Australians have always taken pride in their community spirit. Even at the worst of times, they have always united under a common cause: to help one another. The Australia China Economics, Trade and Culture Association (ACETCA) has always believed in this message. As an independent, non-partisan organisation, our goal has always been to promote stronger community relations between the Australian and Chinese communities, particularly through economic, cultural, scientific and philanthropic co-operation.
On November 29th, 2019, ACETCA organised a bushfire appeal dinner in Sydney to raise funds for bushfire victims. The following day, Executive Chairman Dr Ven Tan announced that the Chinese-Australian community had raised $390,000 for victims of the disaster.
“We are proud to give back to the Australian community which has been very good to us,” said Dr Tan, “We want to show the rest of Australia that we love this country and have made it our home.”
“Lives have been lost, homes have been burnt down and precious animals have died. It has been very hard to watch. Every dollar raised will go directly to helping three organisations doing amazing work.”
Since June 2019, bushfires have consumed much of Australia. Having burnt over 18 million hectares of land, these bushfires have dwarfed any previous fire on record. Across the country, 3,000 homes were destroyed, 34 people were killed, and unprecedented ecological damage occurred, killing over 1 billion animals and driving some animals either to the endangered species list or even extinction.
Dr Tan announced that $100,000 will be allocated to the NSW Rural Fire Service, another $100,000 would given to the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, and additional funds would be sent to Blaze Aid, a volunteer based organisation that works with communities in rural Australia affected by natural disasters.
On December 8th, Dr Tan, along with other ACETCA members, visited The Hornsby Rural Fire Brigade Station to personally donate the funds to the firehouse. In attendance were Hornsby Fire Brigade Captain Theo Klich and Hornsby Mayor Phillip Ruddock.
“The Hornsby Rural Fire Brigade is overwhelmed by the generous support of the Australian Chinese Community,” said Captain Klich, “This money will go directly to supporting the operations of the brigade by providing better equipment that the members can use in their day-to-day duties.”
Mayor Ruddock also thanked the Chinese-Australian community for their work, “This is an extraordinarily generous donation. It’s what we’ve come to expect from our friends in the Chinese community and will be put to great effect to help ensure the safety of their neighbours in the Hornsby Shire.”
Dr Tan reiterated the importance of ACETCA and the message it is trying to spread. “It’s important that Australians know that Australian-Chinese people are so generous in helping other Australians when the going gets tough. It makes me proud to be an Australian-Chinese.”
NSW Rural Fire Service Donations: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/about-us/fundraising
Koala Hospital Donations: https://www.koalahospital.org.au/act-now/donate
Blaze Aid Donations: https://blazeaid.com.au/donations/