Offended Australians spark billboard fundraising drive

Muslim girls Australia day billboard qms advertising gofundme campaign
The young girls featured on the billboard (Victorian Government)

Thousands of dollars have been raised to reinstate an Australian billboard featuring two Muslim girls, after the company which put it up reportedly received threats.

The digital billboard featuring the girls celebrating Australia Day was situated along a Melbourne motorway, and was taken down on Tuesday after threats were allegedly received by outdoor advertising company QMS.  

muslim girls australia day campaign billboard melbourne
The digital billboard featuring the young girl's image was removed on Tuesday. (Victoria Government)

This led to a wave of support for the image plastered by the company and over NZ$100,000 being raised to bring the billboard back.

Dee Madigan, who set up a Gofundme page for the cause, told 9News the image of the two girls was a candid image taken in Melbourne last year and was not staged. 

Ms Madigan said the girls and their parents were "quite upset" after being labelled "un-Australian", and fear they could become targets for those angered by their inclusion on the billboard.  

Ms Madigan said the it's hoped the money raised will be used to run advertisements in newspapers across Australia, with a goal to have the image placed in every city.

Any left over money from the campaign fundraising will be distributed to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. 

Some have used the billboard as an opportunity to speak out against Australia Day, which is marked on January 26 - the day British ships first arrived in New South Wales in 1788.

Aboriginal communities in particular see it as the day their culture and rights were lost to colonists.