Dear Friends and Supporters of the Australian Bushfire Benefit London,

It gives us so much joy to be able to write this email to you all. We can confirm that the amount raised so far through the Australian Bushfire Benefit London concert and auction is £40, 093.66 + cash on the day £1,480.45£41,574.11  (appoximately AUD$84,000).

This money will be split between the following charities and causes totalling £40,093.66: (refer complete breakdown below)
  • Australian Bush Heritage
  • Lifeline
  • The Salvation Army - Emergency Services Relief project
  • The World Wild Life Fund for Nature Australian Bushfire Appeal
and cash donations raised on the day totalling £1,480.45:
  • Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation
  • Bushfire Appeal for Leah Milston and David Wallace
Below is a summary of the event costs:
This incredible amount raised is the direct result of hard work, generous sponsorship, and you our audience who made this event such a great success.

Too many highlights but the chills from Sculthorpes, Earth Cry conducted by the great Simone Young we will never forget; Stephen Leek's choral masterpiece, Kondalilla conducted by Hester Wright with the ABBL Choir; Dawn Wail For The Dead by Connor D'Netto sung by Lotte Betts-Dean and played by the Hill Quartet; Yanada (Ross Edwards) played by Amy Dickson with the unforgettable slow walk up to the stage; Interlude (Paul Stanhope) played by Renee Kennedy; the Australian Medley sung by Paul Ettore Tabone Una Reynolds & Corinne Cowling accompanied by Chad Vindin. The three poems that were read by Natasha Baiguerra (After All, Henry Lawson), Phoebe Panaretos (Tomorrow is hope, Blue Robinson), and Samuel Sakker (7 Days, Leah Milston).
The European debut of Ella Macen's haunting The Lake, and  Elegy by Frederick Septimus Kelly conducted by Toby C Thatcher with the ABBL Orchestra; Samantha Clarke- Soprano singing Home Sweet Home; Miriam Allan singing a new song Disillusion by Joseph Havlat; the Verdi Requiem excerpts with Sam Sakker Helena Dix Catherine Carby & Simon Thorpe was extraordinarily amazing; Helen Sherman singing Bush Silence with Joseph Havlat (piano); Stuart Skelton’s incredible singing; for most of us in Duke's Hall the finale I am Australian with Embla BishopPhoebe PanaretosAlex Given & Kurt Kansley was perfect. It just hit a nerve with us all.

We would love to hear from you with your personal highlights. Please do stay in touch

Thank you for your support - we will all remember this for a very long time.

Warm regards


Isla Baring OAM – Tait Memorial Trust
Lotte Betts-Dean – mezzo-soprano 
Jessica Cottis – conductor
James Hancock – Tait Memorial Trust  
Ros Higgins – Royal Flying Doctor Service, Friends in the UK
Dr Margaret Mayston AM – Australian Music Foundation
Bridget O’Donnell – violin (where it all started)
James Swanston – Voyage Control (Event Sponsor)
Toby Thatcher – conductor

And Orchestra, Choir, Stage Crew, Front of House, Reception team, many wonderful people who all did it for Bushfire relief.

Event photography by Clare Hannan, Hannan Images. Go to our home page to see the performance photos

COVID19 and the consequences for the Arts

As you'll know, our concert featured musicians/singers/conductors/stage crew etc who all gave their services for free to raise much needed funds for bushfire relief. Most, if not all, of these performers are now facing their own existential crisis given the shutting of concert halls, opera houses, summer festivals, theatres or secondary income opportunities that they may have been depending on have also closed or are about to. Many of the artists you saw are without work for 6 months or more...It is a devastating blow to the Arts community here, and internationally.

We are looking into a way to help raise some funds for these artists (and perhaps others in a similar predicament)? We are yet again in one of those moments where the nation has to deal with something that was not quite in anyone's contemplation, and this may be a good opportunity to help out some of those who are now in need.

If you would like to be assist us please write to James Hancock

ABBL Final Numbers

Disbursement of funds*

All ticket revenues, donations received before the event and proceeds from the two charity auctions will be divided equally between the following four Australian bushfire charities:

1. Lifeline Australia |

2. Salvation Army—Emergency Services Relief Project |

3. Australian Bushfire Appeal—WWF Australia |

4. Australian Bush Heritage |

All cash collected today at the event will be sent to:    

  1. The Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation |

Firesticks provides  Indigenous leadership, advocacy and action to protect Country through cultural fire and land management practices  

2. Leah & David—Bushfire Emergency Appeal |

Leah Milston and David Wallace lost their home, their belongings and their beautiful bookshop during the Mogo, NSW bush fires on New Year’s Eve. 

Leah wrote the poem, ‘7 Days’, which Samuel Sakker, a family friend, read at the concert.

* All funds will be transferred to Australia at the best exchange rates and fee free by Event Partner—FairFX

Source         Net amount £  
Box Office via Eventbrite (no fees) 15,807        2 late ticket refunds
Live Auction income less card fees 14,130.35        Includes £4K directly to Bush Heritage  Australia
Silent Auction income less all fees 2,566.31       1 lot withdrawn for not reaching reserve
Donations via Eventbrite (no fees) 1,590  
iZettle card reader donations at concert (net after card fees) 400.45        Added to cash donations
Cash donations at the concert into the donation Buckets 1,080       Collected at the concert
Restricted donation from VEC Acorn Trust                                  "for Australian wildlife & preservation charities" 1,000  
Anon Bush Heritage Aust 5,000      Credited directly by donor to Bush Heritage Australia
Total funds raised £41,574.11        
Chosen Charities     Payouts Amount £         Total £
Firesticks and Leah & David Bushfire Appeal          
iZettle card reader donations at concert £400.45 £740.225  
Cash donations at the concert into Buckets £1,080 £740.225  
  £1,480.45     £1,480.45 £1,480.45
Remainder £40,093.66        
To be divided equally between these charities     Therefore    
Lifeline Australia £10,023.415  
Salvation Army Australia - Emergency Services Relief Project £10,023.415  
Australian Bushfire Appeal - WWF Australia £10,023.415  
Australian Bush Heritage £1,023.415  
        £31,093.66 £31,093.66
Note: £9,000 already credited to Bush Heritage       £9,000 £9,000
      Total funds disbursed   £41,574.11
Click here to watch the Reuters story about the concert

Catherine Carby, Helena Dix & Simone Young with the ABBL Orchestra

We thank the following organisations and individuals for their support:

Event Sponsor

Event Partners

Learn more about the concert at our website
Read the concert programme here
Copyright © 2020 Australian Bushfire Benefit London, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp