Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia raises over $700,000 for Australian bushfire appeal

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The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia announced on Tuesday evening that they, with support of the Greek community and other archdiocese across the globe, have raised a total of $707,208.91 for the Australian bushfire appeal.

Specifically, the Archdiocese will be donating the funds to:

  • $325,000 to Bega Valley Shire Council in NSW
  • $200,000 to Country Fire Authority (CFA) VIC
  • $125,000 to South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS)
  • $57,208.91 to Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in NSW

“The Holy Archdiocese of Australia wants to express its gratitude and appreciation to whoever communicated with the Archbishop, to express support and help for the leaders, the clergy and the people of our local Church during the Fire crisis,” a statement by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia says.

Read More: Archbishop Makarios releases statement on bushfires and Greek church response

Read More: Ecumenical Patriarch sends sympathy and support over Australian bushfires

The Archdiocese personally thanked his All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew, who maintained constant communication with His Eminence Archbishop Makarios from the opening days of the natural disaster, to its eventual conclusion.

“We also want to express the gratitude of our leaders, our clergy and the people of Australia towards his All Holiness our Patriarch for his letters of support and solidarity which we had announced to the public on his behalf.”

In Australia, severe bushfires often occur after record high temperatures, low relative humidity and strong winds. Image credit: Getty

The Archdiocese was “especially touched” with the donations made by the Greek Orthodox leaders in the USA. Archbishop Elpidoforos of America donated $75,000.00 American dollars towards the Australian Archdiocese’s appeal.

Read More: Greek community unites across Australia to help bushfire victims

“We also thank H.E., the Metropolitans Nicholaos of Mesogeia and Lavroatiki, and Nathanael of Chicago who together with their prayerful support donated 50,000 Australian dollars and 20,000 American dollars respectively.

“For the brotherly and philanthropic gesture made by Metropolitan Nicholaos of Mesogeia, our people were especially touched because we know that his locality had recently suffered the same tribulation.”

2 Greek-Australians identified among 21 lives lost in Australian bushfires

A tragedy that plagued the Australian community at the beginning of 2020, the “Black Summer Bushfires” burnt an estimated 18.6 million hectares of land, destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people.

Read More: 2 Greek-Australians identified among 21 lives lost in Australian bushfires

A national Royal Commission into Australia’s devastating Black Summer bushfires was established by the Australian government, with the final report due by August 31.

“…We need to look at what actions should be taken to enhance our preparedness, resilience and recovery through the actions of all levels of government and the community, for the environment we are living in,” Scott Morrison said on February 24 regarding the Royal Commission.

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