Can you help Wondai State School – children’s book fire appeal


Photo credit

Over the recent school holidays, Wondai State School, in South Burnett, Queensland, lost their entire library in a fire.

The fire on January 10 devastated the library that had been one of the school’s major projects and the focus of fundraising efforts by the P&C.

Wondai State School principal Ruth Miller said it was a scene of “total devastation.  I got there in the middle of the night. It was just horrible. Nothing could be done,” she said.

The library was a much loved resource to students and teachers alike.

Wondai is a small town, in between Kingaroy and Gympie, with only 2000 residents. It is located on the Bunya Highway approximately 230kilometres north-west of Brisbane.

BooksTo help them start the school year they are asking for donations of childrens books that are in good condition. Any books you can spare will be gratefully accepted. They can be dropped off at Kingaroy state School during office hours, or for those of you in Brisbane, there are drop off points at Mitchelton, Ascot and Auchenflower – contact the lovely Angela Galvin on 0408 717 835 to donate. Please pass this message on to anyone else who might be willing to donate a book or two.  The deadline for the Brisbane collection is 1 March 2015.

Alternatively, books can be posted directed to the school at:

Wondai SS
PO Box 44
Wondai QLD 4606

Please share this message on your facebook page – thank you for your kindness in helping out!

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Fully Fit Feb – last days to register

FFFIf you are anything like me, then maybe you had a very merry Christmas and now that you are over your Australia Day hang over, you are ready to start thinking about your health and fitness for the year?  Yes? Then consider signing up to Fully Fit Feb, a 28 day fitness challenge that raises money for charity BeyondBlue.

BeyondBlue is Australia’s national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, providing resources for recovery, management and resilience.

Now entering its second year, Fully Fit Feb, is Australia’s newest annual health and fitness initiative aimed squarely at winning the battle against your waistline and developing healthy lifestyles – FOREVER – whilst raising funds and awareness for charity BeyondBlue.

Brisbane based founder Scott Harris says the 28 day health and fitness challenge, is easy and absolutely anyone can join, and you just need to sign up to being active for 30 minutes each day for the entire month of February, and of course, eat a balanced healthy diet.

“My dad had depression when I was growing up, so I know first hand the challenges people with mental health issues, and their families, have. Beyond Blue is the perfect charity partner for the 2015 Fully Fit Feb, and I really hope people get behind the cause as well as the challenge” said Scott.

Fully-Fit-Feb-LogoRegistration fee is $28.00 for 28 days. Simply a dollar a day to get fit and healthy in Feb whilst leading change in behaviours and being a role model to family, friends, peers and the younger generation. Included in this price is four Sunday Events , advice from allied health providers, access to gyms and activities, workplace activities for corporates and more.

Fully Fit Feb attracted a strong following in 2014.  Scott attributes the success to the unique concept, the free activities on offer, great offers from partnering businesses, February being the shortest month of the year (YES!) and the practical timing of the event considering people’s New Year’s resolutions.

Your 30 minutes of fitness can take many forms; walking your dog, riding your bike to work, using the stairs instead of the lift or in many other popular active pastimes like swimming, running or the gym – it is up to you.

Register Now , take the 28 day Fully Fit Feb challenge, get fit and healthy AND support Beyondblue.  Ange Anderson from Nova 106.9 has signed up, and local businesses including Fitness First Australia, Riverlife are also on board.

Find out more at follow on facebook or twitter.

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Queensland Charity Events 2015

This is the third year I have written this Queensland charity event list, kind of a wish list of all the amazing fancy-pants-for-a-good-cause type events that Queensland charities put on each year.

Take a look, support* a couple and please send me a note or comment below if I have missed any – thanks and enjoy!

* there are so many ways you can support a charity event, other than attending.  Donate a prize, donate your skills or time (join the event / fundraising committee, volunteer to stuff goodie bags or sell raffle tickets at the event), share the event with your friends / network –  get in touch with the charity directly, to see if they can use your help.


