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The Business Council of Australia (BCA) and Equity Trustees, have together founded two Trusts to assist the families of any recognised emergency services volunteer in Australia who tragically loses their life through their volunteer work, and to support communities to rebuild.

Equity Trustees is supporting the establishment of these trusts pro bono in recognition of the unusual circumstances we currently face responding to the bushfires and their aftermath, and in acknowledgement that recovering from catastrophic natural disasters and emergencies is part of an increasing and ongoing challenge in Australia.

“Equity Trustees is pleased to be part of this initiative with governments of Australia and the Business Council of Australia,” said Chairman the Hon Jeff Kennett AC.

“Volunteers have been the unsung heroes of Australian life and will continue to be so in the future"

Read more about this initiative with the BCA

Australian Volunteer Support Trust

To assist the families of any recognised emergency services volunteer in Australia who tragically loses their life through their volunteer work when responding to a disaster after 1 July 2019.


Find out more

COMMUNITY REBUILDING TRUST

Established with the broader aim of supporting the rebuilding of community assets, the CRT will be part of a larger Community Rebuilding Initiative.


Find out more

FAQs

  • General Questions

    What can the trusts fund? 

    We are aiming to have specific guidelines as to what each trust can fund following the first official meeting of the Advisory panels. Due to the differing nature of both Trusts purposes, each trust will have their own eligibility and distribution guidelines. The two trusts are:

    a. Australian Volunteer Support Trust (AVST)

    To assist the families of any recognised emergency services volunteer in Australia who tragically loses their life through their volunteer work when responding to a disaster after 1 July 2019.

    b. Community Rebuilding Trust (CRT)
    Established with the broader aim of supporting the rebuilding of community assets, the CRT will be part of a larger Community Rebuilding Initiative.

    What will be the length of the various trusts?

    Both trusts have been set up to exist into perpetuity.

    How long is the Trustees appointment?
     

    The appointment of the Trustee is for the duration of the trusts.

    What is Equity Trustees’ role?

    Equity Trustees will perform the role of the Trustee to both Trusts, working closely with both their respective advisory panels to administer and manage the trusts and provide the required duties of a Trustee. This will include conducting an annual audit of the trusts and reporting this publicly as required.
     
    How often will you report on the progress of the trusts and the funds available to donate?
     

    Our reporting will be publicly available annually, and more regularly by the trustee if deemed necessary.
  • Donations

    Will donations to the Australia Volunteer Support Trust be able to be used for the broader Community Rebuilding Initiative?  

    No. The two trusts are independent of one another and have different purposes. You can however, donate separately into both trusts.

    How are the purposes of the two trusts different?

    Donations to the CRT will target helping communities to rebuild. It sits under a broader rebuilding initiative, led by General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, CVO, MC, which aims to coordinate support from the business community such as providing employment opportunities for volunteers and victims who have lost work as a result of the disasters, additional services for communities, reconstruction support and financial relief.

    Funds contributed to the CRT can be used to distribute to impacted individuals and organisations – this will be determined by the CRT Advisory Panel based on who/what they deem eligible beneficiaries for funding on a case by case basis. Guidelines and eligibility for the CRT will be published online here when available.

    Donations to the AVST will be available to support the families of any recognised emergency services volunteer in Australia who dies in the course of their volunteer work responding to a disaster after 1 July 2019. The AVST has its own, separate Advisory Panel, led by Equity Trustees’ Chairman, the Hon Jeff Kennett AC.
     
    Funds contributed to the AVST can be used to distribute to impacted individuals and families – this will be determined by the AVST Advisory Panel based on who they deem eligible beneficiaries for funding on a case by case basis. Guidelines and eligibility for the AVST will be published online here when available.

    Are the trusts charitable and my donation tax deductible?
     
    Yes, all donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.
     
    Who can donate? Is it just for businesses / corporates?
     
     
    Anyone can donate to either of the two trusts, individually or as a corporate.
     
    Public Ancillary Funds or a Private Ancillary Funds, or structures with DGR Item 2 status are also able to donate funds.

    Who will be responsible for investing the money?
      

    Equity Trustees will manage the investments. See our Asset Management capability here.

  • Australian Volunteer Support Trust

    Find out about AVST Advisory Panel, eligibility and the application process here

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