F1 Star Bottas supports flood damaged preschool
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Formula One star Valtteri Bottas boosts fundraising efforts for Mooroopna Kindergarten

Formula One star Valtteri Bottas boosts fundraising efforts for Mooroopna Kindergarten

by Freya Lucas

April 27, 2023

Finnish Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas, currently driving for Alfa Romeo, recently took time out from his busy touring schedule to visit the Mooroopna Kindergarten, which experienced significant damage during last year’s floods.


Mr Bottas is an advocate for Save the Children, who operate the Kindergarten, and visited to announce the auction of one of his race helmets, designed by Dja Dja Wurrung Artist Ricky Kildea. The funds from the auction will be used to benefit the early learning centre, helping to repair damage and replenish resources.


Mr Kildea is a Dja Dja Wurrung man from the Laanecoorie mob in Central Victoria. His artwork features Bottas’ favourite colour blue, with its patterns a nod to the Alfa Romeo driver’s love of Australia and its culture.


Mooroopna Kindergarten is an early learning centre for First Nations children and those from diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds. Mr Bottas was touched by the purpose of the centre and moved to help given its recent challenges. 

“This place had pretty bad flooding not long ago, so they really had a rough time,” Mr Bottas said. “It’s good to see the kids, see what they’re doing and tell a little bit about my job and answer some of their questions. I learned a lot today, some great stories…met lots of inspiring kids and learned that there’s still lots of work to do to help people.”


Mr Bottas’ visit to the centre was a “ray of hope” for the children and their families, who have been facing tough times due to the floods, cost of living crisis and ongoing impacts of the pandemic, said Save the Children Regional Manager Lee Joachim.


“That someone of his stature would bother to come here, to little old Mooroopna, and talk to the kids after what we’ve suffered, through COVID-19 and floods, and that continual trauma that our families will experience and us as workers will experience as well,” he added.

“We are teaching the children they do have rights and that their families understand their rights as well,” Mr Joachim continued.


“We educate the wider community that children have a right to speak and represent themselves …That’s an important aim for me – coming from an Indigenous background and understanding your rights can be extinguished from you.”

Mr Bottas was presented with a painting made by the children as a thank you, with Save the Children extending “heartfelt thanks” for him taking the time to attend.

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