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Newcastle Permanent employees donate $30,000 to bushfire relief and wildlife rescue charities

Friday, 21 August 2020

Hunter fire relief and wildlife rescue charities receive share in a $30,000 donation from Newcastle Permanent Building Society to aid the recovery and help them prepare for the forthcoming bushfire season.

The contribution comes from Newcastle Permanent’s employee donation program CommunityAssist that gives more than $65,000 to charities each year. CommunityAssist enables employees to donate funds directly from their pay to local charities. Employees nominate and vote for the charities that will share the funds raised each year.

Following the devastating bushfires of last summer and in preparation for the next fire season, Newcastle Permanent employees opted to give this round of donations to two essential firefighting services: The Rural Fire Service (RFS) and Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).

RFS will receive $15,000 which will be used by three regions affected by the fires, including the Hunter. The funds will help fix damaged equipment from the recent bushfires and will help ensure the brigades and volunteers are prepared for the upcoming fire season.

NSW RFS District Manager Superintendent, Viki Campbell said how beneficial it is to receive this donation. “This funding will go directly towards purchasing vital equipment that improves the capability of our station, while keeping our volunteers comfortable and safe,” Viki said. “It’s fantastic to have this contribution from Newcastle Permanent – supporting your local RFS is a great way to give back to the community,” Viki said.

The remaining $15,000 donation will go to WIRES who will divide the funds between building a WIRES Glider Flight Rehabilitation Aviary in Clarence Valley to provide a safe haven for Gliders that have been injured in bushfires and training for volunteers at Hunter Wildlife Rescue.

President of Hunter Wildlife Rescue, Audrey Koosmen said she was thrilled with Newcastle Permanent’s donation. “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this generous donation from the Newcastle Permanent staff," Audrey said. “This money will go towards training and educating our volunteers, preparing them to be great carers to injured, distressed and orphaned animals, from rescue to rehabilitation."

“Our rehabilitation facilities are mostly located in the backyards and properties of our volunteers across the Hunter, which house a wide range of at-risk rescued wildlife. Therefore, providing comprehensive training and education on how to care for different species is vital for our volunteers.” Audrey said.

WIRES CEO Leanne Taylor was very grateful for the donation. “WIRES would like to thank the staff at Newcastle Permanent for their generous donation following the recent bushfire crisis. “This donation will fund the building of a much needed glider aviary and allow local volunteers to fully rehabilitate the many gliders that come into care, which is a critical component of the pre-release process”, Leanne said.

Newcastle Permanent CEO, Bernadette Inglis, commended her team, “The bushfires early this year were devastating. It is wonderful to see our people rally behind their local communities and present these worthy charities with much needed funding to enable them to purchase necessary equipment, provide training in the lead up to this year’s bushfire season, and continue their vital work in helping to keep our communities safe.”

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