Dear ISMRM Community,

We are writing to let you know that, like you, we have been monitoring the bushfires in Australia. Our hearts and good wishes are with this beautiful country as it continues to fight these devastating fires. ISMRM, SMRT and the entire world are watching and praying for relief for its community members, the disaster relief teams and of course the natural habitats and precious animals that live there.

We have contacted our colleagues in Sydney to get not only an update on the bushfires but also to extend our offer to help support efforts to fight these fires. The following message was received, which we felt important to share with you.

From our Australian partners:

For international delegates reaching out to express their concern about the bushfires in Australia, your heartfelt good wishes are much appreciated. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful emergency services personnel, both paid and volunteers, protecting our communities. We are also grateful for the support of international firefighters and equipment to strengthen our local forces. Although some bushfire activity is not unusual during the Australian summer, bushfire season began much earlier than usual and with far greater impact and more unpredictable behaviour than in any year in living memory. There are several fire fronts currently in New South Wales (NSW) with the three largest being about 40-60km away from the Sydney CBD, and there has been loss of homes, and lives, in several of the hardest hit communities in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The reality with fires of this size is that they are too large to be extinguished by the emergency services who look to “manage” them away from populated areas. They need to either burn themselves out or we need some significant rain. We have our fingers crossed for both. We have received rainfall in several affected areas recently. More rainfall is hoped for to provide firefighters the extra help they need to put out the fires and any associated smoke haze. Australia will be in the heart of its Autumn (fall) by the time of ISMRM, and there will be no impact on the meeting. In the meantime, if you would like to help relief efforts in Australia, we offer two alternatives for you:

To help evacuees and Australian Communities:
Australian Red Cross

To help wildlife:

The ISMRM is looking forward to its meeting in Sydney in April, knowing that the relief of rain and a new season will be upon the country soon. Our wish is that you keep Australia, its people and our Australian colleagues in your thoughts. This country will need our support even more after this devastating fire season has concluded.

We will continue to keep you updated. Please monitor our website for any further information.