Devastating fires impact Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek

Dear Friends Of Parks member groups and members

Friends of Parks Inc. and the Volunteer Programs Unit have been contacted by some individuals and companies in relation to the devastating impact of the Kangaroo Island, Cudlee Creek, and other fires across the state,and several Friends Groups have had fire through their parks. The information below will give you some ideas of how you or your group might like to help.

For those of us at a distance, a financial donation is often the most helpful way to contribute to disaster-affected communities. It helps the community buy exactly what they need and spend locally.

The South Australian Government has activated the State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) for the Cudlee Creek fire, and kicked it off with $1 million. The fund will collect donations to provide financial relief for people directly affected by the fire, including those who suffered injury or loss. All money raised will be administered by the independent SERF Committee which will ensure fair distribution to those most in need. You can read more about the SERF, including the many easy tax-deductible ways to donate here .

St Vincent De Paul have also set up an appeal specifically for other fire affected communities in South Australia. To make a donation, please visit the Vinnie’s SA Bushfires Appeal page .


There are also a number of fauna related charities such as SAVEM and Fauna Rescue raising funds to assist with injured livestock and wildlife following this disaster, helping to minimise the suffering of the thousands of animals affected.

You can help South Australia’s koalas and other wildlife affected by bushfires by contacting the South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management team (SAVEM).

SAVEM is set up to provide large-scale emergency wildlife response during bushfires across the state. National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia spokesperson Professor Chris Daniels said SAVEM collaborates with other agencies, including the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and the RSPCA, to respond to animal welfare issues in-field. “We have many fantastic trained volunteer carers in South Australia ready to help distressed and injured wildlife and the best way to help out wildlife is by contacting SAVEM to coordinate the effort,” Professor Daniels said. “We greatly appreciate wildlife rescue volunteers who look after South Australia’s animals all year around. During this bushfire emergency SAVEM is the go-to wildlife rescue effort for the state. “Only appropriately trained members are authorised to carry out emergency wildlife rescue and care activities.” There are also a few things everyone can do to help animals during a bushfire, such as:

  • Leave shallow bowls of water out for animals and birds escaping fires. Add a few sticks or stones on one side to allow smaller animals to escape if they fall in.
  • Keep a cardboard box and towel in the boot of your car in case you find an injured animal that you can safely contain without putting yourself in any danger.
  • If you rescue an animal that has been burnt, do not attempt to feed it. Wrap it loosely, ideally in 100% cotton fabric, place it in a ventilated box with a lid and keep it in a dark, quiet place while waiting for a rescuer or for transport to the nearest vet.

To get in contact with SAVEM call 0477 055 233 or email

SAVEM’s mission is to assess, triage, treat, shelter, reunite with owners or rehabilitate and return to habitat all species of animals post event. SAVEM has been activated by PIRSA.


Adelaide Koala & Wildlife Hospital (via Facebook)

“ We are getting many calls and messages asking what sort of items to donate so we have made a list of what we are using the most. We are blown away by the love and generosity of everyone in our country as well as overseas at this awful time ❤ We have birds, reptiles and possums in our hospital as well as koalas also affected buy the excessive heat 🐨🐿”

Items include:

– Flamazine
– Soffban
– Vetwrap
– Elastoplast
– Bottles of saline
– IV fluids: hartmanns or saline
– IV Giving and extension sets
– Gauze
– Handwash
– Toilet Paper
– Native flowers for the lorikeets and possums
– Eucalyptus leaves
– Chlorhexadine scrub
– Small and large bird seed
– A4 printing paper (for hospital charts)
– A4 clipboards (for charts)
– Paper towel
– Bin liner

“As we go we will add to the list. We don’t have use for stuffed animals, sheets, quilts or pillows but other rescues may need these items. To make our lives and the lives of our volunteers easier we cannot accept soiled items “

Items can be dropped off at the hospital Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. Highlights info row image (08) 8297 2455


Koalas and other wildlife affected by bushfires on Kangaroo Island must be managed locally and not removed from the island.

