Mother’s Day 2015 good gift guide – five gifts that give twice

I LOVE a gift that gives twice.  Gifts that in addition to being for your intended recipient, one that also helps someone, a charity, a cause or a social enterprise.  Here is my 2015 Mothers Day gift guide of socially kind gifts to give.

Hey fellas, important note here – it is Mother’s Day in Australia on Sunday 9th May 2015.  Here is your chance to be super thoughful.  You are welcome.

In no particular order:

Beautiful Ruby Olive Earrings supporting The Hunger Project
RubyOliveSkye Anderton, the clever and talented jewellery and fashion accessories designer behind Ruby Olive is on a mission to raise $15,000 for The Hunger Project.  Skye has conspired with friend Carla Thurgate who owns Cheveux Expresso and Design, a gorgeous cafe in Auchenflower, Brisbane to sell beautiful Paradiso Wooden Earrings $18.00 (in colours pink, blue, yellow, orange and more) with 100% of the sale price going to The Hunger Project – send Carla a note on her facebook page to buy, or purchase online here!  If you buy online, leave a message in the shopping cart “charityspam” so Skye knows to donate the proceeds.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.14.04 pmCharity have a gorgeous collection of “gifts that dont suck”. 0% crap, 100% awesome and we agree!  Check out this beautiful stainless steel bangle engraved with the message SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD SO SHE DID. $30.00 each with proceeds going to educating girls in Africa.  Visit the ONE GIRL online shop, there are too many beautiful gift ideas. Get your order in this weekend for it to arrive in time for Mothers Day!

Thank You MumHamper – by the Thank You movement
Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.47.08 pmThe gift that keeps on giving this Mother’s Day with a Thank You Mumhamper. Not only do these premium products look amazing and smell delicious but each Thankyou body care product helps fund access to hygiene and sanitation programs for someone in need. Two gorgeous packs to choose from $55 each.  Shop here.

OXFAM Fairtrade Organic Drinking Chocolate 225g
Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.18.09 pmThe OXFAM Shop have LOADS of great gifts for mum, including their bestselling Organic Drinking Chocolate! Ingredients include organic fairtrade raw sugar, organic fairtrade cocoa powder (23%), natural flavour & salt. May contain traces of nuts. Directions for use: Whisk 20g (3 – 4 teaspoons) of mix in 180ml of warm milk until smooth. Enjoy! $6.95 so why not buy one for yourself! Buy here.

Give light, get light – via LuminAid
Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.29.12 pmLuminAID’s goal is to make portable lighting a part of the supplies commonly sent as part of disaster relief aid, for example in Nepal right now. In addition to food, water, and shelter, light can greatly add to the well-being of victims of a natural disaster or crisis.Buy a light for yourself, and sponsor a light to be distributed by one of our charitable partners to someone in need.  Your purchase covers the cost of one solar light which you will receive, and the cost and associated shipping of a solar light that one of our charitable partners will distribute to an individual in need. Buy your two lights here.

If none of these gifts tickle your fancy, you can choose your own gift via these options:

The Ripple Effect – $20 Nepal Fundraiser Tickets – $2000 in prizes to be won
485RedCross_CircularLogo_RGBThe ever generous Ali from Ripple Massage, the day spa that comes to you, has organised a fundraiser for Nepal, with all funds going direct to Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Appeal
There are three prizes worth $2000 in total which include:
First Prize – A years worth of Ripple Massages, one a month, valued at $1310
Second Prize – A couples massage of 2 x 2 hour massage vouchers valued at $390
Third Prize – A couples massage of 2 x 1.5 hour massage packages valued at $300.

There are only 200 tickets only at $20 each, once sold no more will be released.  Buy your tickets here.