7pm Saturday 14th February 2015
Mater Little Miracles Ball “Love is in the Air”
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: $185 pp, $1800 for table of ten
Dress: Black tie or lounge suit
Cause: supporting clinical programs, education and training, research, equipment and mission activities at Mater Hospitals and Mater Research.
More info: 07 3163 8000 or email


RMHC7pm Saturday 14 February 2015
Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House NQ Charity Ball
Civic Centre, Mount Isa
Tickets: $140 pp
Cause: funds raised support the Mount Isa Ronald McDonald House in Townsville, and their efforts to ensure the comforts of home for the families of our great community are met and accommodated.
More info: Kate 0447 400 348 or facebook


SecondChance6pm Thursday 26 February 2015
Second Chance Programme Fundraising Evening
Hanworth House, 109 Lytton Road, East Brisbane
Tickets: $85 pp
Cause: funding emergency beds for women who are homeless, safe haven in refuges for and and children fleeing family violence, and ultimatemately providing permanent affordable accommodation.
More info: contact Cheryl LeCerf on 3853 5816 or email


MelanomaInstituteAust7pm Saturday 28 February 2015
Though the Looking Glass – supporting the Melanoma Institute Australia
Mirra Private Dining & Events, Fortitude Valley
Tickets: $150 pp
Dress code: cocktail
Cause: Melanoma Institute Australia is dedicated to preventing and curing melanoma through innovative, world class research, treatment and education programs.
More info: phone Leonie on 07 3257 3000, email or website


UNWomen7am Wednesday 4 March 2015
UNWomen: Brisbane International Women’s Day Breakfast 2015
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: $75 pp, NGO table $750, corporate table $1500
Cause: supporting UN Women’s projects and programs, challenge attitudes which perpetuate gener inequality in Australia, engage the Australian Government to raise awareness of the work of UN Women.
More info: call 02 8936 0904, email or visit website


RCW logofinal.aiSaturday 8 March 2015
Redlands Centre for Women’s International Women’s Day High Tea
Sheldon Event Centre, Sheldon, Redlands
Tickets: TBC
Cause: Redlands Centre for Women provide care packages to women living in Redlands experiencing hardship, provider of educational, empowerment and networking programs for women living in Redlands.
More info: phone 07 3461 7097, email or website


mndandme6pm Saturday 14 March 2015
The Scott Sullivan Memorial Gala Dinner – A Night of Colour
Plaza Ballroom, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: $175 pp, $1775 for a table of ten
Dress: Black tie – a night of colour
Cause: funding vital research to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and supporting people living with MND, and their families
More info: phone 3394 5222 or email


EndlessSummerBallSaturday 21 March 2015
Endless Summer Ball 2015 – finding a cure for Alpers
Hillstone, St Lucia
Cause: finding a cure to Alpers, a family based project to raise awareness and funds to Alpers Syndrome research
More info: email or visit website


BlackandWhiteBall6:30pm Saturday 21 March 2015
Black and White Ball for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
Victoria Park Golf Course, Herston, Brisbane
Tickets: $180 pp, $1800 for table of ten
Cause: raising funds for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation in memory of John Trivett
More info: 1300 362 965, email or website


DanielMorcombe6pm Saturday 21 March 2015
Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s 10th Annual Dance for Daniel
Brisbane City Hall
Tickets: $210 pp, $2000 for table of ten
Dress: Red Tie
Cause: assisting in the education of children about their personal safety; child safety educational resources; assisting young victims of crime through financial support; empowering Australians to make their own local communities safer places for children.
More info: phone 0420 300 737 or visit website


wls6:30pm Friday 27 March 2015
Dancing CEO’s 2015 – Fundraiser for Women’s Legal Service
Brisbane City Hall
Tickets: $220 pp or $2000 for a table of ten
Dress: Black tie with a touch of disco
Cause: supporting women (and their children) escaping domestic violence and navigate complex family law issues
More info: visit website


mummyswish7pm Saturday 9 May 2015
Mummy’s Wish Ball
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: TBC
Cause: to support Australian families with children under 12 through the provision of practical, immediate and non means tested support whilst mum is receiving treatment for cancer.
More info: visit website


ACTforKids6:30pm Saturday 16 May 2015
ACT for Kids 2015 Gala Ball
Sofitel Brisbane, 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane
Tickets: $185 pp, $1850 for table of ten
Cause: preventing and treating child abuse and neglect
More info: phone 07 3850 3200, or visit website


BruceLynton6:30pm Saturday 16 May 2015
The 2015 Bruce Lynton Charity Ball
The RACV Royal Pines Resort, Benowa, Gold Coast
Tickets: $230 pp, $2300 for table of ten
Dress: Black Tie
More info: website


varietyQLD6:30pm Saturday 13 June 2015
Variety of Chefs Ball
The Grand Ballroom, Hilton Brisbane
Tickets: TBC
Cause: helping children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs to live, laugh and learn. By giving practical equipment, programs and experiences, Variety helps children in need to overcome whatever obstacles they may face and assists them to life a happy and fulfilled life.
More info: phone 07 3907 9300 or visit website


