The Fiji High Commissioner His Excellency Yogesh Punja and the Consul-General Mr Zarak Khan met with representatives from PGA Australia to accept a $20,000 donation to the Prime Minister’s Natural Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Fund. PGA’s donation will go towards rehabilitation after the devastation of Tropical Cyclones Josie and Keni.
Mr Stuart Hergt, Chief Operating Officer of PGA Australia, said on behalf of the CEO that the PGA “very much feel[s] a part of the [Fijian] community, and we felt that it was our corporate duty to be part of this appeal… We sincerely hope that this money will, in a small way, provide some benefits to those that are in need, and we wish everyone in Fiji a very swift recovery.”
PGA’s relationship with Fiji has been ongoing, with the fifth year of the Fiji International golf tournament approaching in August. The tournament has attracted a global audience to Fiji, showcasing the country through television broadcasts to over 300 million people and 200 countries worldwide. The Consul-General that the tournament “contributes to the Fijian economy both in terms of tourism numbers [and] promoting the Fijian brand internationally.”
PGA hopes that their donation will encourage other Australian and Fijian businesses to support this important initiative. Mr Vincent V Nair, CEO of SMARTECH Business Systems Asia Pacific suggested that both countries “take this as a leading example of how Australia and Fiji work together. This is a partnership for both happy times and sad times.”
The Fiji High Commission and the Fiji Consulate General and Trade Commission urge Australians and Fijians to band together and contribute to this important cause. “I believe that there are others out there who should consider corporate social responsibility and come up with assistance for our people who have been devastated by a series of cyclones… it is about time that everybody start[s] pitching in to help our Prime Minister with [this] fundraising effort,” said His Excellency the High Commissioner. The Consul-General agreed, “I think each and every dollar counts in terms of rebuilding the lives of our people back home.”
Mr Nair said, “We are saddened by not just the devastation, but the pain and suffering our fellow Fijians have gone through recently.” Mr Basil Scafidi, the Managing Director of Sports and Entertainment Ltd Australia, added that, “Our great sympathies go to the Fijian people and we hope that everything recovers well and quickly.”