On the eve of the one year anniversary of the historic Fire Fight Australia concert, Sony Foundation Australia has announced that $770,000 has been donated to beneficiaries to help young people in five bushfire devastated communities following the 2019/2020 summer bushfire season.
A major grant of $450,000 from Fire Fight Australia has been donated to BackTrack Youth Works who are partnering with Sony Foundation Australia to build purpose-built youth sanctuaries from shipping containers in the communities of Tenterfield and Macksville, New South Wales. BackTrack will also deliver a youth resilience program that will include bushfire recovery work and training in these regional towns.
An additional $200,000 from Fire Fight Australia was donated to the Foundation for Regional & Rural Renewal for projects in Mallacoota, Victoria, and Ulladulla, New South Wales that provide a place for young people to contribute to their community, whilst having access to tailored models of support to recover from the trauma of the bushfire disaster.
PCYC South Coast have received $60,000 for the fit-out of a Wellbeing Youth Hub for youth-focused services and programs in Eden, New South Wales.
Musicians Making A Difference also received $60,000 for a bushfire resilience tour of their leading music therapy workshops in Mallacoota, Eden, Ulladulla, Tenterfield and Macksville.
“With a lack of social activities, employment opportunities and places to call their own, young people are often left behind in the recovery process,” said Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia. “Sony Foundation has a track record of creating safe and supportive spaces for youth facing some of the toughest adversity. These are places where youth can go, make positive social networks and build resilience. It is the basics for what every young Australian should have so they can have the best start in life.”
Bernie Shakeshaft, Founder and CEO of BackTrack, said: “Our youth development charity has been working with young people in regional areas who have faced tough times for 15 years, but we have never seen anything like this. We knew that following the Black Summer fires there would be many young people hurting. Bringing the BackTrack program to young people in these areas can give them a sense of purpose and hope, by enabling them to be a part of the recovery solution, both for themselves and the community.”
$530,000 of the total funds came from sales of the Sony Music Entertainment Australia released Artists Unite for Fire Fight Australia: Concert for National Bushfire Relief charity album that debuted at #1 on the ARIA albums chart and featured iconic performances from local and global artists who performed at the concert in Sydney on 16 February 2020. Reuben Styles from Sony Music artist Peking Duk (who performed at Fire Fight Australia) said, “After the TV crews left, we wanted to make sure we were still supporting young people so terribly affected by the bushfires.” Adam Hyde from Peking Duk added: “It is incredible to think that music has the power to inspire such generosity to fund youth hubs that will last long after the ash is gone.”
Watch a message from Sony Foundation and Fire Fight Australia artists