(Pictured: Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer, the chief executive of the $43 billion First State Super, has long been a supporter of Australia for UNHCR. He urges his colleagues in the financial services industry to support the organization on World Refugee Day, this Friday, June 20. And he has some good reasons.
Dwyer applauds the industry for its assistance in helping Australia for UNHCR raise over $100 million to help refugees during its short history. Australia for UNHCR, which was founded in 2000, reached that target in March this year and is now one of the fastest growing charities in Australia.
“So anyone who tries to paint the picture that Australians don’t care about refugees – that’s not true. And the finance and superannuation industry can hold its head high, as a result of its strong and continuing support of Australia for UNHCR,” Dwyer says.
Michael Dwyer has been a board member of Australia for UNHCR since 2000 and says his support was first sparked when he visited refugees in Dili in East Timor and was inspired by their resilience and their generosity.
“Over those years I have been even more inspired by the support from people in our industry – so the journey has been an exciting one, which I have shared with hundreds, if not thousands, of our colleagues,” he says.
Dwyer also has a personal story through his own family’s relationship with Australia for UNHCR Special Representative Aminata Conteh-Biger.
“Australia can be proud of the achievements of this young woman – what a contribution she has made, and is making, to our country, and many other countries, through her work for Australia for UNHCR,” he says.
Australia for UNHCR will be holding a breakfast at the Westin Sydney on Friday to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships faced by refugees and displaced people around the world.
“By attending – you are taking a couple of hours out of your busy schedule to stop and think about a real issue (often a dilemma) and how the world, including Australia, is dealing with it,” Dwyer says.
“It will allow you to be informed on the facts and perhaps lead you to make a better judgment of the issue, rather than rely on sometimes biased or sensationalized media stories. And by attending – it shows you care about those less fortunate.”