Tasmania might be at the opposite end of Australia to Albany, but a group of local people have banded together to support victims of this month’s Tasmanian bushfires.
Albany resident Colleen Tuke started a collection calling for household items and clothing through Facebook after the devastating extent of the fires became clear.
She was met with an overwhelming response, collecting about 17 boxes of clothing, linen, toys and toiletries which left Albany for Tasmania on Wednesday.
“After being in the bushfire brigade for 20 years, I know what it’s like firsthand,” Mrs Tuke said.
“Between myself and my daughter about half the boxes are ours, but I drove all over Albany to places I’d never even heard of to pick up donations from other people; it’s been great.”
She was inspired to start the collection in support of family friends Greg and Karen Howells, who used to live in Albany before returning to Tasmania about 15 years ago, and whose own family have been affected by the fires.
“As soon as I heard about the fires I rang to check they were okay, and they are even though Karen’s dad lost his shed and car at Dunalley, which is where it has been really bad,” Mrs Tuke said.
Allied Pickfords Albany manager Russell Cox arranged to transport the donations to Tasmania at cost price, a fee Mrs Tuke covered thanks to generous donations from the community.