Bass Strait Charity Fund continues to make a difference

This year, support for local community organisations is more important than ever before.

The Esso Australia team in Gippsland know this, and have continued to provide donations to worthwhile local community charities and projects in 2020 via contributions from the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture as well as through donations from the Bass Strait Charity Fund (BSCF).

The BSCF was started back in the early 1980s as a way for offshore workers to support the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal, explains current head of the BSCF Mick Warry.

“The original primary focus was the Royal Children’s Hospital Annual appeal. It started after offshore chef supervisor Brian Bowes and camp attendant Ken Wain took up a collection on Mackerel for the appeal in 1980. The next year they issued a challenge to other platforms to see who could raise the most money.

“It soon developed into a way to raise money for local Gippsland charities as well. At the peak of oil production there were times when substantial money was raised (more than $50,000) with 14 fully staffed platforms competing to raise the most funds, which was then matched by the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture. 

“Today, the BSCF raises money through activities like footy and horse tipping and the odd raffle. In spite of the current economic challenges faced by many, we still continue to raise funds, albeit at lower levels than in previous years,” he said.

In 2020, the BSCF has supported many different local community initiatives, including A Better Life for Foster Kids, support for breast cancer organisation Footprints and the Sale Ambulance Auxiliary, as well as their annual support for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

And the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture has still been matching the donations made by the BSCF, helping to amplify the fund going to these worthy causes.

Offshore Assets Manager Simon Kemp, said all those involved with fundraising for the BSCF should be congratulated for their efforts.

“The BSCF plays such an important role in supporting the local community through their fundraising activities and as an organisation, we are very proud to be able to match these donations.

“It’s so impressive that the BSCF has continued its charitable work for 40 years. It demonstrates that people across our Gippsland business genuinely care about their local communities,” he said.