#bakedrelief Mother’s Day campaign supporting regional towns in drought affected communities
#bakedreliefTeaCupDesignsThis Mother’s Day, #bakedrelief has solved your gift-giving woes with a partnership directly helping a small business in a drought affected community. Gifts at Tea Cup in Roma was chosen as #bakedrelief’s first shopping event partner for Mother’s Day this year and #bakedrelief are planning to showcase other online regional businesses going forward in creative ways. For more information visit #bakedrelief on Facebook,  or  and join the conversation on twitter via #bakedrelief

Donate to charity just by shopping online via
Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 6.56.59 pmIt is simple, you shop online with the same big name brands on Shopnate without paying a cent more. They donate – retailers pay us a commission and it is given automatically to your chosen charity – there are over 395 charities for you to choose from. Everyone is happy! Visit for more info

Do you know of other great Mother’s Day gifts that give twice?  Please leave me a message!

Posted in Children, Community, Ethical Shopping, GIVING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

the story of two Aboriginal ANZACs


John Henry Huggins II (Jack)

Today, as I reflect back on ANZAC Day, the 100th anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, I remember all those who have fought for this beautiful country. This ANZAC Day I was lucky enough to hear the stories of two Aboriginal soldiers from my home state of Queensland. I would like to share their stories with you.

At my children’s ANZAC Day school Assembly, I learnt about two Aboriginal soldiers, Birri-Gubba Juru people from North Queensland;  John Henry Huggins I, who fought in WW1 and his son also John Henry Huggins II, affectionately known as Jack, who fought in WW2.

John Henry Huggins I, was the grandfather of my children’s beloved Prep teacher, Ngaire Jarro, and Jack was her dad.  Ngaire and her sister Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA, both of the Bidjara (Central Queensland) and Birri-Gubba Juru (North Queensland) peoples spoke at this very special ANZAC Assembly telling the children, Prep to Year 6, the story of their grandfather and father, and what it was like to be an Aboriginal soldier in these times.

As Jackie tells their story….

John was a stockman before he enlisted in 1916 at the age 30, in Bowen, Queensland.  John embarked on Ship HMAS Seang Choon A 49, on 4 May 1916 from Brisbane. John served a year overseas on the Western Front. He was injured and hospitalised twice in Belgium. On the second occasion, many of his Battalion were killed whilst he was recuperating in hospital.

The fact that John was able to enlist is unusual, it is reported that during World War 1 Aboriginal men were excluded from joining the military, nevertheless many Indigenous diggers evaded this by pretending to be Maori, Indian or Pacific Islander [1].  Jackie wonders if John played down his ‘Aboriginality’ to be able to enlist.

Despite this, it is estimated that at least 500 Aboriginal soldiers served in the 1st World War.  There are five known Aboriginal servicemen buried at Gallipoli. [2]

John survived WW1, and returned to Australia, and had one child with wife Fanny, son Jack, born in 1920.  They lived in Ayr, in North Queensland.

Jackie tells me that Jack was described as a “tall, handsome man, an excellent football player, a lifesaver, and the first Aboriginal man to work in the Ayr Post Office.”

Jack enlisted in Ayr, and was sent directly to Burma where he was caught, and taken as a prisoner of war on Burma/Thailand Railway.

He was one of almost 14,792 Australian servicemen and women captured by the Japanese with the fall of Singapore. Thankfully he was not in the one-third of them who would die in captivity. His workforce was assembled in Changi before being sent to slave on the railway. 9,500 Australians worked on the railway and nearly 7,000 survived to tell the story.

Jackie recalls the saddest moment of his life, when he arrived in Townsville after returning from the War. He was met by his best mate Loftus “Bluie” Dunne who retold the story to Jackie many years later “as Jack got off the train, weak and tired, he scanned around for his Mother and wondered why she had not written to him for a few months. Bluie then told him the tragic news; that she had died three months earlier. He naturally collapsed in Bluie’s arms.” Devastatingly John Henry Huggins I, Jack’s dad, had also passed away while he was serving his country.

Jack slotted back into life in Ayr reasonably well despite the deep sadness surrounding the death of both of his parents.

Jack met his future bride Rita (nee Holt) in Brisbane, and they were married in 1952.

