The names of Australia’s pop stars Dami Im, Cyrus, Taylor Henderson and Stan Walker are attached to a charity under investigation by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
The former reality show stars are amongst the talent hired to perform at Camp Gallipoli Foundation concerts across Australia this weekend.
Fairfax reports that the founder of the Camp Gallipoli Foundation Chris Fox may have profited by charging management fees of up to $1.5 million a year through companies owned by his family and an associate.
In the article published by the Sydney Morning Herald on April 24, one day before ANZAC Day, it is reported that the foundation has been “stripped of its permit to use the protected word ‘ANZAC’.”
The foundation has recruited the entertainment services of pop stars Dami Im, Taylor Henderson, Cyrus, Stan Walker and Louise Adams for its events across Australia on ANZAC Day.
There is no suggestion of any wrong doing on behalf of any of the artists. It is common for artists to perform for their full fee at charity events and in doing so the operations of the charity in no way reflect the business of the artist. However the high profile names draw thousands of fans to the event.
In a media release on April 7 Fox said, “The Camp Gallipoli commemorative events aspire to instil the ANZAC ideals of mateship, courage, inclusiveness and self-sacrifice into the youth of Australia and New Zealand to ensure the unique Anzac Spirit is kept alive for future generations.”
The pop stars then are used as spokespeople for the event. Dami said in her statement, “I performed at the first Camp Gallipoli last year and it was a really special event. As a new Australian, the Anzac spirit is one of the most important things I have learned about since coming here. I can’t wait to sing under the stars with other young Aussies in Brisbane.”
Fox emphasised the ANZAC association with his statements saying in the recent press release, “We are excited to see this event grow as it continues to preserve and foster the Anzac legacy.”
Events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will commence at 5pm today (April 24). From the starting price of $54.95 per student membership the Foundation states “This year for every school student who attends a Gallipoli Club event, a gold coin will be donated towards building a Franco-Australian Pozières School, to recognise Australia’s allegiance with France in WW1” suggesting just $1 or $2 from every $54.95 makes its way to the cause.
Dan Tehan, the Minister for Veteran Affairs, told the Sydney Morning Herald, “ANZAC Day and the word ‘Anzac’ both hold a special place in the hearts of all Australians. My department has now written to Camp Gallipoli advising them their permit to use the word ‘ANZAC’ has been revoked.”
The SMH reports that in 2015 the Foundation hosted around 40,000 people who paid up to $120 each to camp out “just like the diggers did”.
Graham Ingerson of the Camp Gallipoli Foundation told Fairfax, “On behalf of the Camp Gallipoli Foundation, I refute any suggestion made from [the journalists] that any monies, especially funds provided through the ANZAC Centenary Grant in 2015, were used for purposes other than intended.”
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