RBWHFoundation7pm Saturday 13 June 2015
2015 Right Royal Affair – supporting RBWH Foundation
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: $200 pp, $2000 for a table of ten
Dress: Black Tie with a touch of Las Vegas
Cause: advancing medical research at Royal Bribsane and Women’s Hospital
More info: call 07 3646 7588, email or visit website


BFF11:30am Friday 19th June 2015
7th Annual Bulimba Fashion Festival for Charity
Oxford 152, Oxford Street, Bulimba, Brisbane
Tickets: $125 pp
Cause: The 2015 beneficiary is charity Mates4Mates – supports wounded, injured and ill current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families, to rebuild their lives.
More info: contact Shannon or facebook


CancerCouncilQLD7pm Saturday 27 June 2015
2nd Annual SteamPunk Charity Ball MMXV
The Grand Ballroom, Brisbane Tattersalls Club
Dress: all outfits must conform to the SteamPunk aesthetic, they must reflect a somewhat fashionable neo victorian retro futuristic style, formal attire is encouraged, but not required (confused?  me too! tc)
Cause: Cancer Council Queensland – preventing, detecting, effectively treating and surviving a cancer diagnosis.
More info: website or facebook


WaterAidAustralia6:30pm Saturday 13 June 2015
Queensland WaterAid Ball
Brisbane City Hall
$3000 per table of ten
Theme: James Bond
Dress: Black tie / formal/ bond
 WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities.
Details TBC: phone David on 0409 976 626, email or website


legacySaturday 19 September 2015
Airbus Group Australia Pacific Defence Charity Ball supporting Legacy
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
More info: visit

Have I missed your event?  Please leave me the details below, and I would be very happy to add it to the list.  Happy 2015 to you!

Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, GIVING, Homelessness, KINDNESS, MND and Me Foundation, Queensland charity, Second Chance, Uncategorized, Variety Queensland | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sew precious – help needed

SandsMy friend Nicole was telling me about the beautiful Butterfly program that provides newly bereaved parents with a memory bag while they are still in hospital. The handmade bag, sewn by volunteers, includes information about support from Sands, an Inkless Print Kit for hand and foot prints, Certificate of Life, Precious Memories of Baby book and pen, keepsake blanket and wash cloth. Each bag is donated in loving memory of a baby.

Newly bereaved parents can feel terribly alone and the memory bag is a message of love and support from others who have had been there. The bag often becomes a treasured keepsake for parents from the very short time they had with their baby.

There are three simple ways you can get involved and help:

1. Sponsor a Butterfly pack here

2. Donate items for a Butterfly pack here

3. Make a Butterfly Bag here

Sands Queensland provides support, information, education and advocacy for parents and families who experience the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death or other pregnancy losses.

Sands relies heavily on community kindness, support and donations. Learn more about their work on their website or facebook.

Posted in Australian charity, Children, KINDNESS, Pay it forward | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

help a child at St Mary’s Children’s Home this Christmas

jane-and-babyI always try and wrap a bit of kindness into my Christmas each year, doing small things in the hope it makes someone’s Christmas a little brighter. But my friend Jane Shakespeare has taken this sentiment to a whole new level this Christmas – she has started a charity in Australia to support an orphanage in Sierre Leone, West Africa.

St Mary’s Children’s Home, in Bo Town, Sierre Leone was established in 1999. It offers shelter, food, care, love and support to war orphans, homeless, vulnerable and separated children. St Mary’s is currently home to 38 children, and there are a further 80 children being supported in an outreach program.

Jane first travelled to Sierre Leone in West Africa in 2006 as part of her university degree. Jane was immediately struck by the poverty, and the plight of women and children, in this war ravaged country.


Wanting to do something about it, on her return home, Jane set about raising money and collecting non-electric sewing machines.

“I placed an advert in the local paper asking for non-electric sewing machines to be donated to send out to the women’s groups I’d come across. It was obvious to me that if the women had their own sewing machines they could make their own fabrics into garments to sell, cutting out the middle man. I thought I might get 20 or so donated and ended up collecting 176 which was quite overwhelming,” she says.

On that trip, Jane also met Father Peter Konteh, founder of St Mary’s Children’s Home, an orphanage in Bo Town, Sierra Leone. He was also president of the Desert Flower Foundation that fights against genital mutilation of young women, a practise still rife in parts of Africa.

Having seen first hand the orphanage, Jane became a sponsor of a child at St Mary’s, and actively encouraged friends to also.

Over the years, Jane stayed in contact with Father Konteh and earlier this year heard about the increased number of orphans due to the Ebola outbreak, and the problems his orphanage was experiencing. St Mary’s resources were being stretched beyond capacity and raising money became increasingly urgent. Jane again decided to do something about it and set up a Australian charity to help raise funds for the orphanage.

