The ABC has thanked Australians for donating more than $13 million to its joint appeal with the Red Cross to help communities impacted by the ongoing bushfires.
The New Year’s Eve donation drive by the ABC, Red Cross and City of Sydney will fund disaster relief and recovery programs, including support for people at evacuation centres and cash grants for those who have lost homes in the bushfires.
In total, Australians gave $13.3 million to the donation drive, between New Year’s Eve and midnight on 4 January, to help the Red Cross support people in need in disasters, whenever and wherever they happen, including the current bushfires in NSW and Victoria and for future emergencies.
The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund remains open and donations can still be made at any time via redcross.org.au. The overall amount raised by the fund since New Year’s Eve, including the ABC donation drive, is more than $23 million.
Judith Whelan, ABC Director of Regional & Local, said: “Thank you to everyone who gave generously to help communities affected by the bushfire crisis. The scale and severity of the disaster is overwhelming and your donations will bring support and solace to Australians at a time of great need. Thank you also to the Red Cross and the emergency services teams, volunteers and organisations who are helping to keep people safe and well during this long and fierce fire season.”
Noel Clement, Red Cross Acting Chief Executive, said: “The funds raised mean we can ramp up our response and recovery work and expand our emergency grants. This fund has already helped us support people at evacuation centres, recovery hubs and over the phone when disasters strike. It’s now providing cash grants to people who have lost their homes in the recent bushfires, so they can meet everyday expenses. It helps our emergency volunteers get to disaster-affected areas, covers their expenses and funds equipment and training. It means we can be there whenever a disaster strikes and stay afterwards to help people and communities recover.”
Clover Moore, Sydney Lord Mayor, said: “We did not make the decision to go ahead with the New Year’s Eve display lightly and those suffering from the impacts of the bushfires were front of mind through the event. Reminders to donate to the bushfire appeal and tributes to our brave firefighters were projected onto the Harbour Bridge pylons and broadcast throughout the ABC’s sensitive live coverage. Thank you to everyone who gave so generously, these donations ensure the Red Cross can support communities in the wake of bushfire disasters.”
The ABC launched the donation drive during its New Year’s Eve live broadcast, which reached 3.5 million viewers. The ABC was the nation’s leading network on the night, with a five-city metro prime-time share of 26.3% (up from 22% in 2018).
For more information about how to support bushfire-affected communities go to about.abc.net.au/appeals.
Media Release: Australian Broadcasting Corporation