Supporting Local Youth Leader

In this job I get many requests for support from community groups and individuals. While I support as many as I can, there are some requests which stand out as being very worthy of support.

Toby’s was one of these.

He’s a volunteer lifesaver, a Scouts Medallion winner, and he’s been selected to be a mentor on the STV Windeward Bound’s upcoming Youth Leadership Challenge.

Over a ten-day voyage he will help mentor 20 young people from diverse backgrounds, including recently settled refugees, to promote inclusiveness, community and understanding.

I was very pleased to be able to present him with a donation to help him reach his fundraising goal of $2,000. I wish him all the best with this exciting journey.

Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania 2019

250+ participants joined together yesterday to make the sixth annual Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania a resounding success. The weather gods smiled on us and the rain held off until shortly after the walk concluded.

With additional funds collected through registrations on the day, merchandise sales, raffle ticket sales and cash donations the total so far is $28,387.35. As usual we will keep the online page open for further donations for the next week before announcing the final total. These funds will go to Cure Brain Cancer to help with advocacy, raising awareness and funding vital research into new brain cancer treatments.

But the walk was a success for more reasons than just the fundraising. Many people feel an emotional connection to this event, as it has given them an opportunity to pay tribute to loved ones who have died of brain cancer. It helps raise public awareness of the disease, and brings people touched by brain cancer together as a community united for a common cause.

I have many people to thank and I hope I don’t miss anybody!

Firstly to our sponsors – Top of The Town BakeryWoolworthsPennicott Wilderness JourneysTassal Tasmanian SalmonBunnings Warehouse AustraliaJulie Collins MPMarguerite GoninonChoices Flooring KingstonState Cinema & Cristy Bishop Remedial Massage Therapies.

Thank you to the Hobart Chapter #314 Order of the Eastern Star and Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge for your phenomenal fundraising efforts over the past 12 months.

Thank you to the Kingborough Council for your incredible support, and to the Dru point reserve kiosk and St John Ambulance Australia Tasmania for your contributions. Thank you to Triple M Hobart for including us in your community calendar and to Nightly News 7 Tasmania for (sadly) being the only TV news station to cover the walk this year.

Thanks Sigrid Denehey (Sigrid Coad) for your very touching memorial address and Fiona Hutchison – entertainer for the musical entertainment (and especially for turning up despite being unwell).

Thank you to Cure Brain Cancer for all your great work raising awareness, advocating and funding research, and to the lovely Annabelle Wilson from CBC for coming down to support the event. Looking forward to seeing your daughter Primrose at next year’s walk!

A big thank you to my staff and the army of volunteers who helped out on the day and to everyone who bought and sold raffle tickets, bought merchandise, registered, walked, fundraised and made donations. Your support has been overwhelming.

There is a big movement of people in Tasmania touched by brain cancer who are getting to their feet and taking action to combat this terrible disease. Over the past six years your efforts have helped me raise over $185,000 – enough for a small clinical trial. Keep walking, keep fighting and keep believing that we will one day find a cure.

Hobart City Mission’s Annual General Meeting

I was delighted to attend Hobart City Mission‘s Annual General Meeting. The charity has been providing assistance to Tasmanians in need since 1852.

HCM celebrated a successful year in which they tripled the funds raised from their winter appeal which, sadly, was also met with a dramatic increase in demand for their services.

The meeting also acknowledged the incredible contribution of Robin Errey, who retired from the board after 46 years of service!

An insightful panel session on housing and homeless was held after the meeting featuring HCM’s CEO John Stubley, CEO of Shelter Tasmania Patti Chugg and Don McCrae from The Salvation Army Tasmania.

Thank you to Hobart City Mission for the wide range of services you offer to Tasmanians in need. Your work is invaluable.

Li-Ve Tasmania Annual General Meeting

Li-VeTasmania celebrated another successful year at their Annual General Meeting today. The organisation has a strategic plan to grow to twice the size in five years while staying true to its culture and values.

Congratulations to Chair Sue Leitch, CEO Paul Byrne and all the other staff and volunteers for your ongoing excellence in service to Tasmanians with disability.

It was great to catch up with Mat Blunt from Eastside Lutheran College, and his son Archie. The college was acknowledged for their assistance to Li-Ve Tasmania and for providing a venue for the fundraising events run by the fabulous Acorn Branch.

Outgoing directors and life members were also acknowledged for their service.

Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre

Just visited the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre’s community garden to check on the fruit trees that I and various other sponsors have helped to purchase. Pleased to also meet the garden’s friendly co-ordinator Leah and some of the garden’s volunteers.

The community garden is not just a great way to promote healthy eating and provide food security to local residents – it is also helping the prisoners who volunteer here to gain valuable work skills which will assist them in securing employment on release.

Tasmanian Royal Flying Doctor Service

When we think about the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS), we often think of red dirt and blue skies in the outback.

However, the RFDS has been operating in Tasmania for almost 60 years! And while they make more than 1,200 flights per year between airstrips on King, Flinders and Cape Barren Islands, Queenstown, Wynyard, Burnie, Devonport, Smithton, St Helens, Launceston, Hobart and Melbourne, they also offer a range of ground based services to communities across regional Tasmania.

It was lovely to meet today with John Kirwan, the CEO of the RFDS Tasmania and hear about their emergency and primary health services as well as their award-winning dental outreach program and their mental and physical health programmes that are all provided free of charge.

To find out more about their services, or to make a donation to this fantastic cause, please visit their website.
https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/tas/

Aging Wonderfully Well Expo

It was fantastic to attend the Ageing Wonderfully Well Expo at the Kingborough Hub today. There was a wide range of stallholders providing important information to help ageing Tasmanian’s get the best out of life. Thanks to Dementia Friendly Tasmania Inc. for hosting this event!

Homelessness week

The beginning of Homelessness Week (4-10 August 2019) is a timely reminder of the Morrison Government’s failure to take real action to help the thousands of Australians on social housing waiting lists, including 3,300 in Tasmania.

That’s over 3,000 Tasmanians who are couchsurfing or sleeping in crisis accommodation, cars, tents or on the street.

Despite the Liberals stating in early July that they would work on the housing and homelessness crisis in Tasmania over “the next six to eight weeks”, they are yet to detail one new initiative.

Now is the time for REAL ACTION on homelessness.

Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia Commemorative Event

Many Australians would be familiar with the lyrics to “I Was Only 19” by Australian band Redgum, including the words “Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon”.

21 July 1969 – or 50 years ago today – was the day the first man walked on the moon. Australian veterans of the Vietnam War remember it as the day two mines exploded in the “light green” zone, killing two Australian soldiers and wounding many others.

One of those men wounded was Dave Sturmer, now a well-renowned artist. I felt privileged to be invited to a commemorative event, organised by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia, at which some of Dave’s work was exhibited. You can see examples of his work at https://www.davesturmer.com.

The event was also a commemoration of the Battles of Hat Dich and Binh Ba.

It is important for Australia’s troops in any deployment to be fully supported, even if the decision to send them is controversial. It’s quite shameful that it took many years after the end of the Vietnam War to give Australia’s Vietnam Veterans the acknowledgement and thanks they deserve. I thank all Vietnam veterans for putting their lives on the line in the service of our country, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.