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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Ballina refugee group gets $10,000 donation

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Ballina Region for Refugees committee members Stanley Yeo and Lisa Dillon (rear) with Patrick Gillett (front). Photo supplied.

It isn’t everyday that you get a call saying you are about to get handed $10,000. The members of Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) were ‘astonished and overjoyed’ when they recently got that call from the Australian trading company Vivienne Court Trading Pty Ltd (VivCourt).

‘With all fund-raising activities halted by the Coronavirus shutdown, BR4R was gradually depleting its financial reserves in an effort to continue supporting refugees and asylum seekers both in Australia and offshore,’ Vice-President, Stanley Yeo said.

The donation came after Alstonville based VivCourt representative Patrick Gillett chose BR4R for the donation.

‘I got to know a coffee shop owner in Brisbane who was an Afghan refugee and found out how much he had gone through to get here and what he had left behind. I realised how much he contributes to us here and that it really helps us to have people like him come here,’ Patrick told Echonetdaily.

While VivCourt is in many ways your normal corporate company that is focussed on profit its founder and CEO Rob Keldoulis has made the owner of this company a charity.

‘All the profit from the company goes to the charity,’ explained Peter.

‘At the end of every financial year all the employees are allocated a substantial amount of money and they get to decide which charities to give it to.’

Previously a similar sum was donated to Australian Seabird Rescue in Ballina.

‘This money couldn’t have come at a better time,’ said Mr Yeo said.

‘Not only are we unable to fundraise at the moment, but many refugees who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, are in greater need of support. We’re very grateful to Patrick and VivCourt for choosing BR4R.’

Ballina Region for Refugees will donate $2,000 of the money to Operation#NotForgotten, a scheme to resettle refugees in Canada. Funds will also be allocated to refugee legal support, to medical support and to other frontline services.

 

 

 


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