As the Clipper Race raced up the east coast of Australia, the harsh reality of the bushfires that Australia has been faced with was brought to the crew’s attention first hand, sailing through smoke clouds and experiencing ash falling onto the decks of some of the vessels.

In light of this, we have turned our attention to our Charity Partner UNICEF, who has shown its sincere support to every child and family affected by the bushfire crisis occurring in Australia. Although not directly affecting The Whitsundays where the recent stopover activities were held, the impact of such a natural disaster is felt by and saddens people nationwide, making the Clipper Race proud to be partnered with UNICEF as it does its bit to help. Although not first-responders in such a case, UNICEF has been keen to ensure its resources and facilities were used effectively to be a back-up to the first-responders and maintain its brand value of providing care and support for every child.

UNICEF Australia has offered support to Government agencies and has continually looked at the best way to use its expertise in collaboration with local partners for the greater good of children affected by the incident. Demonstrating the global scale of the charity, whilst Uncief wasn’t present at The Whitsundays stopover, its work in Australia was very much apparent during the stopover period.

As the most vulnerable in circumstances such as this, UNICEF Australia has provided crucial support to children through relief, recovery and rehabilitation over the long term to help ensure they can be returned to normal life as soon as possible. UNICEF is running a fundraising campaign and all funds raised through this initiative will be used to support its ongoing work. The link for online donations is available here: https://www.unicef.org.au/appeals/bushfire-and-drought-response.

UNICEF also encourages people to understand the impact events of this nature that can have on children not directly involved, through what they may witness indirectly through the media and social media. Parents were encouraged to communicate with their children and ensure they feel safe.

The Clipper Race had a brilliant stopover in The Whitsundays at the end of the Race 5, The Whitsundays, Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, and the Race Crew enjoyed the best that this beautiful destination has to offer. The bushfire crisis was remembered by all whilst in the country of Australia; the Clipper Race sends its condolences to all those involved and extends its thanks to UNICEF for its continued efforts.