This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Response To The Bushfire Crisis

Today was supposed to be a return to our ‘regular programming’ here at The Design Files. We had planned to kick off the year with a whole lot of beautiful homes, artist interviews and creative profiles. But we’re not going to jump straight into that today.

Stick with us, we’ll be back to regular stuff soon, but today we wanted to let you know what we’re doing about the bushfire crisis, and how you can help.

6th January, 2020

‘Bushfire’, 1859, by Eugene von Guerard. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 6th January 2020

There is so much to be done, and so much we can do.

Like so many of you, as the bushfire crisis has escalated across Australia, I’ve spent the past few days in disbelief, and feeling pretty helpless.

I’ve been refreshing my trusted news sources (The Guardian Australia homepage, mainly) every few minutes, and scanning Instagram for updates of what’s going on. (Some of the best first hand accounts are from photojournalists on the ground, including Andrew Quilty, Matthew Abbott and and Nick Moir – their work documenting these fires is so risky and it’s so important.)

I won’t repeat the death toll, the horrifying facts and figures. You don’t need me to tell you that this situation is absolutely unprecedented.

Right now we’re all scared, and many of us are angry. Why don’t our firefighters have funds for more water bombing aircraft, more vehicles and equipment? Why is our regional firefighting so heavily dependent on unpaid volunteers? Why is our government spending time and money on paid advertising during this crisis, when we desperately need them to lead?

Still, some great leadership has emerged. Can we talk about Celeste Barber for a minute? The woman has raised more than $20 MILLION Australian dollars for bushfire relief in 3 days via her social media. What an absolute LEGEND. This response shows just how powerful we are as individuals, when we are united. And that’s incredibly inspiring.

It’s easy to feel small and powerless, but it’s up to each and every one of us to take action – and to channel our fear, frustration and anger into real outcomes.

SO, here’s what we’re doing.

1. Fundraising

The Design Files has donated $1,000 to the CFA (Country Fire Authority Victoria) and a further $1,000 to the Red Cross Australia Disaster Relief Fund.

Tomorrow, we will be launching Art Fights Fire 2020 – an online Art Auction with some SERIOUSLY big name artists who’ve each generously donated an artwork (Ken Done, Laura Jones, Guy Maestri, Reko Rennie, Kirra Jamison, Rachel Castle, Elizabeth Barnett, Stephen Baker, Kiata Mason, Sally Anderson, Brooke Holm and so many more!).

I know many of you will have made donations to the relief efforts this week, and I know it’s not the time to really think about buying art… but please consider digging deep and supporting our auction when it goes live tomorrow, we’re aiming to raise $50,000 – please help us get there!

2. Using our platform to support urgent action on climate change

How will we be doing this? Well, first up, we’ve written a letter to our local member of parliament. Letter writing is so important – every letter is recorded, and each elected MP is obliged to take their electorate’s concerns to parliament.

See here for more info and a guide to  contacting your MP.

This video on is also very informative, and there is a handy letter template you can download here.

We will continue to use our website and our social media channels to support bushfire relief and climate action over the coming weeks and months.

We’ll also be the at the ‘Fund the Firies / Climate Action‘ rally this Friday January 10th, 6pm in Melbourne – JOIN US. There are protests this week in all Australian capital cities. Please google and find yours!

3. Watch this space

We have plans. Plans to leverage our influence and our audience (that’s you guys!) to enact big and long lasting change, and measurably reduce Australia’s carbon emissions – this year. When these catastrophic fires finally subside, and the media and our leaders turn their attention to recovery and rebuilding, our project will be ready to go. Stay with us.

There is so much to be done, and so much we can do.

Now is the time for action.

View Comments

Similar Stories

This Week

Interiors

A 1940s Darling Point Home With Elegant New Interiors

Alexander &CO build on the grandeur of this heritage home in Sydney, with sleek new interiors that expertly balance old and new.
Amelia Barnes
  13 hours ago

Art

10 Unmissable Art Exhibitions Of 2020

Calendars out! Our pick of not-to-be-missed art exhibitions for 2020, Australia wide.

Giveaway

Take Our Reader Survey and WIN One of Two Amazing Getaways!

WIN a luxurious stay + spa package at Halcyon House on the NSW north coast, or Lon Retreat in Point Lonsdale!

Homes

Living The Regional Dream In Strzelecki, South Gippsland!

Treechangers Shelley and Tom Banders share their charming home, surrounded by rolling hills in regional Victoria.

News

Make Your Pledge To Protect The Bush

Independent not-for-profit Bush Heritage calls on the community to pledge their commitment to land and wildlife protection and conversation....
Sponsored

Dream Job

The Perks Of Being a Food Writer, According To One Of Australia’s Top Restaurant Critics!

Senior restaurant critic at The Age, Gemima Cody, shares what it's really like to be a food writer.

Studio Visit

The Miniature Boat Maker Working Out Of An Off-Grid Shipping Container

Meet Captain Elise Cameron Smith – ‘miniature boat maker and builder of dreams’!

Architecture

A Contemporary Home Inspired By Heritage Architecture

Wolveridge Architecture balance contemporary design and art deco references, in Melbourne's Ascot Vale.

Stays

An 1853 Daylesford Homestead Turned Charming Holiday Rental

Theresa Albiloi and Tony De Marco have transformed an 1853 Daylesford house into the beautiful accomodation, The Station House.

Shopping

Perfect Indoor Planters From The Plant Society And Capra Designs

A collaboration between The Plant Society and Capra Designs – we're loving these architecture-inspired planters!

News

Your Favourite Ceramicists In One Group Show!

Shop works from Oh Hey Grace, Peta Armstrong, Rara Studio, Emma Gale and Mel Lumb in this group show at Nikau in Byron’s Art and Industria...

Shopping

An Iconic New Collaboration - Art-Inspired Ceramics From Robert Gordon x David Bromley

Two great Australian creative names collaborate on a distinctive new range of ceramic homewares, available at Myer.
Sally Tabart
  5 hours ago

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Fragrant Roast Chicken With Mango Salad

Julia shares an innovative recipe to put all those delicious summer mangos to excellent use!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Architecture

Is This Australia's Answer to Palm Springs' Iconic Kaufmann House?

A seriously impressive home in Toowoomba, Queensland by Shaun Lockyer Architects, inspired by mid-century architecture.

Architecture

A Sleek, Shed-Style Home In Rural Victoria

Inside Lovell Burton's refined Macedon Ranges home.

Similar Stories