State Transit's fire champions

State Transit’s selfless team of volunteers for the Rural Fire Service (RFS), the State Emergency Service (SES) and the Army Reserve have played a key role in fighting the fires and in the recovery efforts during Australia’s biggest natural disaster.

In a bushfire season that has seen 33 lives lost, almost 3000 homes destroyed, 7.7 million hectares burnt, and one billion animals killed, the State Transit family have opened their hearts and wallets to help those in need.

Brookvale bus operators Rahul Aadia, Supreet Maan, Pradeep Tripuramallu and Narinder Saini organised a Bushfire Relief Fund Curry Day on 22 January to raise funds.

“So many people just lost everything in the bushfires. We just wanted to give back to the community and this was one way we could raise some money to donate to the people who need help,” Rahul said.

Bus operator Derek Woodstone who has been working tirelessly as a volunteer firefighter for Tumbledown Dick Brigade helped organise for the fire truck to visit the depot and the fire chief to accept the $2000 donation raised by the Brookvale Depot team.

At North Sydney Depot Events Coordinator Lucinda Cook kicked off the fundraising across State Transit by setting up a mycause webpage with $690 raised so far. Bus operators James Evans and President Chris Jackson also initiated a charity drive with donations of clothes, shoes, bedding and toys. They loaded up James' ute and took the donations to St Vincent de Paul.

At Port Botany Depot, bus operator Pedro Kirimoglou organised a six-week fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund with more than $500 donated.

By putting a donation box at the duty office, Depot Supervisor Simon Munday and the team at Waverley Depot raised $555, while over at Ryde Depot, bus operator Mahmoud Afiouni organised a collection box that has raised $260.