Kalbarri Rebuild Fund – The Final Countdown

By October 28, 2021 Blog

The Kalbarri Rebuild Fund was launched back in April, with the aim to raise $100,000 to support locals to repair homes damaged by Cyclone Seroja.

Thanks to the generosity of people from all over Australia (and even overseas), we have raised $92,628 to date which is a huge accomplishment and something we are very proud of. Of this amount, we have paid out $75,500 so far to 21 local families, with grants ranging from $1000 to $5000 each.

A huge thank you must go out to our most recent supporters, the Kalbarri Order of Old Bastards, who have so kindly contributed $28,000 from their container recycling program. That’s a whole lot of beers and it’s great to see these all collected from the local community and visitors.

Additionally, we wish to thank some of our other large supporters, including the community of Exmouth, the Kimberly Rural Ladies, WA Youth Ballet, Apex Club, Nagle Catholic College, Freshwater Bay Primary School, some very generous private donors who wish to remain anonymous and even the community of Northampton who copped quite a pounding themselves!

Of course we thank every individual who donated what they could, no matter how big or how small, it all adds up to help make a difference.

With Round 1 of our release of funds now complete, we have just over $20,000 left in the kitty, and we are excited to announce that Round 2 is now open! If you missed out on Round 1, or didn’t hear about the application process in time… we encourage you to apply today! For Round 2 we have decided to allocate one-off $1000 grants to as many eligible applicants as we can. Our application process has been simplified and applications are OPEN NOW UNTIL 30TH NOVEMBER 2021.

If you live in Kalbarri and were impacted by Cyclone Seroja, we encourage you to apply for one of our final grants. You can do so online here or pick up a paper application form from the local Shire Office or Kalbarri Town Talk office.

All applicants will be notified regardless of outcome, and funds will be distributed during DECEMBER.

We’ll continue fundraising until Round 2 closes, with the hope we can still hit that magic $100k number! After this, we have decided to wind up the Kalbarri Rebuild Fund by Christmas, by which time 100% of funds will have been distributed to locals in need.

We know that the damage bill has run into the millions, and that insurance companies can be slow and painful to deal with, especially at such a traumatic time. We hope to launch new projects in the future to benefit the community.

It’s been a huge amount of work and we could not have done it without the backing of Echo International Aid – a registered Australian charity for the people, by the people, and one run entirely by volunteers so that 100% of funds raised can be used to help the people and projects they support.

Who are the people behind Kalbarri Rebuild Fund?

Peta Crogan and her family have been regular visitors all their life. After travelling Australia, they knew that Kalbarri was where they wanted to be. In 2004 they bought a property in Kalbarri and have been living there since 2014. They quickly became involved with the local community, Peta with the school P&C and her husband with the Volunteer Marine Rescue, and local footy club. They still call Kalbarri home, even when in Perth for school, uni or work.

Margi Peet was born in Geraldton and operated the Kalbarri Community Resource Centre for nearly 18 years. Although she moved away for work not that long ago, Kalbarri is still and always home to her. Her uncle Eddie Peet has Peet Park named after him and other relatives live in Geraldton, Mullewa and surrounding areas. Margi is passionate about Kalbarri and the local community, and both her and Peta put in countless hours helping with the initial cleanup and recovery in town.

Fred Porter was born in Northampton and spent every summer in Kalbarri as a child, along with his family. The Porter family beach house was among the first ever built in town, and still stands today. His great grandfather was also named Fred, and was mayor of Northampton in his time. The main street in Kalbarri “Porter Street” is named after him. Fred has travelled the world, lived in the eastern states for many years, and has recently returned home to be with family on their farm in nearby Ajana. Fred’s digital marketing background, along with his previous charity work, became a key asset for this fundraising project.

Grace Crogan is Peta’s daughter, and quickly became an integral part of the KRF family when Peta, Margi and Fred got things up and running, just days after Cyclone Seroja and well before any organised fundraising efforts had launched. Grace’s experience in community arts and her connections through her studies at Edith Cowan University brought in a whole new generation of young people active on social media who were able to spread the word far and wide.

Jeremi Wallace has never been to Kalbarri, but plans to visit as soon as WA’s borders open to interstate visitors. Jeremi and Fred founded the charity, Echo International Aid, more than 10 years ago after travelling through South East Asia with friends. Despite the widespread poverty, lack of education for children, along with obvious social and political problems, the people they met were so caring and possessed such a generosity of spirit that they were both inspired to give something back. They searched high and low for an Australian charity that could ensure 100% of money they raised when they got home would be sent to where it was needed. They were surprised to discover that nothing like that existed. So they decided to start their own, and after much research and legal advice, Echo International Aid was born. Through this charity came an assurance that funds raised for Kalbarri could not be diverted elsewhere and could be paid, in full and direct, to the local people who needed it most.

After raising money for people in need all over the world, the Kalbarri Rebuild Fund was the very first project under the Echo banner that has helped fellow Australians.


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