“My objective is to show ordinary people around the world how they could help in their own small way.”

For $10 you can buy a child pens and pencils for a whole year, for $25 you can send a child to school for one month, and for $33 you can buy a bag of rice – the orphanage need eight bags of rice to feed the children.

“Every little bit counts” Jane says.

Jane would be very grateful for you to consider a gift big or small to help the kids in “her” orphanage this Christmas. To learn more about what Jane is doing click here, follow on facebook click here, to make a donation to St Mary’s click here.

“It is inspiring to think we are capable of reaching out and helping in whatever little way we can. I consider myself a normal person – not particularly special – all I did was help the only way I knew how,“ she says.

Learn more about St Mary’s Children’s Home here, visit

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Brisbane Christmas market for charity – 1pm to 4 pm this Sunday 30th November 2014

If you live in Brisbane and dont have anything to do this Sunday 30th November, then check out the Indulge Designer Markets at Brisabne Montessori School, in support of Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation.


The market will have stalls selling designer accessories, ladies fashion, swimwear and lingerie, beauty products, home décor, gift ware and children’s products, gourmet food and more.

There will be plenty to do, including entertainment, including a fashion show, make-up technique demonstrations, and a presentation by Annette Sym who will share “How to Survive Christmas, Have Your Christmas Cake and Eat it Too” with a live cooking demonstration.

There are free activities for kids too, free sport activities run by I Feel Good 24/7 Middle Park gym on the main lawn, face-painting and a toy workshop run by Touchwood Toys and Crafts.

When: this Sunday 30th November 2014 from 1pm to 4pm
Where: Brisbane Montessori School Hall, Mactier Street, Fig Tree Pocket, it is a free local community event with free onsite parking.
More info: visit Indulge Designer Market or visit their facebook page
Charity that it supports: This market will raise funds for the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation.The first 100 families will receive a jam packed goodie bag for $2 donation and will be in the running to win a $1000 Xennox Diamonds voucher. Plus there are also amazing raffle prizes donated by generous sponsors with all proceeds going to RBWH Foundation.

Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, Ethical Shopping, KINDNESS | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Children Act – 6pm Tuesday 25 November, Brisbane

YAC The Children ActYou are invited to a very special book reading. A reading of ‘The Children Act’, at 6pm Tuesday 25th November at Banco Court, Supreme Court Building, Brisbane.

Dame Quentin Bryce will be reading from Ian McEwan’s lastest novel ‘The Children Act’ followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Matthew Condon, author and journalist, with:

Justice David Boddice, Supreme Court of Queensland
Dr Richard Roylance, Eminent Paediatrician

Dr Conor Brophy, Chairperson, RBWH Ethics Committee
Gwenn Murray, Criminologist/Children’s Rights Advocate

Ian McEwan is a UK author.  He has written 13 novels so far. His best seller ‘Amsterdam’ won the highly prestigious Man Booker Prize in 1998.  He is also well known for his novel ‘Atonement’ which was made into a movie starring Keira Knightly in 2007.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.10.29 am‘The Children Act’ is a story about a UK High Court judge dealing with a case involving a 17 year old. The boy urgently needs a blood transfusion, but he and his parents are Jehovah’s Witness and they decline the treatment on religious grounds. The case comes before a judge (as the child is under 18), and the novel tracks her deliberations.

There are many parallels with this story and the work that Youth Advocacy Centre does, representing and advocating for young people under 18.

Youth Advocacy Centre was established in 1981 and offers free legal services, youth support and family support assistance and services to young people generally 10 to 18 years (inclusive) particularly those who are in, or are at risk of being in, the youth justice and/or the child protection systems, and who live in or around the greater Brisbane region.

Youth Advocacy Centre have asked Dame Quentin to be involved in this fundraiser, as she was involved in helping establish Youth Advocacy Centre more than 30 years ago.

Dame Quentin will be doing a reading from the book, which will then be followed by a panel discussion to debate some of the key issues in the story from a legal, medical, ethical and advocacy perspective.

Event details:
6pm – 8pm Tuesday 25th November 2014
Banco Court, Supreme Court Building, Law Courts Complex, 304 George St, Brisbane
$50 per person, including light refreshments
Tickets can be booked through ticketing website Eventbrite

To allow for court security procedures, please arrive punctually.

Copies of ‘The Children Act’ will be available for purchase on the night through Avid Reader

Posted in Australian charity, Brisbane Events, Children, Community, youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment