Volunteer service reforms to help Queenslanders

Volunteer service reforms to help Queenslanders

26 January 2011

published by www.wellingtontimes.com.au

Australia — A volunteer service that began after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires is coming together again to aid those in need following the Queensland and Victorian floods.

BlazeAid was started by Victorian Kevin Butler after he asked some of his friends to help dismantle burnt fencing on his property at Kilmore East.

The idea evolved and in the end 3200 volunteers from across Australia were helping out the victims of the bushfires – erecting fences, building bridges, felling trees, dismantling sheds and even planning a wedding.

The organisation is now calling for volunteers to help out with the flood damage to the north and south of NSW.

Former BlazeAid volunteer Rod Althofer said anyone can offer their services for the cause.

“You don’t need to know how to erect a fence or build a shed or anything,” Mr Althofer said.

“All you need to be able to do is get to the bases set up in a couple of different towns and be willing to work hard.”

Mr Althofer said Blaze Aid organisers were asking people to ‘please, just come’.

“It doesn’t matter if you can only help out for a week, or a month, but if you can come and help out everyone is welcome,” he said.

“There was one woman who turned up one day in her campervan to help out and ended up staying for nine months.”

There are base camps set up in Queensland near Toowoomba and Stanthorpe and in Victoria at Bridgewater.

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