NSW Bushfire Appeal Dec 2013

Bushfires, that affected the Blue Mountains region a couple of months ago, have caused 2 fatalities, destroyed 248 houses and burned down 118,000 hectares of forest and bush land. With an estimated damage over $94 million, the fires have been the worst in NSW since the 1960s and have left the people of the region in a difficult situation.

After the incident, the Australian Relief Organisation has run an appeal campaign and contacted the former Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell to channel the campaign proceeds to bushfire victims. Through the Premier’s Office, the ARO officials have made further investigations in association with a number of organisations; including the Emergency Recovery Coordination Office and Blue Mountains Council. Finally, the ARO was introduced to the Rainbow Preschool by the Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, an organisation responsible for bush fire help coordination in the region.

Following a bushfire appeal application made by the preschool, an ARO delegation visited the Rainbow Preschool on Thursday, May the 1st and welcomed by its founder Mrs Joan Murray, staff and students. Also present at the visit were the ARO CEO Cihan Tumen, ARO Advisor Mrs Rose Shobeeki, volunteers, Deputy Principal of Auburn Amity College Mrs Jayamala Naidoo, teacher Mrs Pinar Gundogdu and students of Amity college.

The handover ceremony was held in a friendly atmosphere, where Joan Murray and preschool children thanked the ARO officials as well as the Amity College students as they assisted ARO in raising funds during the campaign. On this occasion, Mr Tumen stated:

“ Our contact with Rainbow preschool started about two months ago, when Morna Colbran, the self sacrificing manager of the Winmalee Neighbourhood Centre, has introduced us to Joan. We were informed that the back yard of the preschool was burnt down, students have lost their playground and twelve preschool students have had to spent an evening at the Springwood Bowling Club on the day of the bushfires.

This cheque represents the love and affection of our community towards the community members of Winmalee. We hope these funds assist you in your recovery efforts and minimise the financial gap you’ve endured after the bushfires. More importantly, we hope this cheque bonds the two schooling communities together as they foster and nurture the most important asset of the Australian nation; its future generations and its children.”

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