The founder of a Melbourne-based IT services provider has donated over $100,000 to residents of Sydney's south-western suburb of Campbelltown after appearing on channel Nine's The Secret Millionaire program.
Karl Redenbach, founder of nSynergy, which came fourth in the 2009 CRN Fast50, handed student Nellie Dargan a $50,000 cheque to help launch her singing career; $30,000 to young Dawson Ko who lost his vision at 15 and $26,000 to Wayne Potts manager at the Minto Cobras Rugby League club to repair fire damage.
The program, which aired on Monday night, sends "millionaires" undercover into impoverished neighbourhoods for 10 days with $20 spending allowance a day. Redenbach, who told residents he was filming a documentary in the area, spent time with local community members, which eventually led him to meet the three individuals he later decided to help financially.
Redenbach, 33, co-founded Microsoft-partner nSynergy in his bedroom nearly 10 years ago and now has more than 240 clients globally. Described by the show's narrator as the "multi-million dollar corporate guru", Redenbach, left his family's South Yarra home for a granny-flat in Campbelltown for the show. Having himself grown up in Melbourne's outer suburbs he said he worked hard to gain his law degree before opening his own business.
"I'm happy that I think the people I've chosen really do need it. I think I can actually make a difference in their lives. I thought I was here to help people but believe it or not I probably am going to end up drawing more out of this than in some ways them," he said on the show.
Redenbach was moved by Dargan's singing voice and motivation to stay in school despite her difficulties with drug-addicted parents. "With an opportunity, she'll go for it," he said.
He gave $30,000 to young Dawson Ko who recovered from a suicide attempt which led him to build a social network for visually impaired youth. Redenbach also offered Ko a role at nSynergy.
He also gave $26,000 to the Minto Cobras Rugby League club after a fire burnt down the club house along with club jerseys and its main source of income - the canteen.
When handing over the cheques Redenbach said it "was like a roller-coaster of emotions but to see the expressions on people's faces you can't explain in words."