Disaster relief organisation reaches out to NSW wildlife refuge

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Email Peter Sweeney
Kim Taylor with a vehicle lost in a fire at Wog Wog Wildlife Refuge at Pericoe, New South Wales.
Camera IconKim Taylor with a vehicle lost in a fire at Wog Wog Wildlife Refuge at Pericoe, New South Wales. Credit: Jeremy Fernando/Supplied

A timely telephone inquiry has led Midwest Disaster Relief in Geraldton to help a wildlife sanctuary get back on its feet.

The Wog Wog Wildlife Refuge at Pericoe, New South Wales — which cares for 40 wombats, 20 wallabies, two goannas and a platypus — lost sheds, machinery and a vehicle in recent bushfires.

However, because its house was spared, the organisation was not eligible for relief funding, only covered for money to assist with the feeding of wildlife.

Midwest Disaster Relief head Chris Sorohan telephoned Jeremy Fernando, a senior pastor and ambulance chaplain at the Sapphire Life Church in NSW, about the fires and asked how the organisation could help.

Coincidently, Mr Fernando had just finished a meeting with Kim and Lenore Taylor, from the Wog Wog Wildlife Refuge.

In short, the refuge had a $20,000 excavator at the top of its list of needs.

Machinery burnt beyond use in the fire at Pericoe, NSW.
Camera IconMachinery burnt beyond use in the fire at Pericoe, NSW. Credit: Jeremy Taylor/Supplied

“Between Sapphire Life Opportunities, ACC (Australian Christian Churches) and Midwest Disaster Relief we hope to raise this amount,” Mr Fernando wrote in an email.

So the Geraldton not-for-profit disaster relief organisation — whose only previous donation to the Eastern States was $10,000 to flood victims in Queensland — is opening its safe.

“We’d welcome donations. If they come to us, we will send them directly to the centre,” Mr Sorohan said.

The local organisation was formed when Geraldton residents Chris and Marian Sorohan made a public appeal to help people people affected after cyclone Vance hit Exmouth in 1999. The response was so great they were able to take a truckload of supplies and household goods to the devastated area and begin a stockpile for future natural disasters in the region.

Midwest Disaster Relief has gone from providing assistance to those in need after natural disasters to those affected by family conflict.

Midwest Disaster Relief can be contacted on 9921 5416.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails