Bunbury opened its heart and its wallets, raising more than $9,000 in a fundraising appeal for Ukraine held in the city at the weekend.
The event planned and organised by the Bunbury, South Bunbury, and Bunbury Leschenault Rotary clubs saw a crowd of about 100 in attendance at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Friday, April 8.
Two guest speakers from Perth spoke to the crowd about the history of Ukraine and its relationship to Russia, from more than 1000 years ago to the present.
Bunbury local John Sherwood was MC for the event; his long-time connection with the first speaker was instrumental in the fundraising event.
Bohdan Mykytiuk, born at Holden Immigration camp, Northam, after his parents fled Ukraine and came to Australia as refugees in 1949, spoke first.
The crowd was transfixed as he spoke of invasions and persecution dating back to the 10th century.
Having delivered a history lesson, the former teacher then became emotional as he spoke of the present-day life in Ukraine.
He said he was in constant contact with many young people he knew.
"I was asked by young people I speak to for guns, ammunition, and bombs."
Olena Yukhymets fled the Ukraine city of Donetsk in 2014 after a Russian invasion and now lives in WA spoke of her experience and the current situation in Ukraine.
In front of slides showing the horrors of the war, she spoke of rape and murder of innocents and the continued attacks on the civilian population.
Her graphic descriptions drew audible gasps from the crowd.