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.

Stillbirth Research Opinion Piece

My opinion piece in today’s The Mercury, The Examiner and The Advocate welcomes the Government’s response to the Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education and reiterates Labor’s offer of bipartisanship on delivering the policy.

To this day, my family continues to be deeply affected by our own experience of stillbirth 36 years ago. In some areas, Australia’s approach to supporting affected families in their grief has improved somewhat since then, but it is disappointing that so little progress has been made on reducing the rate of stillbirth.

Volunteer BBQ and Kingborough Helping Hands Luncheon

I had another busy weekend. On Saturday I attended Ben McGregor – Labor for Clark‘s volunteer thank you BBQ and then helped to set up for Edna’s Soup and Sandwich Luncheon – a Kingborough Helping Hands fundraiser. Then home Saturday night to make soup for the luncheon.
On Sunday I had a busy time emceeing that event.
I would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make the Soup and Sandwich Luncheon a success. The funds raised from this event will help provide practical assistance to people in Kingborough who have fallen on hard times.
Thank you also to all the attendees who came out on a cold winters day and gave so generously. Without the donations from you, KHH could not do the amazing work that it does.