The 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season, which began in September 2019, saw communities around Australia ravaged by bushfires, with the disaster impacting lives, homes and native wildlife around the country on an unprecedented scale.
As part of the initial response to the crisis, QIC made a donation of $35,000 to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and a $5,000 donation to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc. (WIRES), to support the ongoing response and recovery work undertaken by these charities.
Alongside these corporate-level donations, collection points were established at our shopping centres around Australia, giving customers the opportunity to donate directly to the Australian Red Cross bushfire appeal. These collection points were manned by QIC staff members who volunteered their time to collect donations.
Among other donation paths, our centres also rallied to help their local communities. Some of the localised bushfire efforts at our centres included:
As one of the worst-hit areas in Australia during January 2020, Canberra Centre became a place where locals could take refuge from the smoke-filled skies. The Canberra Centre team participated in a number of fundraising activities, including:
The Watergardens Walkers, a heart health walking group based at the Centre, ran a sausage sizzle in February, raising almost $2,000 for the Australian Red Cross. Watergardens also hosted a food drive in January, collecting an estimated $4,000 worth of goods for Foodbank Australia.
Epping ran a food drive for Foodbank Australia, collecting 80 trolleys (or 11 palettes) of food and goods for families who were impacted by the bushfires.
Pacific Werribee hosted a two-day event in partnership with Wild Action Zoo to raise donations for Wildlife Victoria. Over the two days, the team at Wild Action Zoo held two shows daily, introducing customers to the native wildlife that have been directly affected by the fires, and raising almost $2,500 in donations for Wildlife Victoria.
In November 2019 Hinkler Central, in partnership with Woolworths and Coles, donated food and over 200 bottles of water to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Woodgate Rural Fire Brigade who were fighting a bushfire at Woodgate.
The Castle Towers Community Hub space was provided for The Lions Club, who raised almost $12,000 for the Australian Red Cross.
On 31 December, Robina Town Centre hosted a ‘New Year’s Eve at our place’ event, raising more than $2,500 for the Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal.
Robina Town Centre also hosted a live broadcast with the Hit 90.9 Brekkie Crew to raise much needed funds for the Australian Red Cross, as well as providing Gold Coast locals with the opportunity to drop off non-perishable goods for people who were impacted by the bushfires and in need. The event raised approximately $12,000, including $1,000 donated by the Centre.
Westpoint Centre Management ran a donation drive for Blacktown PCYC which collected food, necessities, back to school packs, and other essential items, with more than 11,000 items donated.