Red Cross & DDB Sydney Team Up To Create “The Burnt Christmas Tree”

Red Cross & DDB Sydney Team Up To Create “The Burnt Christmas Tree”

Over the past few weeks, the bushfires across Australia have cast a shadow on what should be the most festive time of year.

To show the human cost of this devastation, but importantly hope for the resilience and recovery of our communities, a burnt Christmas tree has been built in Sydney’s CBD.

Designed by Scoundrel’s James Dive, the tree was crafted entirely with logs, branches and shrubs sourced from bushfire-affected areas of New South Wales.

The tree is also decorated with burnt objects like a farm gate and bicycle and is topped with a star fashioned from a burnt-out bike wheel. These objects exist alongside signs of regeneration, including banksia seeds which require fire to sprout.

While the public are viewing the tree, they’re encouraged to listen to an audio tour reflecting on the experiences of Australians whose lives have been thrown into chaos by the fires.

Produced in partnership with the City of Sydney, Scoundrel and DDB Sydney, as well as its key partners Volkswagen Group Australia, Westpac and McDonald’s, created the Burnt Christmas Tree to raise funds for the Australian Red Cross and their ongoing efforts to help people prepare for, cope with, and recover from disasters.

From today until Thursday 19 December, people can visit and make a donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund by tapping their card on the presents beneath the tree.

DDB Sydney Chief Creative Officer Tara Ford says: “The devastation to families and community is beyond what many of us can even comprehend. We hope this twist on the traditional symbol of giving and joy at this time of year will help capture people’s attention and provide them with an easy way to donate.”

Artist James Dive says: “From arms’ length it can be difficult to comprehend the true impact of the bushfires on the ground. The act of collecting and building the tree from remnants of the fires has been sobering.”

“We all want to help, and right now generosity is needed towards those who’ve lost everything, especially at this time of year.”


DDB Sydney

Ben Welsh – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Australia
Tara Ford – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Sydney
Matt Chandler – Deputy Executive Creative Director

David Jackson – Creative Partner
Elaine Li – Art Director
Jared Wicker – Copywriter

Ramon Rodriguez – Senior Designer

Renata Barbosa – Head of Integrated Content

Silas Basich – Editor

Andy Stewart – Senior Sound Designer

Mango Sydney

Managing Director – Tabitha Fairbairn

Head of Consumer – Ben Handberg

Senior Account Manager – Gina Leung


Production – Scoundrel

Artist – James Dive

Executive Producer – Adrian Shapiro

Director BTS – Selina Miles

Construction – Greg Sets

Red Cross Australia

Director Engagement & Support – Belinda Dimovski .

Head of Marketing & Communications – Astrid Mallard

Emergency Campaigns Manager – Kate Moore

Marketing & Campaign Coordinator – Sarah Gallagher

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