Sir Elton John has pledged to donate $1 million to the Australian bushfire relief efforts.
The British music icon announced the donation at his concert at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on Tuesday. Elton John praised the efforts of Australia’s firefighters, battling catastrophic blazes across the country.
“You should all be in awe of the work that the firefighters are doing,” he said.
“There are people out there who have lost their lives trying to save homes, there are people who have lost their lives and their homes.”
“And last, is the plight of the animals and loss of their habitat that frankly, is on a biblical scale and heartbreaking. Therefore, tonight I will be pledging $1 million.”
After the announcement, the Sydney crowd cheered and also gave Elton John a standing ovation.
“This is a magnificent country that I’ve been coming to since 1971,” he said.
“I love it here so much. To see what is happening here breaks my heart. We have to come together and we have to fight, and this is my bit towards it.
“I love Australia so much and to those that have lost their homes, God bless.”
Magda Szubanski fundraising for bushfire victims’ mental health
Elton John joins other celebrities, including singer Pink, Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman and Chris Hemsworth and others, in making bushfire donations.
Comedian Celeste Barber’s viral Facebook fundraiser has also attracted a staggering $45 million in donations.
Magda Szubanski and Will Connolly, aka Egg Boy, have raised $91,000 to help cover costs of mental health support for bushfire victims after the emergency.
“You have to be there for the long run and people are traumatised and it stays with them forever,” Connolly told Channel Nine.
Szubanski added, “I was asked to go up to Kinglake and Flowerdale after the terrible fires there and the trauma was just palpable.
“So many people are going to be devastated for such a long time. The generosity of Australians is incredible.”
LGBTIQ advocacy group just.equal also called on the community to dig deep during the “unprecedented crisis”.
The group is promoting a list of verified charities accepting cash donations, below:
NSW Rural Fire Service via Celeste Barber’s fundraiser: http://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/2477326602586291/
Australian Red Cross: http://bit.ly/RedCrossDisasterReliefAndRecovery
“Just.equal encourages LGBTIQ Australian, our families and allies to donate to verified bushfire funds,” co-founder Ivan Hinton-Teoh said.
“At times of crisis, Australians pride ourselves on joining together to share the burden.
“During this young century, Australia has seen few crises so awful, and so demanding of our empathy and sacrifice.
“Support the tireless efforts of our volunteers, fire services, community groups and victims at this critical time.”
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.