Unprecedented fires across Australia 

Like everyone, I have been saddened and disturbed by the amount of destruction and devastation our communities, landscapes and wildlife has experience due to the ongoing fires burning across Australia. 
It has been heart breaking to see the chaos and turmoil that many communities have been left in.
In the months and years ahead, we will all play an important role in helping these communities recover.
On behalf of everyone at AILA, I would like to express our sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or been displaced.
We also thank and acknowledge all of the volunteers and professional service people who are battling the fires or supporting the communities who have been impacted. 
I am buoyed by the community spirit and support that every day Australians are providing to their community. It has also been inspirational to see the many AILA members who have contacted us in recent weeks to ask how we can respond collectively and support the recovery effort. 

Impact on AILA members
We know that this disaster has been far reaching and there is every chance that some of our members have been impacted directly. If you are one of those members, we encourage you to reach out to AILA and keep us updated. We have a community and capacity to support our members so please let us know how we may be able help you. 
Impacted members can contact AILA’s CEO on tim.arnold@aila.org.au or call 0419 109 340 for a confidential conversation.

Immediate Response 
The fires are still burning, and it will be sometime until people can return to their homes and communities. Frontline agencies working on the ground have advised that financial support is the best contribution that can be made at this point in time.
The following are organisation members or practices can donate. 



Longer term support and response
The recovery effort will take several years and we are certain that many of our members will be involved in this process as towns and communities recover and rebuild. 
Members have been in contact with us and offered pro bono support. While this is to be commended, we believe that the timing of such deployment will come in the weeks and months ahead. In the coming weeks we will look to coordinate a service to connect those members looking to offer their services to communities. 
AILA will contact the respective government agencies to offer the support and expertise of Landscape Architects as part of their response. 
AILA will also continue advocating to government about the climate and biodiversity emergency as we call for immediate and significant funding and policy action. 

Our policy position
AILA’s Bushfire Position Statement captures the role that Landscape Architects can play in the management, mitigation and response to bushfires. I encourage AILA members to review this document and use it as part of your own local advocacy and engagement efforts with government and clients. 
I hope relief comes soon to those under threat and we send our best wishes to those who have been impacted. 

Shaun Walsh