As Australian readers will know, Victoria has been devastated by bushfire over the last week, with nearly two hundred lives lost and whole towns destroyed. If you’re looking for a place to help, the Australian Red Cross is a good place to start; use their web site for donations of money, as the call centre is overrun, and if you want to donate blood that’s great but you can afford to leave it for a month or two (they have enough for immediate use and more donors than they can currently schedule).

If you don’t have much money to spare, there are other ways to donate; Australian companies are donating all or some profits from sales on a particular day, from Coles (Friday 13th) to smaller local businesses like Trampoline (Friday 13th) and The Book Grocer (Saturday 14th). Closer to home for me, the Australian comedy and arts communities are holding benefit gigs left, right and centre. This Sunday is the Anarchist Guild Social Committee’s meeting #9, and we’ll be donating some of the ticket income to the appeal; a larger scale fundraiser gig, Out of the Ashes, will be held on February 22 at Trades Hall. I’d encourage you to get along to one or both of these, or to any other events in your local area.