge “thankyou”. It is now my privilege to follow in his footsteps as the incoming chairman, supported by a board and small management team which is strongly committed to our charter. We will ensure that no CFS volunteer firefighter – who is actively engaged in protecting lives, property and communities – goes without our help.

The generosity of the public, and our statewide and national communities, has been – and continues to be – amazing in this unprecedented fire season. We are truly appreciative of their support.

Drawing on our existing cash reserves, along with the generous donations and pledges received to date, we have distributed in excess of $1 million of financial support to affected volunteers and their families.

We have pledges to date in excess of our payments, and will continue to respect the sentiments of donors while caring for those who are serving. We must stay true to our values and never lose sight of the Australian way of caring for others, particularly in adversity. The CFS Foundation will continue to support, survive, thrive and refuse to give in.

That’s the Australian way.

John Lynch is incoming chair of the CFS Foundation

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