Australia’s start to the new year highlighted the catastrophic impact of extreme weather. The media extensively covered bushfires in Victoria’s Central Highlands and Gippsland regions, the bushfires in Tasmania – which have occurred in many places for the first time in memory – and unprecedented flooding across Queensland.
During this time, we also recognised the tenth anniversary of Black Saturday and the devastation and recovery of communities.
As a nation we give generously during times of disasters. It makes us feel proud to be Australian when stories emerge of generous giving and heroic volunteer efforts.
What happens when the crisis has passed? What happens when we face natural disasters that occur more frequently due to an unstable and warming climate?
Donor fatigue might set in and the media moves on to the next issue. But philanthropy doesn’t have to. We have the benefit of being able to take a long-term view of community needs and help build community resilience long after the disaster has passed.