Remarkable $30 million donation made to bushfire relief

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter

As donations for firefighters and bushfire victims continue to rise by the millions, The Paul Ramsay Foundation has responded to the “national tragedy” by pledging a remarkable $30 million.

Set up by Australian private hospital tycoon and renowned philanthropist Paul Ramsay in 2006, the foundation, which works with disadvantaged Australians, said it has been “struck by the generosity of thousands of Australians and people around the world.”

“Today the foundation set aside $30million to support communities affected by the bushfires,” they said in a statement on Wednesday.

A woodchip mill burnt by bushfires is seen as smoke rises in Quaama in Australia's New South Wales state on January 6, 2020. - Reserve troops were deployed to fire-ravaged regions across three Australian states on January 6 after a torrid weekend that turned swathes of land into smouldering, blackened hellscapes. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by SAEED KHAN has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Quaama] instead of [Eden]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dozens of communities have been decimated by the fires. Source: Getty
Crews at Bilpin fight fires in December. Source: Getty
Crews at Bilpin fight fires in December. Source: Getty

The foundation said an initial $3million would be provided to the Red Cross, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and St Vincent De Paul for immediate relief while the remaining funds would be allocated for longer-term work in fire-ravaged communities.

“We are in this together,” the foundation’s CEO, Professor Glyn Davis AC, said.

“The Foundation is acutely aware that it is those already vulnerable to entrenched disadvantage who will be hardest hit by the consequences of the current bushfires.”

Long before Mr Ramsay’s death in 2014 at the age of 78, he left a lasting legacy as one of Australia’s most generous philanthropists after building a hospital empire across the nation.

Paul Ramsay's legacy as one of Australia's biggest philanthropists  continues with his foundation. Source: Paul Ramsay Foundation
Paul Ramsay's legacy as one of Australia's biggest philanthropists continues with his foundation. Source: Paul Ramsay Foundation

In 2002, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia thanks to his charitable work.

Forbes ranked Mr Ramsay as the 13th richest person in Australia in 2012.

The foundation’s donation follows a series of substantial donations from prominent Australians.

On Tuesday Chris Hemsworth announced he would be donating $1million to bushfire relief.

Aussie icon Kylie Minogue has also announced she and her family were pledging half a million dollars to ‘the immediate firefighting efforts and the ongoing support which will be required’ following the catastrophic blazes.

Celeste Barber has raised $41 million since starting a fundraising page on her Facebook account five days ago.

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