A researcher from The University of Western Australia and advocate for political change in international relations is donating his part-time salary for the year to help an international charity support people in conflict zones and countries most affected by COVID-19.
Professor Mark Beeson from UWA’s School of Social Sciences was about to retire, but instead made the decision to continue working for another year and donate his salary to Médecins Sans Frontières, an international humanitarian charity that helps health professionals undertake vital life-saving work in conflict zones.
Professor Beeson said the pandemic was an example of a crisis that many governments were ill equipped to manage, given its economic and health impacts – issues that were challenging at the best of times.
“I’m in a unique position to be able to make a small difference at a time in my life when earning money is not as important as it once was,” Professor Beeson said.
“I realise not everyone can make a contribution like this, but I think it’s important for us to do all do whatever we can to help, in challenging times like these.”
Professor Beeson said if people worked for 40 or 50 years, donating one year’s salary to the planet and those less fortunate, did not seem unreasonable, and the rewards and impact from such actions could be significant.
“It is difficult to enjoy being comfortable when you know others are not,” Professor Beeson said.
“By global standards, I’m very fortunate. Not only do I live in one of the most secure, well-resourced parts of the planet, but I actually have more money than I need or feel comfortable about squandering, especially given the plight of the growing legions of the less fortunate.”
Professor Beeson said one of the most enduring problems people collectively faced was economic inequality.
“And where governments are becoming less generous with foreign aid, one thing at least some of us can do is to make a modest contribution to global wealth redistribution or volunteer our time to help important causes,” he said.