Turia Pitt praised for leading new bushfire campaign
The inspirational burns survivor is leading a new movement
By Nadia Elshawarby
January 07 2020
Inspirational athlete and motivational speaker, Turia Pitt has been praised online for her efforts in the bushfire relief, after encouraging people to buy from businesses effected by the catastrophic fires currently spreading their way through New South Wales and Victoria.
WATCH: Bushfire residents see their burnt-down home for the first time
The 32-year-old burns survivor, who is pregnant with her second child, lives in the town of Ulladulla, on the NSW south coast, an area heavily impacted by bushfires, has started up the Instagram account @spendwiththem to feature businesses in fire-effected towns.
Turia explained she was motivated by the #GoWithEmptyEskies movement, kickstarted by Tegan Webber who is encouraging people to travel to fire ravaged towns to buy their products in bulk, as well as the Buy From the Bush campaign which has encouraged people to buy from drought-affected farmers since October.
"This is a way to put money directly in the pockets of the people and communities who need it the most, and need it NOW,” she explained.
"Help them rebuild. Make them feel heard. Spend with them."
Since setting up the account yesterday evening, Spend With Them has garnered over 47,000 followers, with Turia being praised by a vast array of Aussie stars.
"Her idea is brilliant, and it's something we can all get on board with," Lisa Wilkinson wrote, while Megan Gale said, "Bless you 🙌🏼," and Bec Judd wrote, "You're a good egg 😘."
On Monday, Turia revealed the catastrophic bushfires have brought back painful memories for her. In 2011, the athlete suffered 65 per cent burns to her body after getting trapped in a grass fire while competing in an ultra marathon in the Kimberley region of WA.
In a newsletter, the brave star spoke about witnessing the currents fires devastating the landscape near her family home – which she shares with partner Michael Hoskin and their two-year-old son, Hakavai - in Ulladulla.
"We watched as the sky went red and black days before Christmas,” Pitt wrote.
"More fires broke out on New Year's Eve.
"Rumours swirled around town like the ashes that rained down on us.
"Embers in our backyards. Homes had been lost. Whole streets obliterated."
Turia then went on to touch on how the fires have brought back painful memories of her own experiences.
"It's been a tough few weeks for me emotionally. I've had to focus on not letting my emotions and own experiences get the better of me."
"I'm exhausted. I feel like I've done 10 marathons. And we can't relax because it's only the start of summer, and it's not over yet. So just like in a marathon, I've realised I have to pace myself."
"I've had recurring nightmares about running through flames with my son in my arms," she added of the current situation.
"It's been difficult to sleep, eat or think and all I've really wanted to do is tap out, put my head in the sand and pretend that nothing is going on."