Jack died in November 1958, aged only 38, due to injuries he received fighting in the Second World War, leaving wife Rita, a broken-hearted war widow, to raise their four children aged 4 months, 2, 3 and 8 years of age, alone.

“Both men were proud to serve their country and fight for their land at a time when they were not recognised as citizens of their own country.” says Jackie “they were not allowed to march in ANZAC Day parades or enter RSL clubs – these were only granted long after the Wars in 1967.”

Jackie describes “war times were bad times for Aboriginal people but things have changed. They were not eligible for returned servicemen land grants.”

“Despite all this the Diggers shared a great mateship and looked after each other all their lives” Jackie says. “They made our world a safer and better place to live and we all now enjoy many freedoms.”

I am grateful and very proud of our brave Australian men and women, both in Australia and further afield, past and present, whether in peace time or war. I will remember them. Lest we forget.


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retail for Roma – a #bakedrelief Mother’s Day initiative

#bakedreliefTeaCupDesignsOver the last two years, #bakedrelief’s Valentine’s Day and Anzac Day campaigns have delivered donations of home made goods directly to over 1,000 farming families. Each parcel, made with love and packed with hand written notes of encouragement, have lifted the spirits across rural areas, letting our country cousins know that the city cares. #BakedRelief have another campaign in the works, this time supporting small business owners in rural towns, who have also felt the pinch of a stretched economy.

This Mother’s Day, #bakedrelief have solved your gift-giving woes with a partnership directly supporting a small business in a drought affected community.

“Imagine if you could buy all of your Mother’s Day presents, have them beautifully wrapped and delivered to Brisbane and know that you are supporting a drought affected farming community, all from the comfort of your own home” says Danielle Crismani, Founder of #bakedrelief. “We’re making it as easy as possible for people to spend money in a country town, supporting one rural business and influencing a community.”

Crismani is calling for people to order their Mother’s Day gifts directly from Gifts at Teacup, a small business in Roma. Gifts will be wrapped and posted at an Australia-wide flat rate of $10 postage. Alternatively, CareFreight is donating time to deliver the orders from Roma to Brisbane for collection. HOW TO SHOP CLICK HERE 

Shop owner Tahnee Holland comments, “This is a great way to showcase some of the wonderful small business owners who operate outside of metropolitan areas. This is a great way to leave your shopping dollars in a small town where it can make a big difference.”

Gifts at Tea Cup in Roma was chosen as #bakedrelief’s first shopping event partner for Mother’s Day this year and #bakedrelief are planning to showcase other online regional businesses going forward in creative ways.

Crismani adds “We know that people are time poor and finding something special for our mother’s can feel like another chore on your already busy to-do list. This initiative provides an easy way for people across Queensland to contribute directly to a struggling rural economy while getting a beautiful, quality gift.”

For more information visit #bakedrelief on Facebook,  or  and join the conversation on twitter via #bakedrelief

Posted in Brisbane Events, Community, Ethical Shopping | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brisbane’s best kept foodie secret

Do you want to know Brisbane’s best kept and most awesome foodie secret?  Yes?  Then you had better read on….

I can tell you, but you have to promise me, that you wont keep this delicious secret to yourself.  You must tell everyone you know, ok, ok, I would just like you to share this post on your facebook or twitter page, and consider getting involved in some small way – deal?

Ok, here it is.  Are you ready????

Brisbane foodies, food reviewers and chefs get together three times a year and help feed Brisbane’s homeless by cooking up a gigantic feast of kindness, in Musgrave Park in West End, Brisbane.

Yes that is right, this Sunday 15th March 2015, Brisbane’s most kindest foodies and aficionados chip in their time and talent, don their aprons and feed between 600 to 1000 people who are experiencing homelessness at the Signal Flare BBQ for the homeless and other people in need.

Leading the charge is the big-hearted and talented chef Jerome Dalton from highly acclaimed catering company Dalton Hospitality, who recently won an Australian Good Food and Travel Guide‘s 2015 Readers Choice Award.  Jerome is seriously one amazing chef who gives back in the most wonderful way, with very little public recognition – hence why this is Brisbane’s best kept foodie secret.

