The support of Australian businesses has been crucial in providing extra assistance for displaced Ukrainians arriving in Australia, with a $100,000 donation from Australian property fund managers, Fawkner Property, kick-starting a fund established by the Australian-Ukrainian community to assist Ukrainians fleeing the devastation and brutality of the Russian invasion of their homeland.
The Ukraine Crisis Appeal Resettlement Fund, run by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) in conjunction with Rotary Australia World Community Service, provides professional support for resettlement, for example mental health programs, work-entry programs, and life skill programs such as swimming, first aid and driving lessons.
“Over 7,500 displaced Ukrainians have applied for visas to come to Australia, with around 2,700 arriving into the country so far. In most cases, women and children have arrived with only one suitcase, hurriedly packed prior to leaving their bombed cities and towns. Although they are able to access government services once they have transitioned to a temporary humanitarian visa, they still require help settling into Australia,” said Ms Darka Senko, AFUO Director of Humanitarian Aid Initiatives.
Fawkner Property Chief Investment Officer and founder, Mr Chris Garnaut, has led the call for corporate Australia to raise $2 million dollars Australia-wide for the Ukraine Crisis Appeal Resettlement fund, tipping $100,00 into the fund in mid May.
“The AFUO and the Australian-Ukrainian community express our sincere thanks for this incredible, heart warming gift. Fawkner Property is now our largest donor,” said Ms Senko.
At a We Welcome Ukraine event, held on Saturday 14 May at the Fawkner-owned Square Mirrabooka in Perth to honour and celebrate Ukrainian culture and community, and greet recent arrivals, Fawkner Property also gave a $400 donation to each displaced family attending. Mr Garnault spoke with passion at the event, saying:
“I have a message for you to take back to the people of Ukraine, to President Zelenskyy and to the fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and grandfathers who are left in Ukraine, fighting for the sovereignty of Ukraine, for the freedom of the world. Tell them they should be proud of themselves.
“And tell them that when you are in Australia, you are our family. You are in safe hands here. We walk beside you shoulder to shoulder. We’ve got your back.”
The AFUO has called for Australian businesses to join Fawkner Property in exploring how they can help displaced Ukrainians, whether via donations to the Ukraine Crisis Appeal Resettlement Fund, offering work opportunities or organising fund-raising events.
For more information: Darka Senko mobile – 0417 237 938