The devastating bushfires in Australia have now been raging for their fourth straight month, scorching millions of acres of land and already resulting in the deaths of over two dozen people and more than one billion animals. The international community has watched in horror as the fires show no signs of slowing down, rallying together to do what they can through donations and charities. It has been estimated that over a million people worldwide have supported the relief with no amount considered too small for the victims, firefighters and wildlife.
My last day of the decade felt like the apocalypse. Been covering the Australian bushfires for the last 6 weeks, but haven’t seen anything like yesterdays fire that decimated the town of Conjola, NSW. #bushfirecrisis #AustralianBushfires #NSWisburning work for @nytimes pic.twitter.com/KmVKqDMKsf
— matthew abbott (@mattabbottphoto) January 1, 2020
The sheer magnitude of the devastation has been impossible to ignore, dominating the international news cycle and even the awards speeches of Hollywood’s Golden Globe Awards, held last Sunday. Several award winners took the time from their speeches to share their sympathies for the victims of the bushfires and urged anyone who can to donate to charities and organizations supporting Australia and those affected by the fires.
Other celebrities have taken to social media to do the same, using the massive goodwill and capital they’ve earned from successful careers in the entertainment industry to make large calls to action. Actors and performers like Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Pink, Selena Gomez, Celeste Barber, Rebel Wilson, Naomi Watts, Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett, and Bindi Irwin have all implored their fans and followers to join them in supporting Australia in any way they can.
Absolutely devastated by the fires in Australia. Praying for everyone affected and all of the first responders. I’m making a donation and would love if you would consider doing the same if you can. Swipe up ❤️ https://t.co/aEqW5SPKPG
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) January 4, 2020
Hi everyone. Like you, I want to support the fight against the bushfires here in Australia. My family and I are contributing a million dollars. Hopefully you guys can chip in too. Every penny counts so whatever you can muster up is greatly appreciated.https://t.co/KcBpMe7QvY pic.twitter.com/gYuA4LELZM
— Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) January 7, 2020
As a family, we’ve donated $500,000 towards the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required.
Big or small, from near or far, any support will help those affected by the devastating bushfires.
The Minogue Family.
— Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue) January 6, 2020
New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) students from both Australia and the international community have had the distinct luxury of shooting in one of the most beautiful and diverse environments in the world. It is no coincidence that the film industry has turned to the Gold Coast and Australia so often to shoot iconic films and television series—the charm and beauty of the island continent is effortlessly captured by the camera’s eye.
Films and series like Game of Thrones, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas, The Shallows, Kong: Skull Island, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and the 70s Australian film Walkabout—as well as countless student films by NYFA Australia students and alumni—have all taken advantage of Australia’s scenic backdrops. Seeing the continued destruction of both land and lives has been unspeakably heartbreaking, and NYFA Australia encourages those who can to support the victims of Australia’s fires in any way possible.
In light of these devastating bushfires, the Gold Coast campus has been in contact with Foodbank Queensland to see how they can support those in need during this challenging period. Foodbank Queensland has requested much-needed toiletries and non-perishable items as donations for those affected. The NYFA Australia community has come together and collected donations at the Southport campus which will be sent down to Foodbank NSW Team on January 10th in support of the Bushfire Relief. The campus has received an overwhelming amount of support from staff and students who are keen to help out in any way they can which has been wonderful.
Here’s How You Can Help
For those willing and able to help, here are some of the organizations you can support to aid displaced people, wildlife populations, and Australia as a whole during this unprecedented emergency:
- Australian Red Cross
- Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
- NSW Rural Fire Service
- Victoria Country Fire Authority
- Victorian Bushfire Appeal
- Salvation Army Australia
- St. Vincent de Paul Society
The cinematographer of the Australian film Walkabout— also NYFA Los Angeles’s Cinematography Chair—Anthony Richmond shares this message and plea for support:
Every dollar counts so any amount you are able to donate will help and Australians will surely appreciate it.