Commentary

Sea Shepherd Australia receives Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Charity status

Friday, May 15, 2020

"There’s more that unites us than divides us”

- A commentary on receiving DGR by Sea Shepherd Australia's Managing Director Jeff Hansen

On the 4th March 2020, Sea Shepherd Australia Public Fund was granted Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) charity status with the Register of Environmental Organisations (REO). This Public Fund is wholly owned by Sea Shepherd Australia Limited.

This means that supporters can now claim donations off their taxable income

This has been a long time coming and a drawn-out process that goes back to when Sea Shepherd Australia Limited was first established in Australia back in 2007.

Thanks to everyone that has enabled Sea Shepherd Australia Public Fund to be granted its Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) charity status, with the Register of Environmental Organisations.

Many people over the years have donated their time and expertise along the way, be that in our initial application in the Animal Welfare category or more recently with the Register of Environmental Organisations (REO).

I would like to acknowledge and greatly thank the following selfless people that have played big and small, yet critical roles in getting our DGR across the line:

Barrister Jonathan Korman and Solicitor John McMullan who took our application in the Animal Welfare category all the way up to applying for leave of the High Court of Australia. 

Graham Wells and Michael Vertes in assisting the Sea Shepherd Australia Board in our application for the Register of Environmental Applications and all other board and advisory board members that assisted.

Austral Fisheries CEO David Carter, who invited Sea Shepherd to present at two Western Australian state liberal conferences, showcasing the work Sea Shepherd is doing in cleaning up our beaches in tackling ocean plastics while working with Indigenous rangers, our work tackling illegal fishing with our government partnerships or providing critical information to Interpol. Presenting at these conferences was instrumental in showcasing the groundbreaking credible and legitimate work Sea Shepherd is doing globally. 

I would also like to acknowledge key political representatives and their offices for their assistance. At a state and federal level within the Liberal Party like Federal Environment Minister the Hon Sussan Ley, key Labor members like Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson MP and key Greens leaders like the ever-supportive Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. 

I would also like to acknowledge Senator Jacqui Lambie and Rebekah Sharkie MP for their assistance as well. I would also like to acknowledge former speaker of the House Ron Edwards and former Federal Environment Minister the Hon Ian Campbell.

All these wonderful people’s support will be rewarded ten-fold with DGR being a real game changer in assisting Sea Shepherd Australia in raising the necessary funds to continue to defend, conserve and protect our oceans. Be that working with governments around the world, defending the livelihoods of artesian fishermen or working with First Australians on the frontline in the war on ocean plastics in Arnhem Land. Sea Shepherd will always strive to remain a lean and effective movement for the oceans producing tangible results. Given most of the air that we breathe comes from our oceans, ultimately what Sea Shepherd is doing benefits us all.

Sea Shepherd crew working alongside Dhimurru Indigenous Rangers on a remote beach clean-up in Arnhem Land
The Sea Shepherd vessel the M/V Steve Irwin on campaign in the Great Australian Bight
Sea Shepherd on campaign in The Kimberley in Western Australia in 2012
Sea Shepherd crew on the water during our shark defence campaign, Operation Apex Harmony
Sea Shepherd crew on Operation Reef Defence as part of the #StopAdani Alliance

All in all, I have found this road to DGR so inspiring in regards to the many wonderful people, of all walks of life and backgrounds, that have assisted in making this outcome possible. It shows that not only do they see the importance of the work that Sea Shepherd is doing, but they also see the urgency of protecting our oceans. 

"I'm so humbled by the fact that our wonderful supporters, that have facilitated such great work for the oceans and future generations, can now claim their donations at tax time."

- Jeff Hansen

This has re-enforced my feelings that at the end of the day, there is more that unites us than divides us and given what happens to our oceans and natural life support systems impacts us all and all life, we should - and must - work together.

Jeff Hansen on Kangaroo Island in South Australia
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