In the face of the bushfire crisis across Australia, the Australian and international Scouting communities are doing all they can to support us in rebuilding and recovery efforts. As of Wednesday 29 January 63,000 Bushfire Recovery Badges have been purchased with more badges being ordered every day.
All net proceeds from international sales of the badge will be directed to those Scouting members impacted by the bushfires through the NSW Family Support Fund. Net proceeds from Australian sales are being allocated by postcode and Branches will assess where the funds their members have helped raise can be best spent to support the recovery effort. Already a donation of $100,000 has been made to the NSW Family Support Fund from the first badge sales, with further donations to come.
While sadly nine members of Scouts NSW lost their homes, many others live in communities that have been traumatised.
As has been expressed by major charities in the media recently, bushfire recovery is long-term and ongoing. For this reason it will take some time for Scouts Australia to fully assess how to best distribute the funds raised. The NSW Family Support Fund will immediately replace all uniforms, badges, books and Scout supplies that members may have lost in the fires. The Fund will also pay membership fees and replace camping gear and other equipment lost when we can confirm that information. Long term, we are committed to playing a role in the psychological care of our members whose mental health has been impacted. Scouts NSW is currently training adult Leaders in the bushfire areas so they can be mental health first responders and will refer those who need it to professional services.
The NSW Commissioners who have visited the Scouting families impacted by the fires report that these families are genuinely pleased than others care about them.
Scouts Victoria will direct the funds raised by its members to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Other Branches are assessing where the funds raised by their members’ purchase of the badge will do the most good.
You may have seen some international Scouting social media encouraging Scouts around the world to purchase the badge. Bear Grylls tweeted his support, articles have appeared in international Scouting newsletters, and a number of Scouting organisations are permitting their members to wear the badge on their uniforms. Below we have listed some of the support we have received from Scouts globally.
In response to the devastation across our continent, the Secretary General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, Ahmad Alhendawi, has sent his best wishes following the bushfire tragedy.
Meanwhile, Craig Turpie, the Chairperson of the World Scout Committee, has written a message after his visit to CBR Moot earlier this year. After experiencing first hand the bushfires raging across our country, Mr Turpie reflects on the issues facing our people and planet. Read the message here.
Here, Cameron H (Scouts Queensland), and Millar C (Scouts Victoria) accept the donation on behalf of the 22nd New Zealand Jamboree Australian Contingent. Proceeds from the sale of the Day 8 badge, a campfire design, were redirected to assist with our recovery after the horrendous fires across our country.
Orders for our Bushfire Appeal badge have been received from Scouts across the world – from Europe, America and throughout Asia. Scout Shop will continue to stock the badge for as long as needed, to ensure that everyone who wishes to support our recovery effort can do so.