“This is a great opportunity for our staff to ensure their giving goes even further.”
The initiative comes a week after the telecommunications provider announced it would write off volunteer firefighters’ mobile phone bills for December and January.
Telstra anticipates the total given to the national bushfire crisis through its assistance packages and donations will be about $10 million, excluding the cost of damages to infrastructure.
Mr Penn said the donations would ensure the organisation could continue to work through the crisis and develop long-term plans to help affected communities.
Separately, a group of high-profile retailers have joined forces to raise funds for the bushfire appeal, pledging to donate 100 per cent of all profits made on Thursday’s sales to the Red Cross.
More than 45 local and international merchants pledged on Wednesday to donate all profits from the following day’s sales to bushfire victims, in what they said was an effort to make a “real difference” under what they have dubbed the “All In” initiative.
Participating brands include Afterpay, The Iconic, Stussy, Lacoste, eBay, Lee Jeans, Temple and Webster, Wrangler, Ugg and General Pants, along with a host of other retailers. The entire cohort has a collective network of more than 1000 stores.
The companies will also be taking donations from customers both online and in stores.
Some of Australia’s largest technology businesses including Atlassian and Canva have signalled longer-term support for those affected by fires and additional leave provisions for staff affected by fire.
It comes as senior technology leaders, most notably Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, pledge via social media to continue a focus on reducing carbon emissions in the face of extreme weather events.
Canva said it would undertake a variety of projects in the coming year, including donating a week’s image revenue, worth at least $500,000, to the NSW Rural Fire Service and the Red Cross.
With Emma Koehn
Zoe Samios is a media and telecommunications reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Dominic Powell writes about the retail industry for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.