Bush Fire Appeal Funds allocated by IWA

14 September, 2020

Further Bush Fire Appeal Funds Donated to Bemm River, VIC

A story of gratitude from an area in Far East Gippsland, Victoria Australia.

Bemm River is a small community with a population of 61 and is located 437km from the City of Melbourne and is 26km from the Princes Highway. It forms part of the Wilderness Coast and abuts the Cape Conran Coastal Park to the West, Croajingalong National Park to the East and State Forrest to its North.

This small community became part of what was named the “Snowy Complex” of fires in 2019-2020.

Dating back to 2011 this “C.F.A.” Country Fire Authority, Volunteer Fire Brigade has committed themselves to being pro-active in the planning and the preparation of their community for an Emergency Event. They battled for six years to be able to create a 50 metre firebreak and a 50 metre understory clearance abutting the most at risk area of fire on the western side of their town. They conducted regular fuel reduction burning and built a Heli-Pad next to the Fire Station back in 2017-18. They instigated and developed a double sided metal sign, Red with a white H indicating the resident was at home on one side and Green with a white A indicating the resident was away on the other. These signs were to be displayed at the front of properties on days of significant danger. With regular community meetings held at the Fire Station they provided the education and the knowledge that was needed for residents to be pro-active, resilient and confident about the protection of their surroundings. A local CFA Emergency Management Team was formed and under the close supervision of this team the Bemm River residents were prepared, and they were also well aware that the chance of outside assistance was minimal to nil.

The importance of communication, listening, supporting and planning helped this community survive the emergency event that occurred this past bush fire season. Over the many years the respect and trust the community has in the leadership of Fire Brigade Captain Russell Pardew was never more evident than during this latest fire emergency. The community recognised his dedication and qualities and he was deservedly awarded one of the most prestigious awards given to a fire fighter “The Australian Fire Service Medal” in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours List.

It is now with the next safety project that Russell Pardew has in mind for his beloved area, where Inner Wheel is becoming a proud part of. For many years the scientific based evidence, relevance and value for the fitting of an External Sprinkler System with pump to Fire Stations in rural areas has been his goal. With donations to our Bush Fire Appeal including a significant amount from Inner Wheel Clubs in Germany, Inner Wheel Australia supported a submission by A62 District Chairman Kate Luxford to assist with funding the installation of these external sprinkler systems to three Rural Fire Stations, these are Bemm River, Goongerah and Wairewa. Inner Wheel Australia allocated $40,000 from the donations to this project and this amount will cover almost all the costs for all three Fire Stations. This sprinkler system will provide personal and asset protection from ember attack to these three most vulnerable communities where their Fire Stations are utilized by many community groups as meeting places, places of reassurance and places where they are encouraged to seek information and companionship. Quotes are now completed for this work and the installation will proceed in the very near future. I look forward to keeping you regularly updated on the progress of this very valuable and possible life saving project.

The communities of Bemm River, Goongerah and Wairewa are now well aware of our wonderful organization “Inner Wheel” and our important International connections.    Going into the future, Inner Wheel can be justifiably proud that they have become an invaluable part of these small communities town protection against Wildfire.

They are so very grateful for the support they have been given.

Allocation of More IWA Bush Fire Appeal Funds

Allocation of More IWA Bush Fire Appeal Funds

12 September, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Hartley Fire Brigade, NSW

The President of Lithgow Club A50 Marilyn Tulley presented the following extract:

I have been speaking to Doreen Peters who manages the Hartley Bush Fire Mobile Canteen. I was slightly involved in volunteering with Doreen when the fires started ‘getting serious’ beginning of December, and it is not until you become involved that you realise just how much goes into running such a facility.

Doreen is 80 years old (looks about 60!) and has been catering for bush fires for over 40 years! Manages to run her farm on her own since her husband passed away and is an amazing woman.

In the first couple of weeks, we were preparing from about 80 – 100 meals a day. Fresh salad, cold meats, fresh buns, fruit, snack bars, lollies, drinks all went into a bag for each fire fighter. When the fires were raging all over, it went to over 300 per day!  Doreen over the years has been acknowledged for her hard work and devotion to “feeding the multitude”.

When I spoke to Doreen to see how she was situated, she mentioned that a new generator was needed and a few updates on her mobile truck, and she was going to request some money at a meeting she was attending this week.

$5000 was donated to the Hartley Fire Brigade.  Doreen was thrilled to be able to accept this very generous donation.

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Bungandarra Rural Fire Brigade, Qld

The disaster which unfolded north of Yeppoon in District A77 last December exposed a number of weaknesses in the QFES management of wildfires, not the least being poor communications and inadequate water supplies for the many appliances which attended this catastrophic incident. Following this event the Bungandarra RFB resolved to construct their own semi-mobile water supply to better manage future appliance water supplies. The project involves a portable 6000 litre capacity tank mounted on a portable frame, equipped with suitable pumps, hoses and fittings to provide a quick refill option to both urban and rural appliances. The contribution of $6000 was gratefully accepted by the RFS community.

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal funds to Salvation Army (Gosford North & Surrounds), NSW

Following negotiations with Maria Fletcher, from the Salvation Army, Gosford North President Karen, Treasurer Kath, Correspondence Secretary Glenis and Minute Secretary Pat visited The Salvation Army Headquarters at Erina where they presented them with 5 x $400 vouchers. These vouchers were bought with the $2000 allocated to our club from IWA Bush Fire relief funds. They packaged the vouchers and a brochure on Inner Wheel in beautiful handmade cards donated by Ros Spencer. The Salvation Army have identified 5 families “who have lost everything” in the Summer bush fires. With their extensive network, the Salvation Army were able to identify worthy recipients of these vouchers. What would we do without such wonderful people as the Salvation Army?


IWA President Elizabeth Tooke

IWA Changeover

Inner Wheel Australia President 2020/21, Elizabeth Tooke

In accordance with social distancing requirements, only a small group of people attended the Inner Wheel Australia Changeover in Blayney, NSW, on 13 June 2020 to witness the Changeover of National President from Robyn Gillespie to Elizabeth Tooke.  Their speeches were recorded and may be viewed here

Allocation of IWA Bush Fire Appeal Funds

Approximately $128,000 has been raised by the generosity of our own Inner Wheel Australia members and those of many clubs overseas. This is a true example of Inner Wheel Friendship with the resolve of helping one another when the need arises.

Of these funds $57,000 was donated by the German Inner Wheel clubs and has been earmarked for use by the volunteers of the Rural fire service.

A further donation from GB & I requested the funds be spent on revegetation.

The Inner Wheel Australia Executive have been actively investigating where these funds can be used that enables as many families as possible to be assisted. In this it was decided that Community Projects would have the most effect and any support to these projects would certainly be beneficial in the years ahead as those in authority warn us we face a longer fire season each year.

10 August, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Thowgla Community Hall, VIC

A61 Council Member Glen Harding was made aware of the Community Hall in the small village of Thowgla that was severely impacted by the bush fires.  The donation of $5000 is going to the upgrading of toilets by building a shower and changing facility.  This would greatly improve the function of the hall as the community hosts campers for the annual Man From Snowy River Bush Festival.

The hall secretary stated that they still has a long way to go towards recovery and seeing improvements happening like this will be very beneficial to people’s moral and mental health.

2 August, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Salvation Army, WA

This project was submitted by IPP June.  The Salvation Army in WA carry out the important work of feeding the volunteers during disasters and in particular during the fires in WA last Summer.

Major Paul Beardsley from WA Salvation Army greatly welcomed the donation of $3000.  This enabled the Emergency Services team to continue the volunteer work that they do in supporting fire fighters on the front line.

Council Member Rhonda Johns represented IWA at the presentation.

22 July, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary, QLD

Rockhampton Sunset (District A77) submitted the following project on behalf of the Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary.  The park was evacuated in November due to the bush fires.  The volunteers relocated over 150 animals for two days.  The firefighters were able to save the property.

Their Not-For-Profit registered charity “Wildlife Rehabilitation HQ Inc.” is onsite at the park.  Funds go to taking care of the sick, injured and orphaned wildlife which are rehabilitated and released back to the wild.  This is in the form of feed and the provision of health care.  $3000 will benefit this park as it has been closed since the fires and with Covid-19 restrictions they have no income.

Inner Wheel Australia Certificate Cooberrie Park

20 July, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Sapphire Country Pantry, NSW

Sapphire Country Pantry is a service running out of Bega.  Food and supplies are delivered to bush fire victims around the Bega Valley and into the Monaro countryside including Bemboka.  The Mission Statement is “nourishing the community” as the volunteers not only deliver food but also help build the community and nourish people’s well-being.  The area relies on farming and tourism.  Many of the townspeople are afraid to leave their homes and are relying on friends and relatives to do their shopping.

The mobile “Pantry” now provides online shopping and ordering.  The delivered a utility-load of groceries to Bemboka, a small village badly damaged in the fires.  The delivery became a social event and created a carnival atmosphere with people enjoying a legal outing.  To keep this service going, the volunteers asked for funding to purchase a van that could be fitted with shelving, refrigeration, easily loaded and easy for the volunteers.  It is envisaged the mobile pantry will also partner with other care organizations. $20000 was donated for this extremely worthwhile project.  The Inner Wheel logo would be displayed on the van.

17 July, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Ewingar Community, NSW

Ewingar is a remote are in Northern Rivers area of NSW – District A55.  The community was drought stricken and then the fires ravaged the community.  Fencing, livestock, homes were lost which left the community traumatized.  The community hall was the centre when this catastrophe hit as families and firefighters came to the centre.  The hall needed a new oven/stove and kitchen cabinets.  $5000 was donated to the community.

1 July, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to the Nymboida Community, NSW

A submission by A55 Council Member Alison Banks was accepted to aid in the revegetation of creek banks, the replacement of playground equipment and plants and trees for home gardens. The total donated was $9000. 8 members from the Inner Wheel Club of Grafton visited Nymboida for the presentation.

30 June, 2020

Presentation of Bush Fire Appeal Funds to Charmhaven Rural Fire Service, NSW

The Inner Wheel Club of Wyong submitted a request to the IWA Executive that a donation to the Charmhaven Rural Fire Service be considered, specifically for the installation of reversing cameras on the fire trucks which would help improve the safety of the region’s rural firefighters.

Dozens of firefighters from at least ten brigades from local Rural Fire Services were directly involved in fighting the horrendous January bushfires on the Central Coast of NSW.  It became apparent that the firefighters desperately need rear view reversing cameras fitted to their fire trucks as it is not always possible to turn a fire truck around and escape the oncoming flames.  Reversing up a fire trail when falling burning matter cannot be seen by the driver is not only unsafe but must also be quite frightening.

The IWA Executive agreed that having a reversing camera fitted to the fire trucks would certainly help the safety of the drivers and crew when reversing out of fire trails during operations controlling bushfires in the future.  As a result, IWA donated $7,000 for the purchase and installation of reversing cameras on ten fire trucks operating in the Charmhaven/Central Coast area covered by the local Rural Fire Brigades.  IWC Wyong President Sue Arthur, accompanied by members of the IWC Wyong, presented the cheque on behalf of Inner Wheel Australia to the District Manager for the Central Coast Rural Fire Service, Superintendent Viki Campbell.  Also in attendance were local residents who volunteer to ensure the smooth running of the Charmhaven RFS Station.



11 June, 2020

The first presentation of Bush Fire Appeal funds has been made to the Mogo Public School, NSW

It came to our attention via the Red Cross Recovery Support Officer for the South Coast of NSW that Mogo School was struggling to provide enough digital devices for their students. Of the 44 pupils at the school all either lost their homes or had them damaged. The P & C was naturally unable to fund raise to buy any necessary equipment. A Zoom meeting was held with the School Principal, Lyndall Schuhmann, to ascertain what was required and after approval from the Executive, IWA donated $10,123.90 for the purchase of Ipads and an electronic whiteboard.

The presentation took place at Mogo Public School on Thursday 11 June, 2020, in front of all of the pupils and teachers after the Welcome to Country was read by one of the  children.  Inner Wheel Australia was represented by Heather Jenkins, Secretary of IWC Wollongong, who made the presentation of the equipment to the School.  The presentation was a complete surprise to the students.  The School Captains were very happy to receive the new equipment on behalf of the school and Mrs Jenkins accepted their thanks on behalf of Inner Wheel Australia.

Treloar Roses Certificate of Appreciation

Inner Wheel Australia is most appreciative of the support given to our National Project, Cord Blood Research, by Treloar Roses.  Since 2015 Treloar Roses has donated a portion of sales of the ‘Gift of Friendship’ Rose, with a total of $7015 being donated in that time.

IWA Magazine March 2020

Please enjoy the latest IWA magazine with thanks to National Editor, Cheryl Leddy

Click the image to view/download the magazine


IWA Changeover has been cancelled

The 2020 IWA Changeover was to have been held in Blayney, NSW, 12-13 June.  However, the function has now been cancelled.

The IWA Executive is very disappointed but the decision was made in accordance with Government advice in relation to COVID-19.

Click here to read the letter from IWA President Robyn

Australian Bush Fire Emergencies

A letter to members from IWA President Robyn, regarding the bush fire emergencies affecting so much of our country.

Click on letter below for larger image or click here to view the .pdf

Bank account details can be found here










fire image on home page from abc.net.au