Community digs deep to help beloved Elder’s recovery
THOUSANDS have been raised to help beloved elder Uncle Peter.
Peter Birch Marshal, known as Uncle Peter and Jungala, had part of a leg amputated on Monday night following health issues associated with the limb.
Known for his traditional dance prowess, he's graced the stages of Bluesfest and is a much-loved Byron man.
Paul Waters launched a Gofundme page to help with his recovery. He was initially aiming for a $10,000 goal but has since upped that to $25,000.
At the time of publication, $6287 had been gathered from 50 separate donations within the two days since the fundraising page was launched.
Individual donations have spanned from $20 into the thousands.
"We're getting some very strong support. I've spoken to people who said they're going to chip in quite heavily," Mr Waters said.
Mr Waters said Uncle Peter is known as someone who bridges the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous communities and is well-loved by the local business community and in the music industry.
"We're thinking, if we can raise enough money, to do a number of things," Mr Waters said.
"One in particular would be to source and fit the best quality high-tech prosthetic leg that money can buy.
"We just thought we need to so something more substantial than saying nice things on social media.
"There's nothing more positive than raising a good sum of money to make his life after this a little bit better."
The funds are also expected to go towards rehabilitation and other support while he heals from the procedure.
Uncle Peter was named the Byron Shire's Elder of the Year in the 2015 NAIDOC Week Awards.
While some donors have been anonymous, those who've given to the cause so far include prominent Byron business identities and local councillors.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/peter-birch-marshal-jungala.