Mateo Leclerc turned 7 in late December and decided that in lieu of gifts he would raise funds for Queensland Koala Crusaders instead.

Mateo’s party guests were invited to donate to this worthy cause rather than bring the traditional gifts that most 7 year olds would expect.


From left: Yann, Christine, Lisa, Mateo and Stephane Leclerc with Murray Munro and Meghan Halverson. With Gypsy the koala.


When asked why he chose to raise funds for koalas, Mateo said “With the fires across Australia and native wildlife in trouble I felt like helping koalas and asking my friends to help too”.

Close family friend, Murray Munro heard about this and set about arranging a special visit to Wildlife HQ Zoo on the Sunshine Coast. They were more than happy to support Mateo and his efforts.

Having never met a koala up close before, the opportunity for Mateo along with his parents and grandparents to get up close and personal with Gypsy the koala was an absolute treat.

Mateo’s guests donated a total of $175 which was then matched by his parents Stephane and Lisa Leclerc and his grandparents visiting from France chipping in to bring the total to $370.

The Ambassador for Queensland Koala Crusaders, Meghan Halverson was also in attendance and gratefully received the donations on the day while spending time with Mateo and his family.

Queensland Koala Crusaders are working to help stem the rapid decline of wild koala populations across the state, and to help find sustainable solutions to ensure a promising future for koalas.

With the recent devasting fires, their work is even more vital. Meghan advised that “the funds raised by Mateo and his family will go towards a koala sanctuary which is the charity’s major project in the near future”.


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