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Masses of people attending relief centres on New Year's Eve

1 January 2020

Salvation Army helping disaster affected people with food


It was an unpredictable day in Victoria yesterday with the number of people attending relief centres far exceeding our capacity to provide material aid. With people trapped on beaches and whole communities isolated, The Salvation Army has sent nearly 800 beds and bulk toiletries into the region.

The Salvos have been working collaboratively with all levels of Government, other agencies and our corporate partners to assist Victorian communities with urgent sourcing of food and water. This includes 800 x 10kg boxes of food delivered and stored at Bairnsdale (Foodbank) and 40,000 bottles of water delivered and stored at Bairnsdale (Woolworths), with 1.6 tonnes of water shipped to the isolated community of Malacoota by boat at 6am today.

We now face the challenge of distributing aid and have our state relief and recovery teams working on this. Financial assistance to those directly impacted by fires has commenced through the DHHS referral process.

"Our amazing teams are tired and impacted by the events, but remain cheerful in their service" said Topher Holland, The Salvation Army’s Emergency and Disaster Management Lead.

New South Wales

There are currently 16 evacuation centres across NSW with the number of people arriving growing hour by hour. On New Year’s Eve, there were:

  • 680 people in Bateman's Bay evacuation centres
  • 800-1,000 in Naroomba evacuation centres - with more on their way
  • 200 in Bega evacuation centres and another 1,100 in tents and caravans on the oval

The Salvation Army would like to acknowledge the significant efforts of Woolworths who in the words of Topher Holland “…have been amazing across the board.”

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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