Published on 03 September 2020

Today Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, announced the Canberra Recovery Appeal has surpassed their fundraising goal, raising $421,474 across the twelve-week campaign.  

The Canberra Recovery Appeal was started by Hands Across Canberra after they released a report outlining that that 97% of the local community sector is struggling from the combined effects of the bushfires and COVID-19.  

Diane Kargas Bray AM, Chair of Hands Across Canberra, says that Hands Across Canberra activated as quickly as possible to support the local community sector.  

“Back in March, we quickly saw that we needed to act to help the over 250 local charities and community organisations who are part of the Hands Across Canberra network,” says Kargas Bray AM. 

“We were already running survey research when the data started to show that the situation was changing rapidly. We launched a $600,000 rapid response round of grant funding in partnership with the Snow Foundation and the John James Foundation. Not long after we started getting applications, we knew that our community sector was facing a very challenging time ahead and we needed to do more. 

“We are so grateful to the community who heeded the call and have helped us raised over $421,000 for our charities.” 

Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, says that this achievement is a wonderful demonstration of Canberra’s community spirit.  

“We could not be more pleased with this result, and we would like to thank everyone who supported this campaign and the charities involved,” said Gordon.  

“From the wider community to government and businesses, such as Aspen Medical and the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund, to have exceeded the $400,000 goal is a testament to the generosity and caring nature of this great city. 

“Our local charities and community organisations will get immediate benefit from this appeal. The difference these funds will make is huge, there are many charities who will now be able to continue servicing the community, whereas previously they were in fear of closing up shop. 

Quotes from participating charities organisations:  

Cystic Fibrosis ACT: 

“The funds from the Canberra Recovery Appeal will be used to continue to support our members who are provided with financial assistance to help manage the financial burden of living with Cystic Fibrosis. The organisation was not able to hold the annual Santa Speedo Shuffle for Cystic Fibrosis ACT July 2020 due to COVID-19, and this is the organisations main fundraising event that keeps the doors open for another year. The opportunity for Cystic Fibrosis ACT to be a part of this appeal was so fortunate and helpful. Doubled donations has made a significant impact for our organisation and members.” says Emma Morzuch, Support Services Coordinator at Cystic Fibrosis ACT 


“The funds and awareness raised through the Canberra Recovery Appeal will help Pegasus rebuild from the devastating events of 2020. As our programs slowly and carefully recommence, the funds raised are invaluable to ensuring continuation and accessibility of our quality and specialised therapeutic horse-facilitated programs to people living with a disability in our community. Through its Canberra Recovery Appeal, Hands Across Canberra has provided an invaluable fundraising platform to local charities who have been significantly impacted by the events of 2020. A platform that allows us to expand our reach and collectively raise awareness and funds in our time of need. Pegasus is incredibly grateful to be part of this fantastic initiative. Thank you to Hands Across Canberra, the funding partners and each and every donor for their support.” says Matt Watson, CEO of Pegasus.  

Canberra Community Law: 

“Funds raised from the Canberra Recovery Appeal will increase Canberra Community Law’s capacity to respond to the growing number and increasing complexity of legal matters facing members of the Canberra Community due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you Hands Across Canberra for leading this excellent initiative which has increased the capacity of charities to respond to the needs of the Canberra community arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to the Canberra community for your generous support of this appeal.” says Genevieve Bolton Executive Director/Principal Solicitor Canberra Community Law. 

Canberra Refugee Services: 

“The funds will be used to financially support refugees that have lost work and income because of COVID-19. The appeal has helped us financially and by raising our profile with the public” says Jennifer Scutt, Fundraising Co-ordinator, Canberra Refugee Services  


Media Contact: Claudia Vannithone 0409 999 644 or