For over two years, Jerome has been rallying his contacts in Queensland’s hospitality industry, and supplying a hearty BBQ, including braises, salads, fruit and take home packs.   Jerome, also at his own cost, supplies shuttle a bus to bring people from homeless shelters around Brisbane.


Jerome says that at every homeless BBQ he is part of, there is always a moment that warms or breaks his heart.   Like the little old lady who comes to each event, sits on the end of the buffet, searching for her son, who walked out of home twenty years ago.  Or the two little girls aged 3 and 5, almost the identical ages of Jerome’s own daughters, with steely blue eyes, that gave Jerome a glimpse of a tough start to life.

These young girls made Jerome cry.

So why does he do it?

Jerome says that giving people who are homeless a good meal is a start, but what he loves the most, is to be able to help someone looking for a way out.  Looking to work, looking to change their situation, but don’t know how. “If a person has no fixed address, it is a real problem climbing out of the homeless roundabout.  Without an address, you can’t get government assistance and there is often mental and physical health issues that are not being managed properly.  The cycle is hard to break.” Jerome says. “We often employ folk in our kitchen, help with a phone, shoes for an interview and in other ways”.

Jerome is just one of the amazing groups of people pitching in to make the Signal Flare BBQ a great success.  There is a clothes washing van, legal advice, medical help and much more.  Jerome is quick to point out that the brains, energy and passion behind this stuff is Benedikte Palings and Grant the Polite Guy. “We just cook” says Jerome. 

“It is nice to know that people do care.” said Jerome.

Jerome urgently needs your help!! He needs donations of food, soft drinks, toiletries, clothing for men, women and children and children’s toys.  Also, you don’t have to be a foodie to volunteer!  Jerome needs volunteers to help on the day from 8am at Musgrave Park in West End.  You could volunteer for one hour, or all day – all help gratefully received. Get in touch with Jerome here:

Signal Flare Homeless BBQ facebook
Email Jerome
Visit the Dalton Hospitality website
Like the Dalton Hospitality facebook

THANK YOU in advance for sharing this top-secret foodie secret of Brisbane!

Posted in Brisbane Events, Children, Community, GIVING, Homelessness, KINDNESS, Pay it forward | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Send love to the west this Valentine’s Day via #bakedrelief

bakedrelief2Get your nana’s ANZAC biscuit recipe ready, spatulas set…..and GO!!!! Get your bake on for the second annual #lovetothewest campaign via #bakedrelief, sending home-baked goodies to drought affected farming families in Queensland this Valentines Day.

Baked Relief is a direct giving network founded by the amazing Danielle Crismani after the devastating 2011 Queensland floods in Australia. Initially providing baked goods to State Emergency Services volunteers who were sandbagging around Brisbane, #bakedrelief continues to grow helping families affected by natural disasters.

Despite some heavy rains across much of Queensland, huge areas of Queensland are moving into their third year of drought.  As at 1st January 2015, around 75% of Queensland was drought declared.

One farming family wrote on the #bakedrelief facebook page “we have not had enough rain to even measure, and we are now well into our third year of the lowest rainfall in 100 years”.

bakedrelief1For some farming families there are mounting bills, rising costs and stock deaths, many families have been pushed to breaking point.

Last year on Valentine’s Day, everyday Queenslanders sent over three tonnes some home baked love and messages to these families via the #bakedrelief #lovetothewest Valentines Day campaign.

Through Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN), a flood of a different kind emerged, one of cheer, love and encouragement to farming families doing it tough.

This year again #bakedrelief want to mobilise that love and support.  Encouraging city folk to send #lovetothewest and let farmers know they are not alone.

So what are you waiting for??? Get baking! Assemble a kit as a family, as a workplace, as a mothers group, and prepare a morning or afternoon tea kit for a rural family as a 2015 Valentine’s Day gift. With corporate support, Baked Relief will send these ‘Smoko Kits’ directly via Australia Post.  Every the farmers in the most remote locations in Queensland will receive the surprise in their mailbox within days.  Find out what you need to put into your Valentines Day kit here.

