Wilson Asset Management lends its support to drought and fire-affected communities

Media releases: 19 November 2019

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) welcomes the plans of Wilson Asset Management to raise up to $1 million for communities affected by drought and fire, announced today at its Sydney Shareholder Presentation.

The investment manager will match funds raised by Wilson Asset Management’s shareholders and supporters up to a combined $1 million, and directed to FRRR’s Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund.

Natalie Egleton, FRRR CEO, said that the organisation was thrilled to have the support of Wilson Asset Management and its shareholders.

“I particularly want to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to Wilson Asset Management Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Geoff Wilson AO and the team for their generosity.

“The effect of the bushfires and drought will not be the same in any two communities, so it’s critical that when the time is right, local leaders can access funds for whatever is most important to their community,” Ms Egleton continued.

“The challenge of raising funds locally for the things that keep a community going every day is amplified when the whole town is struggling. In addition, bushfires and drought take a toll on the volunteers that run the community groups, who are usually farming families or local business owners. So, everyone in these communities needs support. And that’s where FRRR comes in.

“FRRR makes grants to local not-for-profit groups that deliver activities and services that address the most pressing needs that locals identify. FRRR believes local leaders know what will make the most significant difference at times like these, so the grants programs are deliberately flexible.”

The Fund will be invested in perpetuity alongside FRRR’s corpus, with annual returns available to support locally-led preparedness initiatives and disaster recovery in rural, regional and remote communities.

Comments attributable to Wilson Asset Management Chairman and Chief Investment Officer Geoff Wilson AO –

“After we travelled to Toowoomba and then drove cross country to the Gold Coast at the beginning of our nationwide Shareholder Presentations last week, the reality of the devastation that is currently gripping rural and regional Australia became very real to us. The sunburnt grass and smoky haze presented a painful image of the suffering that so many Australians are currently enduring.

“Many of our more than 80,000 shareholders live and work in areas affected by these natural disasters or they are worried for their friends and families who do. Together, let’s raise $1 million and make a difference to people’s lives.”

Comments attributable to Wilson Asset Management Chief Executive Officer Kate Thorley – 

“When we saw and heard how our shareholders and their communities were affected by bushfires and drought, including my hometown of Toowoomba, we wanted to make a real difference.”

Read Wilson Asset Management’s full announcement here.