Cyrille Taesch Wahlen, Managing Director, Asian Le Mans Series:
“As the Asian Le Mans Series teams and drivers arrived in Australia this week many of us saw first-hand the smoke caused by the devastating bush fires occurring in the South East of Australia. Fortunately, the area immediately surrounding The Bend Motorsport Park is not affected so the event can safely go ahead.
“The Series is aware however of the heart-breaking impact the fires are having on the broader community. We have also been impressed by the extreme dedication and bravery displayed by the volunteer firefighters, in our minds they are all super heroes. As a sport we rely on a dedicated group of volunteers to keep our drivers safe on track so we understand the massive role they can play. By partnering with Red Cross, we hope to recognize the huge volunteer response to the bush fires across the country, and to contribute to the communities affected.”
Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest:
“It has been very disturbing watching the fires from the other side of the world, and our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones or their homes.
“We hope that through our partnership with the Australian Red Cross, including setting up a website where we will make and receive donations, we will be able to help those effected by the fires immediately, and also during the recovery and rebuilding stage.”
Belinda Dimovski, Head of Engagement and Support at Australian Red Cross
“The size and scale of these fires in many parts of Australia is unprecedented. But so is the incredible wave of support we’ve seen from people and businesses around the country and overseas.
“The funds we raise will ensure our trained staff and volunteers can continue to be there for the long-haul, helping people take a deep breath, take stock of their losses, and slowly but surely get back on their feet. We’ll also be giving out emergency grants to help people cover essential costs as they start to rebuild.
“We’d like to thank The Asian Le Mans Series and all of their teams and supporters, for leading this incredible initiative and showing such generosity to our emergency teams and the people we help.”
An event specific webpage has been set up and donations can be made here – www.redcross.org.au/asianlemans
The Asian Le Mans Series will support the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund. We will be raising funds to help the Red Cross emergency teams who continue to be there in the wake of these devastating fires:
– Welcoming people in evacuation centers and recovery hubs. Listening, comforting, making people’s well-being their number one priority.
– Locating missing loved ones through Red Cross’ Register.Find.Reunite service.
– Providing emergency grants to those who’ve lost their homes to fires this summer, to cover immediate and everyday expenses.
– Staying long after the disaster has passed. 1:1 support as people recover, and resilience programs for the wider community.
– Ongoing training, education and community outreach in preparation for the next disaster, be it here in Australia or further afield.
Your donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery helps our emergency teams to do their work – including the bush fires and heatwaves we’re currently seeing and disasters yet to come.
It enables us to give people the support they need in disasters: whether it is help to prepare a safe place to take shelter, psychological first aid, information, and practical support through the months and even years it can take to recover. The vast majority of our team are volunteers. The Disaster Relief and Recovery fund covers their costs, including training, equipment and transport as well as the coordination effort to ensure our teams are where the community needs them to be.
FACTS AND STATS
In the last six months, Red Cross teams have responded to 30 major emergencies (some of which have been going for up to six weeks).
1,590 of our trained staff and volunteers have supported more than 18,600 people in 69 evacuation and relief centers.
Millions of hectares have been burnt, and thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed.
We are working with Government and the Australian Defence Force in specific instances to deliver water, food and other essential items to communities cut off by the fires.