This article first appeared in The Australian newspaper on Monday 22 February 2021.

One of Australia’s most successful private sector bushfire relief initiatives, which assisted more than 500 small business owners, started with a round of drinks.

When fire tore through Kangaroo Valley, a community of 800 people on NSW’s south coast, local resident and EY partner Andi Csontos leapt into action. She posted an offer on the local community Facebook group to shout beers to the Rural Fire Service in the local pub. It started a chain reaction that led to the creation of a grassroots emergency response network, connecting neighbour to neighbour like never before.