Billionaire philanthropist James Packer has strongly backed the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) with donations totaling $250,000 since the beginning of the year.
Packer’s generosity has been matched by others with a number of significant donations flowing to the ARM in 2016.
"We warmly thank James Packer for his generosity," said ARM Chair Peter FitzSimons.
"It is one of many donations we have received from Australians, the smallest of which was $2, and was very touching. Another donor, who chooses to remain anonymous, has given a very hefty sum, and we warmly thank him, too."
The fundraising success comes on the back of huge 12 months for the Movement.
August marked one year since Peter FitzSimons was announced as ARM Chair. In that time, community support for an Australian republic has lifted back above 50 per cent according to Newspoll, with many more Australians undecided.
The influx of funds has enabled the ARM to rapidly ramp up its operations while overhauling its fee structure to make membership affordable to even more Australians. The ramping up includes appointing a new Campaign Director, Sandy Biar, who is charged with taking the resurgent republican campaign into homes and offices around the nation.
Sandy comes to the ARM from digital firm IMGE. In this role, he has worked with the Liberal Party and National Party on multiple state and federal elections campaigns.
“Street by street and tweet by tweet, Sandy is going to take the republican cause to places it’s never been before” said FitzSimons. “By the time he’s done, even the town of Elizabeth will be republican!” he continued.
FitzSimons concluded by stating: “James Packer is arguably the biggest recruit to republican ranks since the Prime Minister himself. With James’ support, we have the potential to galvanise our fellow Australians and break this campaign wide open”.