18 January, 2021

On 31 December 2019 while Australians prepared to bring in the New Year, a ferocious fire ripped through Bill and Sandra’s property in East Gippsland, Victoria.

Since early 2016, life on the farm had become progressively more difficult as the long-term effects of the drought took hold. Bill and Sandra are primary producers and their main source of income is the raising and selling of livestock. So when the bushfires of 2019-20 known collectively as the ‘Black Summer’ ravaged their property, it threatened Bill and Sandra’s ability to earn a living.

“We lost about 90% of our pastures and four to five hundred bales of silage, plus fencing,” said Bill. “It’s a big blow to our farming business.”

Without any support, the impact from the fires would have been devastating.

But thankfully ADRA was already working with Bill and Sandra’s farming community to provide drought relief through food support. So when the fires tore through the area, ADRA was there and ready to help.

Cash grants were immediately made available, and once the fire threat had passed, teams of ADRA volunteers reached out to people like Bill and Sandra, by delivering essential food items every week and rebuilding kilometres of burnt-out fencing.

“We’ve had help from ADRA with an electric fencing unit which is very useful,” said Sandra. “Our animals were trying to get on the road, so we were able to contain them. We’re very thankful for that unit.”

ADRA also provided a seed and fertiliser grant. And, when the rain finally started to fall, Bill and Sandra were able to produce 113 bales of hay.

“Being tenacious farmers I’m hoping we will get back on top of it again in the very near future,” Bill said. “We’ve had a lot of help from ADRA…it’s a lot of the small things that help day-to-day running costs. ADRA have supported us 100%.”

The Black Summer of 2019/20 decimated the lives and livelihoods of many Australian farmers. Thanks to people like you, ADRA was there are ready to provide immediate food, cash grants and ongoing farming assistance to people like Bill and Sandra. Your gift of just $50 right now, can help ensure ADRA’s there and ready to help people in need next time a disaster strikes. 

Tags:  Australia, Disaster,