Human Interest Sydney Opera House Honors Firefighters by Projecting Images of 'Hope and Strength' on Landmark The Sydney Opera House said the images were being displayed to "thank the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage" By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Twitter Joelle Goldstein is a TV Staff Editor for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for nearly five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle oversees all things TV and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians and America's Got Talent for "work". Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on January 13, 2020 05:11 PM Share Tweet Pin Email The Sydney Opera House is showing its support for the firefighters amid the catastrophic wildfires in Australia. On Saturday night, the landmark projected images of the heroic first responders who continue to risk their lives each and every day as they work to contain the fires burning across New South Wales. Four photos were brightly displayed across the opera houses’ sails — three of which showed firefighters standing together and interacting with community members in need. One image captured an emotional moment between a first responder and a woman who were embraced in a tight hug. Another photo showed a handwritten sign with hearts that read “Thank You Firies,” the Australian nickname for firefighters. “Tonight, we are illuminating the Sydney Opera House sails to show our support for everyone affected by the Australian bushfires,” the Sydney Opera House tweeted. “We want to send a message of hope and strength, and importantly to thank the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage.” Don Arnold/Getty ‘My Heart Goes Out to Our Friends and Family in Oz’: How Celebs Are Helping Combat the Devastation in Australia The touching tribute first appeared on the sails at around 8:30 p.m. local time and remained on display until 11 p.m., according to The Sydney Morning Herald. In a statement to the outlet, the Opera House’s chief executive Louise Herron echoed their tweet and said that “as difficult circumstances continue,” the images were meant to “send a message of hope and strength to the people of Australia.” “We are lighting the Opera House sails to show our collective support for everyone affected by these devastating fires and to express our deepest gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers for their incredible efforts and courage,” Herron added. Besides showing their support externally, the Opera House is set to host a comedy gala fundraiser in partnership with Live Nation on March 16 called Comedy Steps up For Bushfire Relief, according to the Morning Herald. A number of Australian and international performers, including American comedian Arj Barker and The Simpsons star Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns), are expected to perform at the fundraiser, which will take place on the Opera House Steps. All proceeds will go to several bushfire causes, including the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund, the NSW Rural Fire Service, Wildlife Victoria, and WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization, the Morning Herald reported. Since September, at least 27 people have been killed while a whopping 12 million acres have been wiped out, destroying hundreds of homes and buildings. A seven-day state of emergency was declared on Dec. 23. As of Sunday night, the NSW Rural Fire Service confirmed that there were still 105 bush and grass fires burning across the region — 38 of which were not yet contained. Last week, ecologists from the University of Sydney said over 1 billion animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, are feared dead from the crisis. Click here for more information on how to help those affected by the Australian fires.