Summer School students and speakers rally together to raise thousands for Red Cross Bushfire Appeal

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

More community members have rallied behind the cause to raise funds for Australian bushfire relief.

The Peel Mature Adult Learning Association (MALA) Summer School donated $4000 to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal last week.

The fourth annual event was held at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre from January 6-10, finishing up with a ceremony to hand over the impressive cheque as a heartfelt response to the current disaster.

The fundraiser was kick started by the first speaker of the week, Professor Lyn Beazley, who donated her speaker fee to the appeal.

Her act of good will, as well as her appropriate talk on Forests, Ancient Past to Future Challenges, inspired fellow speakers, MALA committee members, Summer School participants as well as staff at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre to donate to the campaign.

Another prominent Australian scientist, Professor Kingsley Dixon, also spoke during the week on Burning Our Bushland, which included satellite footage showing the full extent of the bushfires.

While both professors' topics were decided more than three months ago, their sobering discussions about climate change were very fitting for the current situations and were a key factor in driving the generous response from attendees.

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The group handed over the cheque for $4000 to Mandurah Red Cross unit president, Ron Withnell, at a ceremony on Friday afternoon.

Mr Withnell said he was very proud to accept the cheque on behalf of the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.

"Every single dollar raised goes directly to this appeal, for which we are truly grateful," he said.

Peel MALA committee member, and Summer School convenor, Hazel Butorac OAM, described the campaign as "successful".

"MALA members are very proud of the rapid response from both presenting MALA lecturers, committee members and Summer School attendees who have made this donation possible," she said,

"It shows that small contributions can assist in making such a large donation possible in such a short time."

More than 850 people attended the 10 sessions of the Peel MALA Summer School this year at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

Many came from Perth as well as all around the Peel region, including Dwellingup, Pinjarra and Waroona, and even from New South Wales.

For more information about Peel MALA, visit the MPAC website.

To donate to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal, visit the website.