Celeste Barber’s Response To That $51M Decision Is 2% Disappointment And 98% Positivity

Superstar fundraiser Celeste Barber has addressed the fate of her landmark $51.3 million donation drive, acknowledging community disappointment while praising the ongoing work of the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that funds raised through Barber’s Facebook donation drive must only be used by NSW RFS and Brigades Donation Fund (You can read why here).

In a statement shared last night, Barber said she had “hoped” the funds would be shared more widely, but it “turns out that studying acting at university does not make me a lawmaker.”

But the comedian was quick to recognise how the “very capable, very grateful” NSW RFS will make use of that funding boost.

The life-changing cash drop will allow the organisation to provide for the families of volunteers who died during last summer’s bushfire season, and will provide financial assistance to injured volunteers, she said.

In addition, Barber pointed to new mental health assistance and trauma counselling capabilities, and, of course, a huge boost to equipment and training systems.

The fate of the donation drive, which was administered through a Facebook funding page, had been a source of speculation since the fire season.

A number of Barber’s fans have responded with anger towards the Supreme Court decision, saying they hoped their donations would ultimately be shared more widely.

Despite that no longer being a possibility, Barber maintained her immense praise for the work of the NSW RFS.

“To our volunteer firefighters you are rockstars like no others,” she said.

“You will never know the depth and breadth of our gratitude.”

She also gave a very Barber-esque recap of her response on Instagram Live, too, but you can read her full statement here.