Donations of medical supplies, books and toys are being collected at The Zone in the City of Kwinana to be distributed to Ukrainian families seeking refuge in Perth.
The collection point was established by City of Kwinana Property Services Officer Gerry Fitzmaurice who was motivated to do whatever he could to help when news broke about Ukraine’s plight.
He ordinarily is a playground safety inspector but quickly got to work finding the right connections.
“I am by nature a compassionate person and I like to stay anonymous, but sometimes you have to step up,” Mr Ftizmaurice said.
“I was an army reservist for the 3rd Field Army Corp of Engineers in the Republic of Ireland and in 1974 we saw masses of refugees come from Northern Ireland.
“You could see the distress on people’s faces, but also relief and hope.
“Some of the Ukrainian refugees may settle in Australia and some may be away from home in Ukraine for a while,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.
Mayor Carol Adams said Mr Fitzmaurice’s efforts were quickly supported by the City of Kwinana and a collection box for donations from staff was circulated around the Depot then the Administration Building, collecting two storage container’s worth in a matter of weeks.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank Gerry for his selfless efforts to support the Ukrainians in need of assistance,” Mayor Adams said.
“These actions reflect the strong community spirit that is felt in Kwinana, its Council and staff, but it really is a cause that goes beyond our boundary.”
Mr Fitzmaurice connected with a Ukrainian organisation based in Melbourne that has family members and contacts in Ukraine with specific requests to be met. Qantas gives items to Ukraine priority and transports within 48 hours.
“When I gave the gear to the logistics officer for the Ukraine Association of WA, Terence Dewar, he was blown away by how the City of Kwinana’s employees and the public had gotten behind it,” he said.
“His wife’s family are from Ukraine and the first aid supplies went with a shipment via Qantas to Poland on Sunday.”
A collection box at The Zone’s reception desk was filled three times over with donations from the public of books, toys, stationery and small first aid kits to support refugee families that have settled in Perth.
“The kids toys went to Roma Popadynec who is the coordinator for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Perth,” Mr Fitzmaurice said.
Donations are still being sought for a long list of medical supplies and particularly LED head lamps with batteries included which cost just a few dollars from major hardware stores like Bunnings.
Mr Fitzmaurice has now enlisted the support of his brother John Fitzmaurice whose workplace Inpex has also donated surplus first aid supplies.
The Ukraine Association of WA is collecting cash donations for help with the accommodation, clothing infants and medical needs of families seeking refuge in Perth which can be sent to
Dnister Credit Cooperative
ACC NAME: “SUPPORT UKRAINE WA”
BSB: 704 235
ACC NUMBER: 40015214