Australian community spirit

Australian community spirit

This story written on 25th April 2020, Anzac Day. After the most intense fire season across Australia. Anzac Day is our annual remembrance of both collective community and sacrifice which is the Australian Spirit, in its case manifested in war.

Bushfire brings its own kind of war. It attacks us as community, and we resist it, fight it and contain it together. Individuals extend themselves into this community spirit to achieve containment of the threat – including the diverse wider tasks beyond putting wet stuff on the red stuff.

This photo is by Dominic Beaton of RSPCA SA. It shows the SAVEM Air Shelter field hospital at Parndana, during the Ravine fire of early 2020 on Kangaroo Island. The patient is the unnamed koala, one of hundreds of these in amongst the thousands of livestock, wildlife and companion animals impacted. Our humanity is reflected in the ways we care for other sentient beings we share the planet with.

In their red overalls, SAVEM volunteer veterinarian Peter and biologist Sue, members of the successive teams who went to fireground over the agency’s 34 day deployment, were joined in the hospital and in fireground assessment field teams triaging animals to the hospital, by the other agencies visible here – Joint Task Force, ZoosSA, RSPCA SA and the Island’s veterinary clinic.

The field hospital is a quickly erected emergency shelter, as is used in humanitarian circumstances by many agencies across the planet. It was applied to the Ravine fire to cover the period between Parndana beginning to receive large animal numbers, and arrangements finalised for long term facilities. The photo thereby reflects the people who train to activate at times of trouble, knowing that citizens across the community have their backs in the wider support materially and spiritually.

Mr. Emilis Prelgauskas Logistics Manager, South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management Inc.