The Black Saturday bushfires that claimed the lives of 210 individuals and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and 421,000 hectares of bushland in February 2009 attracted the attention of all Australian communities, and in particular the residents of the state of Victoria, where the unfortunate incidents occurred.
The members of the Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria (AOCAV) have shown a great sense of commitment to help their fellow Australians affected by the bushfire by making financial contributions to the fund established to assist with the rehabilitation of the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires. The current difficult economic circumstances and the burden of financially maintaining their families, relatives and friends in their homeland, Oromia (east Africa, Ethiopia), and various refugee camps across the Horn of Africa could not deter the members of AOCAV from digging deep into their pockets and donating to this worthy cause.
It was also very interesting to witness the desire of the members of this community, including the very young and new arrivals, to stand with the bushfire victims and show that they are not only part of the mainstream Australia, but also good citizens of this great nation. A number of the community members also volunteered and participated in various projects undertaken by the Red Cross and SES (the State Emergency Services) in the bushfire-affected areas. The AOCAV is proud of its members and confident that its members will continue to show such a strong spirit of compassion during difficult times and to enjoy the freedom and opportunity afforded to them by Australia and its people.