On Tuesday the 3rd of February 2015, Mitch and the MGRA team travelled to Australia Zoo, Berwah, QLD to make a $25,000 donation to the zoo's not-for-profit charity, The Wildlife Warriors.
To annouce the donation Mitch created an artwork which he later named 'Footsteps'. The artwork incorporate a couple of the zoo's friendly animals into the design. A Sulpher-Crested Cockatoo and Koala, took turns in walking accross the piece with white (non toxic) paint on their feet, leaving foot prints over the artwork. Mitch's idea behind this was to represent a dried up billabong with the metaphor of leaving a legacy, as Steve had done.
Reporters from some of Australia's largest media companies came along to cover the event, including Channel 7 News and Dailey Mail. To see the media article released by Dailey Mail, click here.
MITCH GOBEL TESTIMONIAL - TERRI IRWIN
'To date, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital has treated nearly 57,000 wildlife patients, a significant achievement that wouldn’t be possible without donations from caring, environmentally conscious people like Mitch Gobel. At just 23 years old, Mitch’s $25,000 donation from his incredible art sales is a hugely significant contribution for someone so young. It is this type of commitment, passion and awareness which will help to conserve our wildlife and wild places for generations to come which was Steve’s dream and the legacy we continue to live by. Sick and injured wildlife patients who are treated in our world-class wildlife hospital facility cost anywhere from $350 for basic rehabilitation and care up to and even over $5,000 for complicated surgeries and prolonged treatments. I’m so proud of Mitch for his commitment to conservation and applaud him as a true Wildlife Warrior!'
– Terri Irwin, Owner Australia Zoo and Co-Founder of Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors
The name for this piece came to me on the drive into Australia Zoo for the media release of our $25,000 donation to the Wildlife Warriors.
About a year ago, I read the book that Terri had written about Steve’s life. I had the book sitting around for about two months before I could finally bring myself to read it, I only say this because I knew that the ending was going to bring me to tears and it did, I’m not embarrassed to say that even writing this now, I’m crying thinking about it.
Reading that story gave me a real insight into Steve and Terri’s life, that book is the reason I’m in the position that I am today and able to make a difference, be heard and contribute to such an amazing organization.
As my team and I were driving towards Australia Zoo, there were statues, billboards and all sorts of memorabilia dedicated to Steve Irwin. I think that was when the significance of what my team and I had been doing for the last 9 months hit me, it finally felt real.
Just like animals leaving tracks in the mud around a water hole, Steve has left a legacy that I’m sure will last forever and not just last but flourish, thanks to his family.
This is ‘Footsteps’.
This Artwork will be availale at the Wildlife Warriors 2015 Gala dinner. For more information or sales enquires please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vision Project
A huge amount of time, work and money was put into making this donation possible. The project took 6 months before the auction and a further 3 months before the officail donation was made.
Mitch personally put a total of $39,000 into the project covering, materials, filming, PR work, travelle cost's for the team and a range of other expenses not including his time before making the $25,000 donation. Totaling $64,000 for the project.