Dubai - Murdoch University’s Australia Day raises funds for #MatesHelpMates

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Murdoch University hosts Emirates Red Crescent fundraiser on Australia Day

Murdoch University Dubai hosted a special fundraiser event at its annual Australia Day festivities at Zabeel Park on Saturday. The event, led by students and faculty, was hosted in collaboration with Emirates Red Crescent and Australian-based global education provider Navitas, in support of the #MatesHelpMates initiative, which is dedicated to bringing relief and aid to those affected by the devastating bushfires in Australia.

Residents in the UAE, and international students from Murdoch University Dubai hailing from various countries, attended the event and took part in a series of exciting activities. Blessed with clear sunny skies on the day, attendees indulged in quirky face-painting and fun games, including sack races, limbo and tug of war. Visitors also got a chance to challenge the surf board simulator and show off their impressive balancing skills. Attendees were also treated to an Aussie-style barbecue buffet, featuring delightful and traditional Aussie bites and beverages. 

Addressing the attendees, Mark Brown, general manager, Murdoch University Dubai, acknowledged the team members for preparing the activities on the occasion of Australia Day and encouraged people to contribute to the Emirates Red Crescent ‘MatesHelpMates’ cause to aid those affected by the bushfires in Australia. 

“I would like to thank the people who have worked above and beyond to make this day happen, and thank everyone for attending. As an Australian watching what’s going on, this is tragic. I’d recently arrived in Dubai, and the fires took place just as I was leaving. In early December, I’d flown back to Sydney and I can tell you that the city was blanketed in smoke. It was hard to breathe and you would be covered in ash if you walked outside. It felt like what the end of the world would look like. It’s hard to explain, but we’ve all seen them through images and on TV,” he said. 

The fundraiser featured donation boxes by Emirates Red Crescent, and all contributions gathered on the day are directed straight to the cause. Brown further shared his appreciation for the UAE’s assistance throughout the bushfire tragedy.

“The response here has been amazing. We’re seeing the different local organisations and the government jump in and support Australia in many ways. The whole #MatesHelpMates motto has been fantastic. Australians love Dubai, but clearly Dubai loves Australia as well, so thank you very much for that,” he added. 

Visitors also received an opportunity to try their luck in a raffle draw, where winners could win complimentary passes to IMG Worlds of Adventure, kindly donated by IMG.

Omid Honari, regional director, Navitas Middle East, also thanked the team of Murdoch University Dubai, attendees, as well as sponsors. 

“This has been an amazing event and thank you everyone for coming. A big thank you to all our sponsors including: Baskin-Robbins, Coca-Cola, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Arwa Water, Romana Water, Beesket Juices, Snack Zone, Leeds Productions, Wavelogix, and Al Ahlia Group — who have all made today possible and gave selflessly to the great cause for Australia that right now needs a lot of help,” he said.

Honari continued: “Australian history — both the ancient, which is very long and meaningful, and the modern — has played a vital role that contributed to the entire global geography in human civilisation. Those who have been touched by Australian culture would understand that this informal concept of nature is something that emanates out of Australia in a strong way. It’s a culture of selflessness, friendship and camaraderie that we call ‘mateship’. This beautiful nation is literally in flames now and needs your donations and help to spread the message.”


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