Three local organisations which support the reef and environment will benefit from a share in almost $20,000 raised by the community through the Milbi Gala Ball.
The funds were accumulated through raffles and a charity auction at the recent event, with the money split evenly between WYLD Projects, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Tangaroa Blue Foundation.
WYLD Projects founder Brad Crosbie said the $6,393 in funds were greatly appreciated.
“It is great to get acknowledged by the community for the work we’ve been doing over the last six years,' he said.
“WYLD Projects primarily works with Aboriginal youth, 14 to 24 years old, and help them transition through school and into whatever pathway they want.
“In particular, we work in conservation and have real projects and get our youth involved.
“These funds are great as it gives us the opportunity to give youth some work and allow them to get out on Country.”
Milbi Gala Ball funds to help Reef Guardian Schools mark milestone
GBRMPA assistant director Rebecca Allen said their slice of the donation would go towards The Reef Guardian Schools program.
The program started in 2003 to raise awareness and appreciation for the reef and its connected ecosystems.
It aims to empower the next generation of young leaders to become stewards for the Reef, by understanding the threats to its sustainable future, and their role in protecting it.
“The 2023 school year is the 20-year anniversary of the Reef Guardian Schools program and to celebrate this milestone, the Milbi Gala Ball funds will be used to support a 20-year anniversary Burnett Region Reef Guardian Schools event,” Rebecca said.
“The Reef Authority hopes that the Reef Guardian Schools will join in to help celebrate this special occasion and the many and varied reef stewardship activities the schools have achieved.
“Schools can join the Reef Guardian Schools program for free through the ReefED website www.reefed.edu.au or by contacting the Reef Authority’s Reef Education team.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said the third beneficiary for the Milbi Gala Ball funds was Tangaroa Blue Foundation, an organisation dedicated in the removal and prevention of marine debris.
He said the Milbi Gala Ball had been a great opportunity to not only raise funds for deserving organisations, but to also raise awareness about the work being done locally.
“I ask the community to continue to support these organisations,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“They are volunteers and the vital work they do is not just enhancing the environment now but for our children and grandchildren.”