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The Burnt Christmas Tree

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Over the past few weeks, the bushfires across Australia have cast a shadow on what should be the most festive time of year. To show the human cost of this devastation, but importantly hope for the resilience and recovery of our communities, a burnt Christmas tree has been built in Sydney’s CBD. Designed by Scoundrel’s James Dive, the tree was crafted entirely with logs, branches and shrubs sourced from bushfire-affected areas of New South Wales. Produced in partnership with the City of Sydney and the Australian Red Cross, Scoundrel, DDB Sydney, as well as its key partners Volkswagen Group Australia, Westpac and McDonald’s, created The Burnt Christmas Tree to raise funds for Red Cross and their ongoing efforts to help people prepare for, cope with, and recover from disasters. The tree is also decorated with burnt objects like a farm gate and bicycle and is topped with a star fashioned from a burnt-out bike wheel. 

These objects exist alongside signs of regeneration, including banksia seeds which require fire to sprout. 

While the public are viewing the tree, they’re encouraged to listen to an audio tour reflecting on the experiences of Australians whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the fires. From today until Thursday 19 December, people can visit and make a donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund by tapping their card on the presents beneath the tree.

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