"This is a photo of a tree. One tree. One tree on an ancient coastal sand dune that just happens to be in the middle of a city that has grown around it. I pass this tree every morning on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.
This tree is host to brushtail and ringtail possums, flying foxes, microbats, lizards, magpies, currawongs, butcherbirds, noisy miners, figbirds, owls, kookaburras, koels and channel bill cuckoos and insects I can’t begin to name. This is a single city tree which also holds the park together and stops the sand slipping away down the hill to Bondi. This tree and the others in the park allow us city dwellers to escape for a moment. The background of this tree is smoke.
I think about this summer and the endless fires and try to imagine each individual tree that we have lost, as a habitat, a host for abundant life, and the extent of the damage becomes reality. It’s an accident of employment that I live here and work here and established a family here. My career could have taken me just as easily to Grafton, Port Macquarie, or to the South Coast, and when I speak to those in affected practices feel that it could so easily have been me and my family dealing with the horror of these unprecedented fires. All of us who are not immediately affected feel intensely for those who are. The amazing response to our appeal for help via Vets Beyond Borders AVERT is evidence of this.
I haven’t yet met a veterinarian who does not do a significant amount of pro-bono work. This may be for wildlife or for clients that are experiencing hardship. We are naturally empathetic and caring and create our own communities. The problem at the moment in affected practices is that their entire community is devastated. If they haven’t lost homes, then someone close to them has. Their clients, their clients’ pets and the wildlife that they have always looked after are suffering.
I am appealing to you as President of the AVA as a member or a supporter to give to our Veterinary Benevolent Fund. Please help us to support those practices financially and emotionally, their families, their community and their wildlife, now and into the future.
This is my appeal. We are vets and we help and support each other."
– Dr Julia Crawford, January 2020
Bushfire disaster relief – donate to the Veterinary Benevolent Fund
- Your contribution will be directly used to assist veterinarians financially impacted by the fires, as well as veterinarians doing pro-bono work to assist injured animals.