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Spirit of Christmas alive and well in Australia: 7 in 10 Aussies plan to give to charity this Christmas

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9 December 2019: The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Australia, with an impressive 71% of Australians planning to give to charitable causes this festive season, according to new polling by ChildFund Australia.

Younger Australians most likely to give to charity this Christmas

The results demonstrate the generosity of everyday Australians, with representatives of all age groups planning a donation of food, money or gifts for people in need this Christmas.

  • Younger Australians are the most likely to give to charity during the festive season, with 78% of people between 18 and 34 saying they plan to give to charity this Christmas, compared to 67% of people aged between 35-54 and 69% of people over 55.
  • More women (74%) are planning to give to charity than men (67%) this Christmas. 
  • Parents with children still living at home (77%) are more likely to give to charity than those without dependent children (66%).
  • Australians across geographical locations show the same levels of generosity, with those in cities and regional areas equally likely to give to charity this Christmas.

The polling asked more than 1,000 Australians whether they planned to give to charity by making a donation, donating food for a hamper, buying a gift for a child in need, giving a donation as a gift for family, friends or colleagues, or buying from an online gift store run by a charity.

A reminder of what generous people Australians are

ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence said the results are an important reminder of what generous people Australians are. 

“During the last year, many Australians have faced significant hardships due to a range of extreme weather events. 

“Yet this research shows that almost three-quarters of our population are still intent on lending a hand to those doing it tough – both at home and overseas. 

“We often talk about generosity being an important part of our identity as Australians, and these results are a powerful affirmation of that value.

The results are supported by the World Giving Index, produced annually by the Charities Aid Foundation that, in 2018, ranked Australia 2nd out of 146 countries in terms of its generosity.

“At ChildFund, we know that our supporters are extremely generous, compassionate, and committed to improving the lives of vulnerable children. 

“We also know that many individuals lend their support to many charitable organisations, both domestic and international. While supporting bushfire relief efforts in Australia, they may also be helping to ensure that children in the remote villages of Papua New Guinea can go to school.”

ChildFund’s Gifts for Good Catalogue

This festive season, 2 in every 5 Australians plan to give a donation as a gift to family, friends or colleagues.

ChildFund Australia’s Gifts for Good Christmas Catalogue allows everyday Australians to buy scholarships, first aid kits, water filters, farm animals and warm jackets for vulnerable children and families in developing communities. 

There is a huge range to choose from, and it can all be ordered online. Each gift comes with a card which can be given to your loved ones.

Nigel Spence, ChildFund Australia CEO said: “Australians spend a lot of money each year on presents that go unused.

“That’s why we’re encouraging them to think about buying a gift that will fulfil an important need for children living in developing countries. 

“This could be an item that is life-saving – like mosquito nets which prevent malaria. Or it could be a gift that is life-changing – like a bike to help a child in a remote village travel the long distance to school. 

“Australians are incredibly generous, and never more so than at Christmas.  Not only are they willing to give, last Christmas 1 in 2 people told us they would also be happy to receive a donation on their behalf as a gift.

“These gifts will bring a long-lasting and positive impact for children and families living in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.” Mr Spence said.

Order from the Gifts for Good Catalogue: /gifts-for-good/

ChildFund Australia Board Chair Mary Latham has today announced the appointment of Margaret Sheehan as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Margaret is currently the International Program Director at ChildFund Australia, a role she has held for the past four years. She will succeed current CEO Nigel Spence, who steps down from the role after 14 years of distinguished service.

Mary Latham said: “Margaret’s role within ChildFund, and her many years of working in the international aid sector, uniquely qualify her for this position.

“The appointment follows an extensive, competitive, international and national recruitment process.”

Margaret holds a Masters in Public Health and has over two decades of experience in managing international development programs and personnel in field office settings.

Prior to joining ChildFund, Margaret held senior international roles with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation and has significant experience in humanitarian response programming.

This includes providing senior management and development guidance during the Strategic Response Plan for the Typhoon Haiyan Emergency in the Philippines, and the Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen in 2016.

Nigel Spence said: “I am delighted that a person of Margaret’s skill and experience will take over the leadership of ChildFund Australia at the end of 2019.

“Margaret is an expert international development professional, whose career has been dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children and families. I am confident that ChildFund will go from strength to strength under her leadership.”

Margaret will commence her new role in late December 2019.

She said: “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead an organisation for which I already have such a deep and personal commitment.

“Nigel leaves behind a strong and collaborative workplace culture, and I look forward to working with our many talented staff as we strive to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children living in developing communities.

“As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, it is vital that we ensure that no child is left behind. Every young person should experience a childhood in which they are nurtured, protected, and given access to opportunity.”