In early January 2020, Campbell Page launched a Bushfire appeal to help locals along the NSW South Coast clean up, rebuild and recover following the bushfire crisis. Our aim was to make an immediate difference by paying local businesses to complete bushfire clean up, putting money directly back into our fire affected community, stimulating the local economy.

Our impact from our bushfire recovery project

We have completed much needed clean-up projects thanks to the $30,150 we received in generous donations.  These donations are directly helping those who weren’t insured, were under insured, and locals who aren’t physically or financially able to do the clean-up work themselves.

Find out more about our impact, donors and the local businesses involved in this project here or read on to find out how our project directly supported locals in our community.

We’ve helped locals like Libby whose property was devastated by the fires. Her garden surrounding her house, along with her yards where she ran Longridge Equestrian Centre, weren’t covered by insurance.

Libby and her daughter Cara. Photo credit: Dion Georgopolos

We engaged local landscaping business, Yes Men Home Services, to provide property maintenance, remove burnt trees and plants, rebuild the fences and garden beds and start to replenish the soil and plant new gardens.  

Duea Valley River residents were much forgotten in the aftermath of the fires with town services too far away and limited phone service due to fire affected phone lines. Fallen trees, damaged roads and huge amounts of debris and steel resulted in restricted access to the area.

Our project has given work to local businesses to clean up and remove the debris from the yards of residents who otherwise wouldn’t have had support.

We removed burnt car bodies from one Duea Valley River property.
Piles of steel and debris remained after the fires unable to be removed.

Narelle and her husband have spent the last 12 years building what they call their “sanctuary”, a green outdoor garden space at their Batemans Bay home. Their garden was completely burnt out by fire and sadly, like other residents in the area their garden wasn’t covered by insurance.

Thanks to the generous donation from Sikh Youth Australia we were able to pay Eurobodalla Tree Services, a small local business to excavate the deep tree stumps and start regeneration of their land to help get it back to the sanctuary it was.

Narelle Murdoch and her husband at their Batemans Bay property after the fires.

Eugenio is a self-sufficient hobby farmer who produces enough to support his family of four completely. Sadly, he lost 33 of his chooks during the fires including all of his layers which immediately impacted his family’s food supply. With the help of Campbell Page, 12 new laying hens were sourced for the family and all the steel and debris that remained on his property has been cleared away.  

We provided 12 new laying hens to help feed a self sufficient family.

Julie is a widow struggling with the sudden loss of everything she owns on top of the grief she bares having lost her husband. During the fires she lost her home, leaving her with only the pyjamas she was wearing.

She’s been living in temporary accommodation and was unable to do anything to avoid the bushfire debris from becoming overrun by weeds and tall, thick grass requiring a ride on mower after the storms and flooding.

We hired MowedIT to help Julie get the lawns under control and with maintenance mowing  we’ll make sure it doesn’t become too much to manage again.

Cobargo local, May was new to the area when the bushfires hit. Every possession she owned was destroyed by fire with the exception of her horses. Sadly, she lost her much loved three dogs and even her 14 year old pet pig in the blaze. The community in Cabargo have rallied around May.

We’ve used donations raised by Sikh Youth Australia to purchase and install a new fire place to warm May’s shed that is her new home now the cooler weather has set in.  We’re also replacing the burnt outdoor area that adjoins her shed home thanks to this generous donation.

Mr A, another Malua Bay local, lost his home in the bushfires which he’s lived in for the past two decades.  Like a lot of locals, Mr A’s house was uninsured. This meant he was simply not in a position financially to rebuild his home or easily start work to remove the rubble and debris that had been left behind.

The remains of Mr A’s ‘ Malua Bay home.

Fortunately, Mr A has been able to secure a flat pack house to live in, but needed some extra support to build it. That’s where we’re stepping in! We’re covering the cost of carpentry to build the 1 bedroom pod home for him.

Work begins on Mr A’s home, starting with the framing.

We’ve also helped an elderly Batemans Bay couple following their extended hospital stay as a result of a fall that lead to face, wrist and hip injuries.

The fire tore through their home town while they were away causing extreme dirt and debris to build up in their gutters and on their solar panel cutting off power supply to the house for months.

When they returned home from hospital they had no power and a fridge and freezer full of spoiled food when all they wanted was a hot shower and a home cooked meal.

We hired a local roofer to clean the solar panels to generate the hot water and got the gutters cleaned ahead of the torrential storms that followed the fires.

We cleaned up and dismantled burnt fencing at Jay’s property which was destroyed by the fires,  it was intensive hard labour that the school worker just couldn’t manage on her own. 

The team at South Coast Land Restoration got on their protective equipment and tacked the barb wire and blackberry bushes over several weeks to tidy the place up.

Clean up begins at Jay’s property.

Donna from Jeremadra was perhaps one of the luckier ones in that her house was spared, although she lost her sheds, equipment and her yard. 

In her 70’s, Donna was physically unable to replace several years of chopped firewood she had painstaking stockpiled ready for coming winters.  We paid local business MowedIT in Batemans Bay to chop the felled trees on her property to replenish her firewood for years to come.

Our work hasn’t just involved a physical clean up.  We sought advice to help households clean their water tanks for drinking after fire contamination. Through this project we’ve also liaised with numerous insurers to replace business records lost in the fires. This has allowed local businesses to get back up and running and resume trading so that they have an income for their families.

*Some names have been changed to protect the identities of the people we are supporting.