Fundraising page set up for family of Christchurch victim Areeb Ahmed

28 March 2019

The New Zealand branch of PwC has established a fundraising page for the family of Areeb Ahmed, a former employee who was killed during the tragic events in Christchurch.

PwC in New Zealand has set up a fundraising page for the family of Pakistan-born employee Areeb Ahmed, who perished along with 49 others during the racially-motivated attacks on two mosques in Christchurch earlier this month. To date, the fundraiser has raised a total of NZ$113,000 from more than 920 donations. One contributor noted that Ahmed was the only source of income for his family in Karachi.

“It is with much sadness that PwC has learned, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan, of the passing of colleague and friend Areeb Ahmed, as a result of the tragic events in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019,” the professional services firm said in an earlier public statement. A chartered accountant, Ahmed joined PwC last year as a senior associate in the firm’s local Assurance practice.

“We are devastated by these tragic events and the loss of one of our colleagues. There are really no words. Areeb was a much loved member of our team and it seems so unfair that his life has been cut short in such awful circumstances, said Mark Averill, CEO at PwC New Zealand, with the firm adding in a statement that Ahmed’s “smile, warmth, dedication, respect and humour will be deeply missed.”Areeb AhmedAverill continued; “Like many, we’re finding it so hard to believe that this has happened in New Zealand and in Christchurch. Let’s hope that we can restore and retain the safe environment that we all value so highly here in New Zealand.” The statement finished, “PwC’s thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Muslim community and their families, and all people affected by this terrible event.”

One of nine Pakistanis killed during the terror-spree, Ahmed’s body has now been returned to his home-city of Karachi and received by his father Syed Ejaz Ahmed and grieving relatives, having since been laid to rest. According to reports, Ahmed had only moved to New Zealand in the past 18 months, in an effort to support his family, and had just entered the mosque immediately prior to the outbreak of shooting.

“Areeb was a true gentleman in every respect. You taught us all something. We miss you mate but we will never forget you,” wrote one colleague and donor to the fundraising page, which is being hosted on the local non-for-profit platform Givealittle. With an open goal, donations to Ahmed’s family of any amount can still be made on the page found here.


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Director at FTI Consulting Australia gears up to cycle country for charity

15 November 2018

Robert Gemmell, Director at the Australian branch of FTI Consulting has teamed up with mate Ray Choong to cycle the country. The duo will push themselves over a distance of 14,000kms for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Under the banner, Cycle the Nation for Your Donation, Robert Gemmell and Ray Choong will set off on the first stage of their trip from Brisbane to Townsville. The campaign will begin on the 3rd of May 2019.

This is however, not the first time the pair has set off on an adventure in an attempt to raise funds for children’s charities. Gemmell and Choong have previously cycling the entire length of Japan as well as from Singapore, along the west coast of Malaysia to the Thailand border. They’ve rowed around part of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and have run the London Marathon.

All in all, the events combined have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Now, they aim to shoot higher than before and aim in seven digits.

For Cycle the Nation for Your Donation, they hope to raise over $1 million for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, which is an integral part of the Australian healthcare system. In the past year the charity conducted 426,000 Starlight experiences for children and their families and granted 525 life-changing Starlight Wishes.


Starlight expanse since its conception in 1988 has spread throughout the nation and now every single children’s hospital in the country has a Starlight Express Room. The charity brightens the lives of seriously ill children, adolescents and their families by replacing pain, fear and stress with fun, joy and laughter.

The FTI Consulting Director, outside his charitable cycling career, has been with the firm for the past two years. Prior to his stint with the independent global business advisory firm, worked with Aquenta Consulting (a Jacobs company) as Regional Manager of Queensland.

He has extensive experience transcending between management consulting, law and engineering and holds a Masters in construction law from Stanford University’s Law School.

Although the ride is still a couple of months off, Australian pro-surfer and Starlight Ambassador Mick Fanning has reached out to the duo. “Just want to wish Robert and Ray who are cycling the nation for your donation a huge good luck.”

“What you’re doing is incredible and raising money for starlight in such needed areas is just incredible. So thank you, good luck, power on and keep your eyes on the road,” said Fanning on a video recently posted on Facebook.