Goodall left 'heartsick' by Aust bushfires

Dominica Sanda
Jane Goodall hopes to raise $100,000 for projects to restore wildlife and help local communities

Australia's devastating bushfires have left world-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall "heartsick".

In a video message to all Australians, the primatologist says she has been following the "terrible" bushfires which have burnt more than 17 million hectares across the country since July.

"I want to tell everybody in Australia who has been affected by these terrible, terrible fires how much my heart has been with you," Dr Goodall says in the video.

"I have been heart-sickened."

The UN Messenger of Peace gained global attention in the 1960s through her groundbreaking study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.

Dr Goodall has since spent much of her life as an ambassador for wildlife and conservation issues through the Jane Goodall Institute.

While she concedes nothing can be done to repair the bushfire damage and destruction, she hopes she can empower Australia's youth to help bushfire-ravaged communities recover.

The Jane Goodall Institute Australia is hoping to raise $100,000 to fund projects for young people to help restore wildlife and get local communities back on their feet.

"The animals, the people of Australia need help after this disastrous nightmare situation," Dr Goodall said.

Through the institute's bushfire recovery appeal, young people can apply for grants to complete the projects.

Jane Goodall Institute Australia acting chief executive James Forbes hopes the grants will help young people feel like they can be part of the solution.

"These fires have had a massive impact on how they see their world and the planet they inherit," he said in a statement.

"We want to give young people something positive to do - by being part of the solution, it may help to repair the anxiety and distress they feel."