Department for Environment and Water Acting Executive Director Brenton Grear said it was particularly important that the island’s koalas – which make up the only population in South Australia free of chlamydia – remain disease-free. “We’ve received reports that some koalas from Kangaroo Island have been taken to Adelaide by people who want to get help for them,” he said. “It’s understandable and heartening that people want to rescue these animals, but unfortunately it will mean that those koalas can’t be returned to the island because of the risk of contamination of the population there.” Chlamydia in koalas can cause blindness, bladder inflammation, infertility and death. As the island’s koalas are isolated and free of the disease, its introduction would devastate the population. Because of the size of the fires burning on the island, it is too soon to know how many animals have been affected.

“South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) has been activated to manage the wildlife rescue effort and is working with other groups in fire-affected regions,” Mr Grear said. “We ask that anyone on Kangaroo Island who finds injured wildlife call SAVEM and SAVEM will coordinate assistance for animals affected by the fires on Kangaroo Island.”


As many of you may now be aware, there have been substantial loss to properties including our beloved Flinders Chase National Park and other west end reserves. A number of our members have been impacted and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time. In the days, weeks and months to come there will be a number of opportunities to assist and help rebuild, but in the interim you may wish to donate to the KI appeal or to a number of the other non-profit organisations supporting our local people, livestock & wildlife.


The State Government has established a new emergency relief fund to help people directly affected by the devastating Cudlee Creek bushfire – pledging $1 million to kick-start the donation drive.

The State Government is encouraging South Australians to consider making a donation to the Cudlee Creek Fire Appeal – no matter how big or small. The State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) will be managed by a five-member committee, who will ensure public donations are distributed appropriately and fairly. There are no administrative fees. You can make a tax-deductible donation to the SERF online, via cheque, or in person at any Commonwealth Bank branch:

Electronic funds transfer to the State Emergency Relief Fund, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, BSB 065 266, Account 10020160 – Description must state ‘donation’.

Credit card – visit the State Emergency Relief Fund BPoint payment website at or dial 1300 276 468 (1300 BPOINT) and enter biller code 1002359

Cash – go into any branch of the Commonwealth Bank and donate over the counter giving the details: BSB 065 266, Account 10020160

Cheque – send to State Emergency Relief Fund, Donations, QA Finance, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001


To support the impending bushfire recovery effort, Mike Williams, Executive Director National Parks and Wildlife, has been appointed by the Premier as the Kangaroo Island State Recovery Coordinator for the next six months. Mike will coordinate all aspects of the state’s recovery effort and will report to the Department of Human Services. While Mike is leading the island’s recovery effort, Brenton Grear will be Acting Executive Director, National Parks and Wildlife. In this role Brenton Grear will also chair the DEW’s Fire Recovery Coordination Committee.

One thing I am sure of is that our Australian Community – and within that the Friends of Parks SA – are a tough, caring and resilient ‘mob’ and we know how to fight back against any adversity. We have proved time and again that ‘we are a well oiled machine’ that is capable of tackling any situation ‘thrown’ at us, and NOW is the time to prove that is the case.

When I consider the enormous number of volunteers, community members and other workers who have put their lives on the line to fight these fires, trying to protect our communities and the environment, I say it is time for them to take a rest and for other community members – such as the FOP – to step into the gap to work on the rehabilitation and recovery of our communities and the environment.

If your Friends Group has been impacted by the fires, can you please think about what tasks/projects you might need assistance with from other Friends Groups once the fire areas are declared safe, and let us know by contacting Pam Smith, Secretary. Friends of Parks Inc. Board ( ), and we’ll distribute that information via the Friends of Parks website, Facebook page and email distribution list.

(You should be able to right click on the organisations above to take you to their pages).


Duncan MacKenzie
Friends of Parks Inc.
Ph 8332 1204