There are four easy options to helping create a kit:

Option 1.  Assemble a smoko kit yourself, and drop it to #bakedrelief collection points
Option 2.  Get your workplace, group of friends, mothers group, school friends, nieghbours together to create multiple Valentines Day #lovetothewest kits
Option 3. Contribute items to help the team at #bakedrelief create these smoko kits
Option 4. Make a donation to QRRRWN to help roll out this project, email for details.

Harrison lovetothewestThe Smoko Kits come with the message “Happy Valentine’s Day! We cannot be there to have a cup of tea and a chat but here is something we baked especially for you to let you know we are thinking of you. From my family to yours.”

“This is no substitute for financial support or for rain,” says Danielle. “It won’t pay the bills, grow the hay or feed the cows. But we do know from the response to last year’s project that we can nourish the heart of a farmer just for a minute. We rely on farmers to feed our families three times a day and we want them to know they are important and loved.”

For more information on how you can get involved visit #bakedrelief on facebook, or visit  and join the conversation on twitter via #lovetothewest #bakedrelief.

Please share this post on your own facebook page to show your #lovetothewest this Valentines Day and encourage others to also get involved.


Posted in Brisbane Events, Causes, Children, Community, CSR, Flood relief, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

closet cull for a good cause

WardrobeCullWLSIs your wardrobe bursting at the seams? Time perhaps, to clear out your wardrobe, cull those beautiful clothes you have been hoarding holding on to for a bit too long?Perhaps you have some good quality suits or corporate clothes that you dont really wear anymore, or that stunning designer dress you bought on sale for when you lost 10kgs? That gorgeous work wardrobe that you no longer wear because you are a stay at home mum?  Well, if you live in South East Queensland, here is an extra good reason to do a big closet cull.  Women’s Legal Service and Women Lawyers Association of Queensland will be hosting a designer and vintage fashion pop-up shop at historic Hanworth House on 22 May 2015.

All funds raised will go the the front line work of Women’s Legal Service Queensland which assists thousands of Queensland women and their children each year who experience domestic violence.

Please help spread the word about this clothing collection, tell your all of your friends and repost this blog on your facebook page.  Dont forget you can donate good quality shoes, belts, handbags and accessories too!

For more information about this event, or to arrange drop off or pick up, please contact Natalie at Women’s Legal Service on email

Mark your calendar to attend this event also: 6pm Friday 22nd May 2015 at Hanworth House, entry by gold coin donation.

WLS Corporate Clothing pop up

Other drop off locations and event details can be found here. All unsold items will be donated to Dress for Success

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

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

Good news!  Wondai State School now have enough books to stock their new library – a very big thank you to everyone who donated and responded to the call for help!  The response was just AWESOME! – 09/02/2015

Update on the Wondai State School children’s book fire appeal – 05/02/2015

Angela spoke to the Wondai State School librarian and they are still in need of these items ONLY:
Fiction suitable for boys years 7 – 9 ( so 12 to 14 year olds)
Non fiction – history/geography – arts and recreation – science – technology – environment – farming and animals – disasters – war and autobiographies.

All overflow books will be donated to Queensland drought affected farming families and to Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.


Update on the Wondai State School children’s book fire appeal – 04/02/2015

THANK YOU so much for the overwhelming support for this children’s book appeal.  The incredible community support for Wondai State School has been nothing short of amazing – thank you, thank you, thank you!  Angela is checking with WSS to confirm they have enough books, any overflow will be distributed to other schools or organisations in the west who may be struggling, or in to the distance education system to be donated to farming families who need them.  We will also make contact with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to see if they need any childrens books.

I absolutely promise that every book donated or accepted so far will find a home with someone deserving.” ~ Angela Galvin



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.

Please pass this message on to anyone else who might be willing to donate a book or two.

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!

Posted in Children, Community, GIVING | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments