The cataclysmic brush fires in the state of Victoria have claimed over 180 lives and left thousands homeless.
Today a team of 52 firefighters, crew leaders and incident management team members that have been drawn from a number of organisations and 4 victim recovery dogs left NZ to lend support and relief to their Australian counterparts.
Meanwhile, ASB bank has agreed to drop bank charges on credit card transactions to the appeal lines, thus ensuring as much money as possible gets to the people who need it. NZ Telecom has also waived charges for calls to the appeal lines.
Messages of support and condolence have flooded in to the NZ Herald’s site from New Zealanders and have touched the hearts of many Australians, who take comfort from their kind words.
Its a time like this, of national grief and loss that a nation comes together and supports each other, and its also been wonderful to see two nations who are so close, yet so different in many ways, become as one in the face of adversity and in a time of great need.
The sense of a community has been phenominal in Australia and makes it the strong nation that it is and in which it citizens are so rightly proud.
It seems that everyone is doing their bit to support those affected by the fires – whether it be through fund raisers, physical assistance, taking in the homeless or donating goods. Even flood victims in North Queensland have been offering to donate their assistance cheques to the appeal.