Pakenham residents keep on giving

Despite the pandemic, Pakenham residents continued to give generously to World Vision throughout 2020. Pic: UNSPLASH

By Gabriella Payne

It seems that not even a global pandemic can stand in the way of Pakenham residents’ generosity, as statistics from World Vision Australia reveal that Pakenham was among the top ten Melbourne suburbs that continued to dig deep for charity amid the Covid-19 crisis last year.

Despite being one of Australia’s worst hit cities by Covid lockdowns, residents across Melbourne continued to give generously throughout 2020, seeing our city come out on top as one of the biggest supporters of World Vision’s child sponsorship program.

The new figures from World Vision Australia show that there was a 32 percent increase in Melburnians signing up online to sponsor a child overseas, as compared to a 20 percent increase with Sydney-siders.

Among Victoria’s most generous suburbs was Pakenham – making the top 10 list.

World Vision’s Chief Marketing Officer, Maryanne Tsiatsias, said there appeared to be a correlation between the intensity of Australians’ own experience with the pandemic and their response to, and empathy for, people in more vulnerable communities around the world.

“We wondered at the onset of Covid-19 that, as the focus started to move away from the situation in Australia and other developed nations, whether the attention would inevitably begin to turn to developing nations around the world where the crisis would be much harder to detect and to control,” Ms Tsiatsias said.

“That certainly appears to be true in the case of Melburnians who have turned out to be Australia’s most generous donors during the crisis – particularly the suburb of Pakenham who sits among the top 10 list of most generous Melbourne suburbs .”

Ms Tsiatsias said rather than tightening the purse strings, Australians appeared to have acknowledged the reality that the virus is far higher to combat in vulnerable countries with limited healthcare and little or no social safety net.

“On top of that, you had the prospect of shutdown – or lockdown – induced economic collapse in those countries, which could then fuel huge social unrest and breakdown.

We’re incredibly grateful to the people who have recognised that and helped World Vision in its work to combat the pandemic globally.”

According to World Vision, Melbourne’s top 20 most generous suburbs include:

– Oakleigh East

– Point Cook

– Melbourne CBD

– Glen Waverley

– Pakenham

– Southbank

– Bentleigh

– Richmond

– Kew

– Lalor

– Werribee

– Rowville

– Ferntree Gully

– Altona Meadows

– Craigieburn

– Altona North

– Brunswick

– Frankston

– Cheltenham

– Epping

For more information about child sponsorship, visit