Celeste Barber volunteers for RFS as fundraiser hits $35 million

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Celeste Barber and husband Api Robin were spotted getting hands-on at an RFS charity drive. Photo: Media Mode

Celeste Barber has not only put her money where her mouth is, she is helping out on the ground, today spotted volunteering at a local RFS drop off point.

As her jaw-dropping fundraiser for the NSW RFS hits its latest goal of $35 million, the Aussie comic and international internet sensation has been spotted lending a hand at a charity drive location along with ‘hot husband’ Api Robin near their Central Coast home.

The star was spotted packaging donations at the local drop off. Photo: Media Mode

The actress has officially cemented her place as a bonafide Aussie legend this week after her ambitious fundraiser originally looking to raise a quarter of a million dollars for bushfire relief ballooned into a $35 million extravaganza, which you can donate to here.

Not content with being behind the single, largest fundraiser for the devastating fires so far, the mum of four got her hands dirty on the ground today, packing boxes, organising donations and raising awareness.

Celeste also used her influential social media to spread the word. photo: Media Mode

Aside from donating essential items like water and packaged food themselves, Celeste and Api were seen coordinating and organising donations the copious donated goods already waiting in the centre.

Celeste also tapped into her 6.5 million follower social media following to spread the word, highlighting donations the centre needed on her Instagram story, namely box and tape to transport the goods.

Celeste has been praised for lending a hand in every way imaginable. Photo: Media Mode

The impressive effort for the community has garnered the comedian a new legion of fans; desperate Aussies battling the fires and looking for a silver lining amidst the devastation.

Other Aussie personalities have taken to social media to praise the herculean effort Celeste has pulled off, some taking a potshot or two at other Australian figures in the process.

So who is the comedian tackling Australia’s bushfires with such fervour, and where did she come from?

Who is Celeste Barber?

Celeste Barber is an 'overnight success 15 years in the making. Photo: Getty Images

The comedian has legions of fans across the world, following a meteoric rise over the past two years thanks to her popular Instagram photo series, Challenge Accepted.

The series features Celeste, a normal-looking woman, recreating photos shared by models, celebrities and fashion icons with a healthy dose of her trademark honesty.

Contrary to popular belief, however, the Aussie actress is no overnight success story but a case of slow and steady wins the race, with a rapidly accelerating sprint at the end.

With many layers to her success, and a few surprising facts that have slipped through the cracks, here’s what you need to know about the emerging favourite for Australian of the Year.

A five-year project on Instagram

Celeste in one of her most iconic 'Challenge Accepted' photos. Photo: Instagram/celestebarber

Celeste may have shot to fame with the Challenge Accepted series in the past couple of years, but she actually started doing the posts five years ago, in January 2015.

The very first post was a version of a stock yoga image, and captioned ‘I’m starting a thing’.

That ‘thing’ last snowballed into a global phenomenon with celebrities from Reese Witherspoon to Marion Cotillard to Gwyneth Paltrow to Rosie Huntington-Whitely sharing, commenting and promoting the Aussie’s hilarious recreations.

Once a friendship was struck with US designer Tom Ford after he spotted a parody the comic had done of his own campaign video, Celeste was propelled onto an international stage.

With several videos shot with the designer under her belt, she even walked the runway at the iconic designer’s New York Fashion Week show, in a move dubbed game-changing by fans and fashionistas alike.

She took her wildly popular brand of comedy on the road in 2019 with a 32- date show across the US as well as the popular book, Challenge Accepted! 253 Steps to becoming an anti-it girl.

Celeste wasn’t always a funny woman with fans across the globe however, many fans are surprised to learn she got her start on homegrown Aussie dramas and considers herself an actress first and foremost.

Aussie drama roots

Celeste starred in Aussie drama All Saints for four years. Photo: Seven

Celeste kicked off her career playing paramedic Bree Matthews on All Saints in 2004.

She left the show after an impressive four-year stint in 2009, going on to join Aussie comedy series How Not to Behave’s ensemble cast.

The show hosted by Matt Okine and Gretel Killeen, showed off Celeste’s comedic chops and premiered in 2015, the same year she undertook her Challenge Accepted social photos.

While her social media presence has now dominated the comedian’s resumé, she still has time for her Aussie acting roots.

Celeste popped up on Netflix playing a new mother on The Letdown. Photo: Netflix

The star popped back up on the Aussie silver screen on the ABC series The Letdown in 2017, which is now streamed on Netflix.

With 6.5 million Instagram followers now to her name, a best-selling book and talks of work in LA the Aussie may be moving on up, but she hasn’t let that deter her from the work that made her famous, her most recent Challenge Accepted post proving that taking herself too seriously is nowhere on the cards.

New horizons for a longtime star in the making

Best summed up by the woman herself, Celeste described herself to Now To Love as, “an overnight sensation 15 years in the making”.

Also a mum of two, step-mum to two and proud wife to the man she calls her ‘Hot Husband’, Central Coast-based Celeste is the everywoman the internet didn’t know it needed.

Now she has become a galvanising force for Australia, with praise for her efforts reaching such fever pitch, some are even calling for her to run for Prime Minister.

With no current word from the woman, perhaps we are best to defer to an old, but relevant quote from a chat with The Guardian in 2017.

Speaking of future plans she said, “then I’ll run for president or something. Well, it turns out any numpty can do it, so why not?”.

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