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Donations to Disaster Response Trusts are an investment in resilience

In January 2020 while the devastating summer bushfires were still burning, two charitable trusts were established by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and Equity Trustees in a bid to create a way to securely collect funds in readiness for the recovery and rebuilding effort to come.

“We know that the recent bushfires will not be our last – and the coronavirus pandemic has shown we will face further disasters as a country,” said Mick O’Brien, Managing Director, Equity Trustees.

A combined total of almost $10 million has been raised to date for these trusts from corporate, philanthropic and individual donors, to assist in the long and challenging rebuilding process in the impacted areas, and to support the families of volunteers who died on duty while helping others.

The Australian Volunteers Support Trust (AVST) was established to look after the families of volunteers who die in the course of providing volunteer services during a disaster. The AVST is now at the ready to support impacted families.

The AVST Panel, chaired by The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC (Chairman of Equity Trustees), includes Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, David Gonski AC, Jennifer Westacott AO, Lisa Paul AO and Stuart Ellis AM.

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We are honoured to have this responsibility to support the families of volunteers who pay a terrible price for helping protect and preserve our communities during disasters,” said Mr O’Brien.

“It is our aim, through the AVST, to provide support – particularly where there are dependent children with education needs or families that have lost a breadwinner through this selfless service.”

The Community Rebuilding Trust was established to underpin a larger community recovery initiative managed by BCA, BizRebuild, which supports the rebuilding of communities affected by a disaster with a focus on economic recovery and supporting the local businesses these communities rely on.

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