Published 7 January 2015

Prince Philip and I send our sincere thanks and appreciation to the hundreds of firefighters and community volunteers who have risked their lives to contain the bushfires in South Australia and Victoria.

Our thoughts are with the families who have lost their homes and personal possessions in the fires.

I commend the courage and fortitude of the men and women who continue to assist with the emergency operations and those who are providing support to the people who are directly affected.

Elizabeth R