The Ramsay Way 2020 | 01 13
Paul Ramsay Foundation: $30 million for
The Paul Ramsay Foundation has set aside $30 million to support communities reeling from the
devastation of this season’s bushfires.
This amount was one of the largest individual donations
to the bushfire relief effort.
The Foundation expressed its sympathy and support
for the families, communities, firefighters, emergency
workers and other service providers who have been
so profoundly affected by this national tragedy.
An initial $3 million is being provided to the Red Cross,
the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and
St Vincent de Paul for immediate relief efforts with the
remaining funding allocated to longer-term work with
This intention is firmly linked to the Foundation’s
overarching mission of breaking the cycle of
disadvantage in Australian communities.
CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Professor Glyn
Davis AC, said these funds aimed to assist communities
to rebuild long after the initial crisis.
“We are in this together. The Foundation is acutely
aware that it is those already vulnerable to
entrenched disadvantage who will be hardest hit
by the consequences of the current bushfires,”
Professor Davis said.
Since then, the Foundation has been hard at work joining
with individuals, communities and other organisations
immersed in the recovery effort.
On 16 January, Professor Davis joined the Prime
Minister’s bushfire recovery roundtable with a number
of government representatives, NGOs and disaster
recovery experts to begin detailed cross-sector co-ordination
Shortly after, the Foundation convened its own expert
recovery roundtables to ensure its commitment to co-ordination
and longer-term recovery supports a truly
As the Foundation anticipated in its announcement, the
roundtables – held in Sydney and Melbourne – confirmed
that already disadvantaged individuals and families would
become more vulnerable as a result of their dislocation.
The Foundation was also advised that as well as the
immediate destruction of dwellings and community
facilities, there were many hidden but profound longer-term
University of Melbourne’s Beyond Bushfires research into
Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday fires revealed longer-term
challenges for many including ongoing trauma
and mental health conditions, often in communities with
limited mental health services. It was found that the
stressors that follow a disaster event, including loss of
income, loss of accommodation, relationship strain and
disruption of social networks further increase risk of
mental illness and make it difficult for people to stay in
their own communities and attempt to rebuild.
The research also revealed that women in communities
highly affected by bushfires were seven times more likely
to report experiences of violence in the 3 years following
the 2009 fires than women in communities not affected
by bushfires. The risk was higher for women who had
lost income after the fires. Additional research found that
many children including pre-schoolers were traumatised
and affected. As a result, progress in reading and maths
was impeded, so much so, that years after the fires, many
of those children were still behind in their learning.
Ramsay Santé and UK support Australian
Ramsay staff from the United Kingdom and Europe have shown their support and expressed their
concern for Australians affected by the bushfire disaster.
In solidarity with their Australian
colleagues, Ramsay Health Care UK
hosted fundraisers across all of its
hospitals and facilities in January 2020.
The team raised a total of £11,500
through the Just Giving website, with
proceeds going towards the NSW RFS
and CFA Victoria.
The staff came up with a range of
fundraising initiatives including cake
bake sales, raffles, a sponsored ‘rough’
sleep out and bike-a-thons. One of the
Heads of Clinical Services even ran a
10km race dressed as a koala!
Colleagues from Ramsay Santé, which
operates facilities through Europe, have
also shared the comments featured in