UMD Appeals to Australian Macedonian Community to Support Victorian Bushfire Victims

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Ordan Andreevski

+61 0438 385 466
[email protected]

 

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – 10 February 2009 – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) appealed today to the over 300,000 strong Australian Macedonian community to take action in support of the Victorian bushfire victims, in what is Australia’s worst bushfire tragedy in its history.  “It is truly devastating when homes are lost, it is a real tragedy when lives are lost, but this horror, with so many victims, with so many communities affected, it just goes beyond comprehension,” stated Ordan Andreevski, Director of UMD Australian Operations.

Whittlesea, one of the severely affected areas, is home to a large Macedonian community, a number of who have now lost their homes.  St. Kliment Ohridski Macedonian Orthodox Monastery in Kinglake – a symbolic icon for the Australian Macedonian community – now shares the tragic fate of the hundreds upon hundreds of homes throughout Victoria, which have burned to the ground.

“All of that is by far overshadowed by the real cost of this tragedy; the human cost of well over 100 lives,” said Andreevski.  “Each and every one of us should do our bit to help and support the Victorian bushfire victims – heaven forbid, if we walked a mile in their shoes, we would want, and need, all the support our fellow Australians could offer as well,” he added.

UMD congratulates all Australians who have once again shown their big hearts, coming together as one, to provide much needed assistance.  We are hearing so many reports of the outpour of generosity from the entire Australian community, all across the board, and the United Macedonian Diaspora calls upon the Australian Macedonian community to dig deep and offer all the support we can to our fellow Australians.

There are many ways to help and every bit of help counts.

The Premier John Brumby launched the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund in partnership with the Australian Government and Red Cross.  Individuals and organisations wishing to make a donation to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund can go to http://www.redcross.org.au or call the toll free number 1800 811 700.

Evacuation centres near the affected areas are being run by Australian Red Cross volunteers who are registering the names of people affected by the fires, providing food and water to those seeking refuge, providing meals for the firefighters and providing much needed assistance. The Red Cross has not yet made a public callout for more volunteers, as the 400 volunteers are trained and experienced – however, any and all members of the Australian Macedonian community who wish to help in person, should stand by and prepare to volunteer with the Australian Red Cross should there be a public callout.  The Salvation Army is also providing relief.

If you wish to donate blood, you can call 13 14 95 during Monday to Friday to make an appointment.

Let us all overcome this, together.

Important Contacts

For those checking on family and friends in the affected areas and are unable to contact them may contact 1800 727 077.

For those overseas enquiring about family and friends in the affected areas,
please call +61 3 9328 3716.

CFA Bushfire Hotline – 1800 240 667,  http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au
State Emergency Service (SES) –  132 500
Department of Human Services – 1300 650 172
 

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Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is the leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.
 
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