Australian bushfire fundraiser in Taipei raises over NT$1 million

A fundraising campaign held at ANZCham
A fundraising campaign held at ANZCham

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCham) in Taipei raised more than NT$1 million (US$33,000) at a two-and-a-half hour fundraising event Thursday to support Australia’s recovery efforts in the wake of the recent wave of massive bushfires.

The “Australian Bushfire Fundraiser Event” was held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the bistro bar Little Creatures Taipei in Daan District. The Australian Office Taipei and the Trade and Investment Queensland Australia also co-organized the event.

According to ANZCham, the proceeds will be sent to the Australian Red Cross through its counterpart in Taiwan to support affected communities.

Acting head of the chamber Damien Van Eyk and head of the Australian Office in Taipei Gary Cowan thanked the Taiwanese people and government for their support, after the latter pledged to donate 100,000 face masks.

At the event, the most eye-catching items were two New Taipei City Firefighters Calendars, signed by New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) and Taiwanese Australian actress and model Hannah Quinlivan respectively.

The one signed by Quinlivan sold for NT$21,000, NT$2,000 more than the one with the mayor’s signature.

Several New Taipei City firefighters were present at the event to show their support for Australia.

According to foreign media reports, 8 million hectares of bushland and more than 2,200 homes have been destroyed, while at least 29 people and an estimated 1 billion animals have been killed in a series of bushfires that began in the summer of 2019.