Kangaroo Island, known for its pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, was desolated by the bushfires of 2019/20.
One local resident recalled how she had to abandon her home at 2am as the fire approached. She took her husband, who has dementia, her grandchildren and her daughter’s animals in the car. She drove through the fire to Kingscote. She spoke of the fear as they drove through the fire in the middle of the night. Her husband was confused and she was so stressed she was physically ill. She spoke of the fear of the possibility of having to get into the water to protect themselves as the fire raged. Her daughter and son-in-law were away at the time and she worried whether they were safe.
Another part of South Australia that was badly hit by bushfires was Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills. As local residents in both places picked up the pieces, Anglicare South Australia was there to help, drawing on support from a wide array of organisations. ABM and our supporters helped Anglicare. So did Junction Australia, Parndana and Lobethal State Government Recovery Centres, local community centre workers and companies like Toyota and Toll Transport. That’s a lot of goodwill.
Anglicare’s assistance included 40 pre-paid visa cards for those most in need, as well as a visit by Anglicare’s Thread Together Van, which distributed new clothing to 76 people on Kangaroo Island and 30 people in Lobethal.
The road to recovery in Lobethal and on Kangaroo Island will be a slow one but people’s solidarity and goodwill matters. As one local resident wrote: