To support the conservation of Australia's threatened wildlife and ecosystems, John Swire & Sons (Australia) Pty committed AU$400,000 over five years, commencing in 2013, to employ a dedicated field ecologist at Brooklyn Wildlife Sanctuary, which is owned and managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). AWC is establishing a new model for conservation focused on practical land management - such as fire management and feral animal control - informed by the best available science. The 60,000 hectare Brooklyn Wildlife Sanctuary, located in far north Queensland, is the most biodiverse parcel of private land in Australia, where 45% of the country's bird species and over 30% of its native mammal species can be found. The sanctuary protects more threatened species than any other nature refuge in Australia. The partnership between AWC and Swire is important in helping to stop and reverse the decline of Australia's precious natural assets.
We have a long history of community involvement. We believe that when the communities in which we operate prosper, so do our business. We cannot help everyone, so we concentrate on projects where we can make the most difference. The Swire Education Trust in the U.K. and The Swire Group Charitable Trust in Hong Kong focus on support to arts and culture, education and the environment. We also support projects financially and by donating products, services and the time and energy of our staff.
Since 2006, the Swire Group Charitable Trust has been principal patron of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Swire's aim is to help foster the artistic development of local classical musicians and bring classical music to a wider public, thereby enriching the lives of the communities which have helped its businesses grow.
Swire Symphony under the Stars, which is a free, open-air concert held every year in Hong Kong, is one of the most important elements of the Orchestra's dedicated drive to open out the arts to the wider community, bringing spectacular symphonic music to over 15,000 people in Hong Kong every year.
Since 2011, Swire group volunteers have supported the production of "Swire JAM" following Chinese New Year, in collaboration with the Hong Kong St. James' Settlement (SJS) People's Food Bank. In light of Swire JAM's success, in 2016, Swire teamed up with SJS again for another meaningful initiative. With the help of over 100 Swire volunteers, kumquats collected from Chinese New Year displays at Swire Properties' shopping malls and offices were upcycled into handcrafted soaps. Some of the soaps were donated to underprivileged families supported by SJS, while around 300 bars of soap were sold to Swire staff members as a fundraiser, raising over HK$8,000 for SJS's People's Food Bank.