Times were tough enough for rural and regional students looking to attempt further study in 2020. CEF reminds communities in bushfire-ravaged states that we are here for support.
Australia’s coast and countryside are well regarded as popular holiday spots by domestic and international visitors at this time of year but since September 2019 bushfires have destroyed communities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia.
There have been 25 deaths as 10.7m hectares burnt, with the loss of 1 billion wildlife and more than 2000 homes. This is nothing like the holiday break we all hoped for at the end of 2019, or the new decade we looked forward to welcoming in.
Damage bill estimates are already being floated, with the Guardian Australia publishing that costs in damages will exceed the Black Saturday fires by more than $4.4bn.
Families and communities throughout the Country Education Foundation of Australia footprint have been devastated during this catastrophic environmental disaster; including Shoalhaven, Braidwood, Snowy Monaro, Kangaroo Island, Great Lakes and Hastings areas. For them, the impact is immeasurable.
“It goes without saying we are all observing the most trying of times in this new decade and none more devastating than those experiencing the total destruction of their homes and livelihoods as a result of the bushfires,” said CEF Acting CEO Juliet Petersen.
“Our thoughts are with all these people as they continue to endure the situation as well as consider the vast road to recovery. This is a time when fear and concern about what lies ahead is already heightened for many school-leavers and their families and this intensified situation may be just too much to bear. For students and families within our footprint, the CEF network is here to help. We will do what we can to access the support needed from across our network of education partners, donors and volunteers for those directly impacted.
“Australian country communities are a close-knit bunch. We pull up our socks and pitch in by volunteering our time for the greater good. If you know of families with students in these areas who are thinking about further education, be sure to put them in touch with their local foundation,” Mrs Petersen said.
If you believe in education for young rural and regional Australians, be sure to donate to CEF. Follow the link below.