Australian Bushfires
How you can Help

No doubt by now you know what is going on in our country. I’m sure that your Social media feeds have been full of photos from the Bushfires that have been spreading across Australia for months, which unfortunately show no signs of slowing down. So we just thought we would put together a bit of information for you and show you how you can help.  I know that sometime those of us in Cairns think that we are too far away to make any kind of difference but that is definately not the case.  

So first off some information –

– So far, about 12.35 million acres have burned, destroying more than 1,400 homes and killing at least 25 people.

– The situation for wildlife is devastating and it will be months after the fires before the full implications on wild populations can be understood.  There have been estimates by ecologists at the University of Sydney that over 480 million animals have been affected in Australia since September.

– Entire towns have evacuated to the shores and volunteer firefighters have left their families and careers behind to fight the flames around the clock.

– Defence Force Reservists have been deployed to help the bushfire crisis, which is the first time this has happened in our nation’s history.

– Although no fires have threatened the Nations Capital (Canberra), heavy smoke from bushfires burning throughout New South Wales is having a major impact on Canberra. Canberrans have once again woken up to the worst air quality in the world, with parts of the city choking in pollution 12 times above minimum hazardous levels.  Canberra was easily ranked the worst city in the world for air quality, far ahead of the mega cities in India, Kolkata and Delhi. Canberra’s three air quality monitoring stations today recorded extremely high and hazardous readings of 2413, 1817 and 1503. A hazardous level is triggered at a reading of 200.

So over to the important part, How can we help?

How to help evacuees

  • Donate to the Australian Red Cross, which is supporting thousands of people in evacuation and recovery centers across the country. Local residents can volunteer their services.
  • Donate to the Salvation Army Australia, which is providing meals and support to evacuees and first responders in multiple locations. 
  • Extra room in your home? Offer to host people in need of emergency housing on AirBnB
  • Donate to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which is helping evacuated families recover. The organization is providing food and clothing, helping cover bills, and donating household items to those whose homes have been destroyed.
  • Donate food, funds or services to Foodbank, the largest hunger-relief charity in Australia. 
  • Donate to a GoFundMe dedicated to displaced First Nations Communities that need to rebuild. 
  • Donate food, toiletries and household items using Givit.

How to help firefighters

How to help wildlife

  • Donate to WIRES, a wildlife rescue nonprofit that is rescuing and caring for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned native animals.
  • Donate to the World Wildlife Fund Australia, which is directing its efforts towards koala conservation.
  • Donate to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital‘s GoFundMe, which has rescued and treated dozens of koalas suffering from severe  burns. The hospital is using donations to install automatic drinking stations in burnt areas to help wildlife searching for water and to establish a wild koala breeding program to ensure the survival of the species.
  • Donate to the RSPCA New South Wales, which is helping evacuate, rescue and treat pets and wildlife in threatened areas.
  • Donate to Zoos Victoria, which will help fund emergency veterinary assistance and scientific intervention.


There are also many small businesses having online auctions and donating some of their products or creating special items all to aid the bushfire appeal and some of them can be seen here-


If you are in Cairns please don’t forget that Hartley’s Crocodile Farm are collecting donations for affected wildlife.  Which will be distributed to wildlife carers and organisations in the coming weeks and months.  Please see Donation points and Donation Items required below. 

  • Men’s handkerchiefs
  • Narrow hemmed (cotton or flannelette) squares approx. 40cm x 40cm or 70cm x 70cm
  • Bat Wraps (see patterns)
  • Pouch liners (it doesn’t have to be new material, it just has to be a soft cotton for example old cotton sheets, old t shirt material, flannelette) 
  • Sizes:

             12cm (wide) and 16cm (deep)
             20cm (wide) x 30cm (deep)
             45cm (wide) x 60cm (deep)
             100cm (wide) x 100cm (deep)
             See patterns for more details (must not have threads inside) – these will be uploaded shortly.

  • Cotton baby blankets or cot sheets (new or 2nd hand)
  • Woollen (knitted or woollen material) pouches, square shape 12cm x 12cm
  • Boxes of non-scented tissues and baby wipes
  • Cotton Hand Towels/Tea Towels
  • Cotton Face Washers
  • Small tubes of saline solution
  • Gauze pads
  • Burn Aid or Solosite
  • Vaseline gauze pads
  • Cotton bandages
  • Flamazine
  • Saline drips
  • Vet Wraps & Bandages
  • Syringes and needles
  • Bunnings gift cards (to fix/build cages)
  • Coles/Woolworths gift cards (for food supplies)
  • Visa/mastercard gift cards (fuel to rescue animals, pay vet bills, medications etc)
  • Glass feeding bottles
  • Flying-fox teats
  • Flying-fox formula (S26 Original Progress 6m-12m Baby Formula/Biolac flying-fox formula/Sunshine Milk) 

Drop Off Points

Northern suburbs

  • Marlin Coast Veterinary Hospital Trinity Beach
  • Veterinary Diagnostic Services – Smithfield
  • Marlin Coast Amcal Pharmacy – Campus Shopping Village
  • Chemmart Clifton Beach
  • Stratford Village Pharmacy – Stratford
  • Wayne Leonard Motorcycles, Water Street, Cairns
  • Palm Cove Post Office.
  • Anichs Pharmacy Mossman – pending approval from head office 
  • Ellis Beach Bar and Grill


  • Torres Straits Seafood 208 Hartley Street.
  • JB Hi Fi Cairns Central.


  • Gordonvale Party Pantry
  • Savannah Campers and Trailers
  • Paronella Park
We hope that this bit of information inspires you to help in whatever way you can.  If you would like to drop off any of the items for Hartley’s we are open from 9-5 Mon – Fri and 9-12 on Saturday.  We would also like to thank everyone who has donated to the Bush Fire relief.