Over TWD$1 million was raised in less than 3 hours last week at a special bushfire appeal in Taipei, which brought together supporters ranging from a Taiwanese social media star to local firefighters and a who’s who of Taiwanese business.

Organised by TIQ Taiwan in conjunction with the Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Austrade, the event highlighted the strength of the Queensland-Taiwan connection.

Taiwanese/Australian actress and social media star Hannah Quinlivan, who has family on Queensland’s Gold Coast, promoted the event to her more than 2.3 million social media followers.

Ms Quinlivan is married to Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou, with the pair one of the country’s best-known showbusiness couples.

Ms Quinlivan’s social media posts promoting the appeal, which featured video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation, received over 350,000 views.

Ms Quinlivan and the Mayor of New Taipei City also signed copies of a calendar featuring Taiwanese and Australian firefighters, which was auctioned at the event.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said TIQ was proud to support the appeal, which demonstrated the close bond between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We were proud to support the event in any way we could,’ he said.

‘That ranged from obtaining the video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation for Hannah’s social media posts and sourcing the calendars for auctioning from the Australian Firefighters Calendar company on the Gold Coast, to inviting clients along to the event itself.

‘On the night, we really saw the strength of the personal, community and business relationships between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We had Taiwanese people in the room who had been to Queensland for work, study or holidays, some for shorter and some for longer periods, but they had all created true lifelong connections.

‘And those connections translated into real generosity.’

Significant donations were received on the night from a range of high-profile Taiwanese businesses, including a number with Queensland connections invited by TIQ.

These included Yuteh Private School (the only Queensland-recognised school in Taiwan), Eslite Hotel (managed by a former Queensland working holidaymaker) and Taishin Bank (which has a branch in Brisbane with major investments in Australia).

All funds raised from the appeal will go to the Red Cross to support recovery efforts for the unprecedented bush fires in Australia.

The event was held at Little Creatures Taipei on 16 January 2020.

TIQ Taiwan is one of TIQ’s 16 international offices promoting Queensland trade and investment in 12 markets around the world.