Aussies rally to aid fire victims

Prince William signs the condolence book as (from
left) High Commissioner John Dauth, Consul-General
Paula Ganly, Acting Agent-General for Victoria
Ian Marland, and Prince Harry look on

Members of the Royal Family, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Opposition Leader David Cameron and diplomats visited the Australian High Commission to sign the book of condolence as the mission was inundated with calls in an outpouring of sympathy for the victims of the Australian bushfires which ravaged the state of Victoria, claiming over 200 lives.

The Australian High Commission and the Victorian Agent-General opened a condolence book on the weekend of 21-22 February, to coincide with Australia’s National Day of Mourning for the bushfires on 22 February.

A spokesman said the High Commission had experienced “an enormous amount of interest, sympathy and goodwill from the British public during the bushfires, underlining the depth and breadth of ties between our two countries”. He added that the mission received “countless phone calls” seeking ways to help, whether by donating money to the Red Cross, or by raising funds for the victims.