Groups raise funds to help

THE community has been commended in Federal Parliament “for everything they have done over the last few months, big and small” to help those affected by the devastating bushfires.

Federal MP for Blaxland, Jason Clare, spoke in Parliament on the Bushfire Condolence motion.
While he spoke of the devastation in community from the North Coast to the South Coast of NSW and what he has seen in towns ravaged by the fires, he also thanked the local community for the work that they have done to collect donations and money for communities affected by the devastating bushfires.
“We weren’t touched directly by the fires, but all of us in the local community have been affected,” Mr Clare said.
“We’ve seen it in the sky, we’ve breathed it in, and we’ve felt it. Almost every church, mosque, temple, community club has done their bit, run a raffle, raised money, held a fundraising dinner, done something to help their fellow Australians.”
One of these fundraisers was organised by Dr Vinh Binh Lieu, President of the Vietnamese Australian Medical Association.
On December 19, volunteer firefighters from Horsley Park RFS Andrew O’Dwyer and Geoff Keaton tragically lost their lives when their truck was hit by a tree and rolled in Buxton.
Both men had 19-month-old children who were born within days of each other.

Three days before Christmas, Dr Lieu organised a fundraiser to raise money to support Andrew and Geoff’s families.
So far, an incredible $117,519 has been raised.
“This is a prime example of our local community coming together to help out people in need,” Mr Clare said.