Letter from Nikhita, one of a group of 24 sent to the Burns Unit of The Alfred hospital by Year Five children from St Joseph's School in Oamaru, New Zealand. The teacher who sent these letters in wrote, 'Every morning we have prayers and with recent events, the children have been praying for those in Melbourne affected by the terrible fires. The children wanted to help so badly and the suggestion of sending prayers was just one of many that I thought were lovely. Can whoever opens this please make sure these get sent around your hospital and given to those who it might help today.' The parish school liaison officer added, 'Living in a small coastal town our life experience is very different from yours. We do not know what it is like to live with high temperatures, aridity and the threat of bushfires. We will do what we can to provide some support for you.'

This letter is part of a collection of cards, letters and gifts received by The Alfred hospital that show the outpouring of support to survivors of Black Saturday.

Physical Description

Single sheet of lined paper with the outline of an angel. The text is written in pencil in the body of the angel, a black-and-white photo of a girl's face is applied to the head of the angel and the border is coloured in purple. There are yellow stars in the upper portion of the angel's shape and a drawing of an angel in the lower right corner.


This card was one of many that were received by The Alfred hospital in the days following the bushfires of February 2009. People around the world responded to the crisis with donations of money and material aid but they also wanted to express personal messages of hope and support directly to the people involved. The Burns Unit, as one of the major hospital services receiving victims of the bushfires, was swamped with cards, letters and gifts not only for the patients but also for the staff of the Unit. This collection illustrates the power of the media in conveying the effects of the fires, but more importantly it demonstrates people's need to connect directly with the victims and their carers, regardless of whether they even knew their names.

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