By Jackson Russell –
From its humble beginnings as a community-driven initiative to help wildlife displaced after bushfires, The Care Initiative has started the process to become an officially registered charity organisation.
Originally named Ranges Rescue, The Care Initiative was founded by Riddells Creek resident Kate Nabarro and connected people through Facebook to sew pouches for wildlife in the fire-ravaged areas of Victoria and New South Wales.
Now, it is in the process of registering with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to become a charity in order to expand its reach.
The Care Initiative director Ms Nabarro said the name change has opened up new doors for the organisation.
“We changed our approach and name based on advice and feedback from others in the industry,” she said.
“When we were asked how much impact do we want to make with this organisation, it was a unanimous decision that we want to say who we were in the new name and who we are is people who care and go the extra mile.
“Ranges Rescue will never ever change in my heart,” she said.
“That’s how it all started and will never change the fact that we’re based in the Macedon Ranges.”
While sewing and crafting is still a big focus of the organisations projects, with pouches for wildlife and scrubs for frontline health care workers still being made by The Care Initiative’s dedicated volunteers, the organisation has progressed from ‘crafting in a crisis’ to proactive project management and preparation for when they may be needed.
“Our mission is that we’re there to care when needed most,” Ms Nabarro said.
“Anything that’s classified as a disaster by the powers that be, that’s where we can step in.”
Along with the name change, The Care Initiative also has a new board of directors, with experience in the animal rescue and wildlife spaces, and a new logo.
Since starting Ranges Rescue more than six months ago, Ms Nabarro’s life has changed to the point where The Care Initiative could become a full-time job.
She has taken up a job with Sunbury Print and Copy Centre to keep money coming in while also being able to print new merchandise for The Care Initiative.
“My husband’s been amazing and let me have six months off to kind of reset because I had some mental health issues at the beginning of the year and the fires just brought it all out that I just had to be out helping because I just couldn’t sit at home and watch it all unfurling in front of me,” she said.
“Do I want it to be a full-time thing? Of course.
“In 12 months’ time if we’re working full-time in the in the charity, then that’s amazing. If we’re not and we’re still only doing the projects when they come up, then that just comes down to how successful we are with fundraising and donations.”
Ms Nabarro said she has been conversing with medical professionals to learn how to prepare for the next disaster.
“We all know that bushfire season is only four or five months away, so we’re working tirelessly around the clock just trying to get ready and be ready for that,” she said.
“If I had a magic wand, I would have enough money to set up mobile triage clinics in those bushfire prone areas that are easy to use and people can use them as somewhere with a specialist vet care or if someone gets an injured animal, they know straight away where to take it.
“There’s heaps of stuff we can do, we’re just kind of waiting until we get that tick. I think that just gives everything a bit more credibility.”
For more information about The Care Initiative, or to get involved, visit www.facebook.com/TheCareInitiativeProject or www.thecareinitiative.org.au