Mystery donation: $325,000 given for major project
HUNDREDS of thousands of dollars have been raised in a crowd-funding effort to launch a new mobile wildlife hospital.
The Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital is to be the largest mobile facility of its kind in Australia.
A crowd-funding campaign to support the endeavour has raised more than $574,000 from 213 donors across a four week campaign.
This included a $50,000 donation from the Gold Coast-based ACME Foundation, $30,000 from Odonata.org, $100,000 from Hong-Kong based Loke Foundation and $325,000 from an anonymous donor.
Businesses supporting the initiative through cash and in-kind support have included Ballina RSL Club, Seven Mile Brewing Co and Crystalbrook Collection
"We're just thrilled that our crowd-funding campaign inspired the generosity of hundreds of people around the world, especially in such a turbulent year," Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital founder and CEO Dr Stephen Van Mil said.
"This enables us to move straight into construction of the Mobile Wildlife Hospital, which we plan to have up and running by end of September ahead of bushfire season, when the need will be greatest."
The hospital has commissioned Gold Coast-based Vansite to custom-build the 14.4m long mobile hospital from the ground up.
That work will be in collaboration with Gallagher Engineering.
"We build over fifty trailers and vans for commercial and industrial clients a year, and this is one of the largest builds we've undertaken," Vansite managing director Grant Gasnier said.
"It's certainly the most unique, and because it's for such an important cause, we're honoured to be involved."
The mobile facility has been designed by Byron Bay design firm Sanctuary Design Studio.
The firm's founder, Fiona Gibson, said they were thrilled to be involved.
"We're delighted to be part of the team creating this incredibly important facility," Ms Gibson said.
"Our focus is on sustainable and regenerative architecture, so enabling specialist veterinarians to provide critical care for wildlife is central to our design objectives."
The self-contained, powered mobile hospital will feature state-of-the-art medical equipment for emergency response, treatment and diagnostics to support critical wildlife care.
It will be based on the Northern Rivers, with the capacity to be mobilised to respond to injured and traumatised wildlife.
It's expected the group will be able to work in conjunction with wildlife rescue organisations and conservation groups.
Along with the mobile hospital, there are plans to build an "extensive bricks and mortar treatment and rehabilitation centre" in Ewingsdale.
Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital Ltd (BBWH) is a not-for-profit company committed to prevent extinction and decline of native species and maximise their chances of long-term recovery will operate to facilitate immediate response to wildlife in crisis anywhere in Australia.