January 21, 2020
January 21, 2020
I hope you managed to have a wonderful Christmas and relaxing start to the New Year.
I, like many other Australian’s in the bushfire affected regions, had a memorable start to the year for all the wrong reasons. We were evacuated from our holiday house in Bermagui on the Southern New South Wales Coast at 6am New Year’s Eve morning. The whole town was evacuated to the beach and this is the video I took at 9:15am in the morning. It was as dark as night as the fires approached.
That afternoon the town lost all power and telecommunications (I will write future posts about what leaders can learn about communication in a crisis). We spent New Year’s Eve in our car at the evacuation centres in town alongside everyone else. Over the next couple of days, before being evacuated back to the safety of Melbourne, we saw first-hand what fires can do to a community and the critical support provided by all the volunteers. We heard horrific stories from our neighbours in Cobargo where the town was destroyed. Many also shared stories of near misses.
My husband Steve has since gone back to Bermagui to check on our house and to help out the community. Thankfully, our house survived but fire came within a few hundred metres of the property.
I have also been thinking of ways I can support the bushfire relief. We have seen a great number of contributions from all around the world which has been amazing. While I don’t envisage that I can garner the support Celeste Barber got from her Facebook Fundraising page, I would like to involve you. On a side note, isn’t Celeste’s campaign an incredible story! She was hoping to raise $30,000 but raised over $50 million in donations which is officially the highest ever Facebook fundraiser.
So, I have come up with two ways we could come together and raise money. During March, I am running three public storytelling workshops in Australia. For every ticket sold, I will donate $50 to the Bushfire Appeal. If you would like to get better at using stories for effective communication, this could be a win-win situation. The dates and locations for the half day workshops are listed below.
My second suggestion involves my publisher, Wiley. We have teamed together on a deal for my latest book, Real Communication: How to be you and lead true. The book achieved best seller status last year (which I am very proud about) and was in the top 3 leadership books in Australia for 2019.
Over the month of January, for every book purchased, I will donate all profits to the bushfire appeal. For logistical reasons we are selling these in cases of 34 books and I will individually sign each book. The price for each case is $1,000 (incl. GST) and we will cover the cost of postage and handling. This means we can donate close to $600 for every case of books purchased. Simply send Elise an email with how many cases you want and where you would like them sent and she will arrange everything accordingly.
I will keep you posted on the end tally of donations made which I will be making via the Australia Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery campaign.