This live event is broadcast over 26 hours from the beautiful city of Perth, from 6.30 pm on a Saturday in October.
This year’s event took place at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC). To date more than 306 million dollars has been raised.
Telethon is truly a unique event with donations constantly coming in via telephone and online and in person, from the public.
The mainstay donors are Western Australian citizens- families, young people, schools, clubs, and other individuals. Businesses and government also contribute.
Each year large corporate businesses and the Australian and Western Australian governments make sizeable donations, and the goal is to top last year’s total.
2018 Telethon raised $38,000,000. That’s thirty-eight million dollars.
Among the trustees of Telethon is Kerry Stokes, Chairman of the Seven Network and Australian Capital Equity, which has interests in media and entertainment, resources, energy, pastoral and mining.
Kerry Stokes has received the Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his contributions to business and philanthropy.
Along with the Honorable Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia, a patron of Telethon is Professor Fiona Stanley. Professor Stanley is trained in maternal and child health epidemiology and public health and has spent her career researching the causes of major childhood illnesses such as birth defects.
She is the founding director of the Telethon Kids Institute, established in Perth in 1990.
The Channel 7 Perth Telethon, simply known as Telethon, was established in 1968 by philanthropists Brian Treasure and Sir James Cruthers.
There are around 50 beneficiaries including the Perth Children’s Hospital. Some donors ask for their contributions to be targeted toward specific endeavours, for example, helping indigenous children.
Each year two children are selected to represent the children of Western Australia who are helped as a result of the money raised by Telethon.
An online auction runs for the duration of the television broadcast, with items donated. They include signed merchandise from football clubs, personal items from stars and celebrities, and unusual or unique items.
Satterley Property Group and New Level Homes provided a beautiful furnished “Telethon house” for auction. This year’s two-storey house in Forrestfield, valued at $800,000 sold for $655,000. Part proceeds will go to Telethon.
The Minderoo Foundation, a “modern philanthropic organisation” founded by Andrew and Nicola Forrest has matched phone donations dollar for dollar, over certain time-frames over the weekend.
Andrew Forrest is Chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, one of the world’s main suppliers of iron ore. Dividends from Fortescue fund Minderoo’s ongoing commitment to philanthropic activities.
There are challenges by corporate bodies, like the HBF Fitness Challenge, stationary bike cycling challenge for individuals and corporate teams, taking place over 24 hours of Telethon.
The Crown Casino sponsors “In It To Win It” activities where TV stars and others have to complete short skill tasks or challenges to “win” a generous donation, which could be $100,000 or more.
The broadcast is interspersed with clips showing the personal stories of children at the Perth Children’s Hospital who benefit from Telethon, and the phenomenal efforts of those who look after un-well and disadvantaged children.
At 5.15 pm on Sunday 27th October, the tally was twenty million and eight hundred and eighty eight!
At the close of Telethon 2019, the total was:
Telethon has come a long way since first raising $104,829 in 1968.
Western Australians, sometimes called “Sandgropers” because of so much coastline along the state, are very generous when it comes to supporting children.
Kerry Stokes’ claim that Western Australia is now Australia’s undisputed leader of community giving is true.