Resilience and a sense of community have long been part of Australia’s national identity. We’ve seen that on display in spades in recent weeks and months as people across the country have battled horrific bushfires.
Countless communities have been impacted, with more than 10 million hectares burned, many lives tragically lost and thousands of homes damaged. An estimated billion animals have perished or been seriously injured. The impact on our landscape, flora and fauna has been devastating.
26 January means different things for different Australians, but we are united in our respect and admiration for our Australian firefighters, emergency services personnel and to all those who volunteer to help people in need.
Today’s Doodle recognises their contribution across the nation. Inspired by their bravery, resilience and efforts in the midst of crisis, we chose to honour and celebrate them with a Doodle featuring three firies and a koala, highlighting the volunteers and the people, places and wildlife they are trying to protect.
With several months of summer to go, more bushfires are expected. While searches for “fires near me” were already the top trending Search query in Australia in 2019, finding information about fires nearby continues to be top of mind for many Aussies. We hope that tools like the crisis map can be helpful when people are looking for timely information about the bushfires, and that support like our digital skills training can help communities get back on their feet in the months and years to come.
To all the fire and emergency services personnel and volunteers across Australia - thank you for all that you do.
Note: As the recovery continues, you can find out more and contribute to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund here.