Sony Foundation’s first grants as ‘Fire Fight’ album raises $450k

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• Two communities have been informed of their share of the $200,000 to fund and roll-out their projects.

Sony Foundation Australia has confirmed grants for two projects in the bushfire devastated communities of Mallacoota, Victoria, and Ulladulla, New South Wales, as Sony Music Entertainment Australia announces that sales from the ‘Artists Unite for Fire Fight: Concert for National Bushfire Relief’ charity album has now reached a total of $450,000.

At the historic Fire Fight Australia concert in February, Sony Music artist and Sony Foundation ambassador, Guy Sebastian, presented a $200,000 cheque on behalf of Sony Foundation Australia whilst on stage. The funds were directed to the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), who were one of the major beneficiaries of the concert.

Today, two communities have been informed of their share of the $200,000 to fund and roll-out their projects. Both projects will 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. The two projects are:

1. ‘The Sanctuary’, Mallacoota Youth Group, VIC – Sony Foundation’s support will contribute to building the capacity, resilience and wellbeing of the young people in Mallacoota, through the activities and operations of an emerging youth centre called ‘The Sanctuary.’

Mallacoota’s youth will use the space to study, play music, make art, play games, organise programs and events and run workshops. ‘The Sanctuary’ provides pathways for young people to access mentoring, social networks and resources in the community.

2. ‘Sanctuary of Wellbeing and Renewal’, Ulladulla High School, NSW – Fifteen Ulladulla High School students lost their homes in the fires. Additionally, many students have been dislocated due to damage to their properties and family businesses.

Busby Marou

Sony Foundation’s funding will assist with establishing a ‘Sanctuary of Wellbeing and Renewal’ for the entire student population, benefitting over 1,200 students and their families. The Sanctuary will provide a safe environment for positive initiatives that enhance student and organisational contributions to enable positive recovery and resilience.

Additionally, Sony Music Entertainment has now raised $450,000 from the sale of the Fire Fight charity album. This amount is in addition to Sony Foundation’s $200,000 donation, with all proceeds from the sale of the album being donated to support additional projects benefiting young Australians in bushfire affected communities.

The additional funds raised since the announcement in mid-June, comes from not only the continued generosity of the Australian public who purchased the album, but also major retailers, JB Hi-Fi and Sanity, who have donated their margin to the worthwhile and much needed cause.

The special charity album of 23 tracks features unique live recordings from every artist who performed at the Fire Fight concert. It is available as a two-disc CD album from music retailers and as a digital download on iTunes.

Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia, and Denis Handlin, chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, and founding board director of Sony Foundation Australia, said in a joint statement:

“We are continually reminded that the path to recovery in communities affected by the unprecedented bushfires is a long and challenging journey. We hope these communities see the success of this funding and special album as Australia’s way of saying we are standing by your side. We are overwhelmed and humbled with the generosity from everyone involved, which now includes the retail partners who have passed on profits so that more funds can go to these communities. Thank you also to the FRRR and its Board for the incredible work to enable us to contribute to the lives of so many young Australians.”

Sony Foundation Australia is the charitable arm of the Sony Group of Companies in Australia that has raised $35 million for youth-based causes since 1998.

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