A Perth event bringing together various faith-based and community groups has raised $25 000 for bushfire relief.
Perth Unites for Bushfire Relief was held on Monday 27 January in Hyde Park, Perth. The Uniting Church WA, through the Social Justice Commission, joined the City of Vincent, Perth Mosque, Buddhist Society of WA, Haka for Life, Corroboree for Life, Manup Tutangata, Muslim Aid Australia and more.
The event was a fantastic family day out, bringing together food, dancing, stalls, backyard cricket and cultural displays. The Uniting Church WA supported the event with a bouncy castle and henna tattoo stall, with all funds raised going towards Muslim Aid Australia and their bushfire relief efforts, providing store vouchers and food hampers to people affected.
Kate Leaney, Social Justice Officer for the Uniting Church WA, said that despite the heat, it was great to see people coming together to offer their support.
“Perth united in solidarity, gathering together to raise much needed funds,” she said. “Despite the searing heat, our communities of different cultural and religious backgrounds all came together, giving generously to support our brothers and sisters affected by these devastating fires.”
Imam Mohammed Shakeeb, from the Perth Mosque, said this event was a way that the people of Perth could support those who have lost everything.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to help our fellow Australians and to show them that they are not alone,” he said. “We feel the desperation of those who have lost homes and their loved ones. We see the devastation of towns that have been burned and livestock destroyed.
“We are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all. Let not our voices be hushed, nor our hands be stopped from helping. Let us all help in whatever way we can.”
Shameema Kolia, Community Relations Manager at Muslim Aid Australia, said as well as raising funds, this event was a great way for different multicultural groups to come together for a common cause.
“It’s about bringing people together,” she said. “Often we hear a very divisive rhetoric in the media.
“I think we need to be able to show that diverse Australia that we talk about; that multiculturalism and diversity actually works and we can come together for very positive things and get to know each other and get to know that at the core we are all similar, we are all human beings and just bring back the humanity.”
To find out more about Muslim Aid Australia’s bushfire relief efforts visit maainternational.org.au/our-projects/emergency/emr-aus-bushfire-aid