LONDON, United Kingdom – Being a world away from home during one of the worst disasters in the country’s history is debilitating. Instead of marching with thousands who rallied against the government for its lack of action in the wake of the devastating bushfires and climate change as a whole, I was asleep in London, safe from any hazardous smoke and fire.
As others made signs and got drenched in the rain – Victoria had brief but much-needed rainfall on Friday evening – I scrolled through Instagram hashtags, wishing there was more I could do than reshare other people’s witty signs.
The bushfires have made many feel helpless, but perhaps none more so than the Australians overseas who can’t volunteer at wildlife shelters or easily donate food and clothing, who can’t join forces to rally the streets.
But, just like back at home, Australians are coming together in the wake of such tragedy.
Those in Facebook groups such as Aussies in London – a page which has 51,000 members and over 200 posts per day – are posting to raise awareness, gather donations and form a sense of community, while elsewhere in the city, a host of restaurants, most of them with ties to Australia, have teamed up and agreed to donate profits they make over the weekend to charities and wildlife rescue organisations.
Below, everywhere in London pledging to donate towards the bushfire crisis.
Milk Beach, Queen’s Park
This Australian-owned cafe is donating 30p from every flat white sold during January to the Australian Red Cross. It’s also supporting vineyards affected by the fires by using their wine for two wine-tasting events taking place on Thursday 16 and Wednesday 29 January. Plus, on Saturday 25 January, £1 from every drink and dish will go to the Australian Red Cross. Find out more here.
Daisy Green Collection
All the Daisy Green Collection cafés across London are donating proceeds from certain dishes on the menu, including the Aussie Chicken Parmigiana and the roasted aubergine, to the rural fire services of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Southern Australia as well as the Australian Red Cross and the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal. Find out more here.
On January 27, the East London restaurant is holding a dinner event with all profits going to the Red Cross. The evening will cost £55 a head. Find out more here.
District, Parson’s Green and Nine Elms
Popular Aussie brunch spot District will be donating 20p from every flat white sold in January to NSW Rural Fire Service and WIRES Wildlife Rescue. Find out more here.
Wander, Stoke Newington
Australian-run restaurant Wander will have special menus on January 24 and 25 complemented with Adelaide wine from affected vineyards with all proceeds going to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal. Find out more here.
Elliot’s Cafe, Borough Market
The cafe will be donating £1 for each bill to the Red Cross and donating £1 from each glass and £6 for each bottle of wine sold to the Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal. Find out more here.
Granger & Co.
The restaurants will donate £1 from every sale of their famous ricotta hotcakes to the NSW Rural Fire Service, Country Fire Authority, Red Cross and WIRES and will offer all diners the option of adding a £1 donation to all bills until the end of February.
The restaurant from the founders of wine bar P. Franco will be holding a fundraising dinner on 10 February with all proceeds going to various bushfire charities. The night will also encompass a raffle and a silent auction. Find out more here.
Pedal for Possums, London Fields
Taking place on Saturday 11 January at London Fields is a London Fields fundraising scavenger hunt on bikes, which will raise money to support wildlife through the charity WIRES.