The perennially popular Australian Fire Fighters Calendar is back for 2021 with a special focus on supporting wildlife injured and displaced by the bushfires. And more rippling abs than ever.
They were the national heroes who battled tirelessly for weeks to save lives and property amid the devastating 2019-2020 bushfires.
Now Australian firefighters have come to the fore again to raise money for endangered wildlife and other animals in need – displaying more rippling abs than ever before.
“2019 and early 2020 was a particularly devastating time, and the world grieved with Australia as we suffered through catastrophic bushfires, and an estimated loss of one billion animals from our diverse native wildlife,” says David Rogers, director of The Australian Firefighters Calendar.
No one was left unaffected watching our precious wildlife trying to escape from the bushfires, and the loss is beyond comprehension
“While the fires may have gone, the destroyed bushland has made it impossible for many of the displaced wildlife to return to their natural habitat.
“No one was left unaffected watching our precious wildlife trying to escape from the bushfires, and the loss is beyond comprehension.
Everyone at the Australian Firefighters Calendar decided that all our efforts needed to be focused on Australian wildlife this year”.
Now in its 28th year, the 2021 initiative is producing six calendars, including two new versions: “The new Hero calendar honours the hard work of Australian firefighters throughout the crisis,” says David, “while the Animal Lovers calendar showcases a diverse range of Australian wildlife, adorable rescue and therapy animals; from koalas and kangaroos to rescue kittens and Rottweiler puppies. We’ve got something for everyone!”
The perennially popular Cat and Dog Calendars returning, but with a twist. “As COVID-19 restricted our access to many rescue animals, the Australian public were asked to bring their own rescued furry friends to the photo shoot.
“Funds raised will allow us to help less fortunate animals find a new home through rescue organisations like Safe Haven Animal Rescue and All Breeds Canine Rescue.”
In 2021, the Animal Lovers Calendar will be more important than ever, playing a vital role in treating wildlife injured in the fires.
Funds from this year’s 2020 calendar helped, for instance, to pay for new equipment and supplies for nearly six months, for Dr Michael Pyne and his team of vets and volunteers at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital in Queensland to save many koalas, wombats, kangaroos and birdlife.
“The support from the donations the calendar provided were vital, as supplies were very limited,” says David.
“For 2021, one of the recipients will be Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, where Dr Stephen Van Mil and
his team are building Australia’s first mobile wildlife hospital, which will make it possible to rush to wherever a wildlife emergency is.” Says Cameron Simpson, leading Firefighter, Fire Rescue New South Wales: “After fighting the fires and witnessing the suffering of the wildlife, my crew and I felt compelled to do more.
“We donated money to care for a koala called Anwen. After seeing first-hand the work carried out by the volunteers at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, our perspective on the protection of our wildlife has been changed forever.”
The 2021 calendars are also committed to supporting small, locally based wildlife organisations.
One of these groups is Australian Seabird Rescue, co-ordinated by Cathy Gilmore, who has dedicated 35 years to rescuing birds, pelicans, turtles and endangered sea life in the Central Coast area north of Sydney.
Other recipients include Native Animal Rescue, Western Australia; Wildcare Inc, Northern Territory; Safe Haven Animal Rescue, Queensland; RACQ, Queensland; Rural Aid, Australia.
Also the Kids with Cancer Foundation.