The ANU community came together in support of the ANU staff members affected by the bushfires that swept through the University's Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran in January 2013 by raising a total of $25,500 for the ANU Bushfire Appeal fund.
While fire preparation works were successful in preventing catastrophic damage to the scientific facilities, many University staff members tragically lost their homes and possessions during the fire. The money raised as part of the appeal was dispersed amongst these staff members.
Professor Matthew Colless, Director of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said that it was impressive to see such a swift response to the Bushfire Appeal Fund.
"There was certainly a very rapid and strong response by the ANU community, and it was very pleasing to see that more than $25,000 was raised so quickly. We put a lot of effort into ensuring the fair allocation of funds among affected staff, and the staff members who received the funds were very grateful for the contributions made by ANU staff and students," he said.
More than $5,000 was raised during a Bushfire Appeal Dinner hosted by University House, with the generous support of its suppliers.
The University also made a contribution of $25,000 to the Warrumbungle Shire Mayor's Bushfire Appeal in recognition of the local community's long and supportive relationship with the Observatory.