Sir Angus Houston Joins ShelterBox Australia

 

Image of Sir Angus Houston

Sir Angus Houston is the new Patron of ShelterBox Australia

 Former Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK AFC (Ret’d) has accepted the position of Patron of ShelterBox Australia.  ShelterBox Australia is part of a worldwide humanitarian service organisation providing emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis. Since ShelterBox began in 2000, it has responded to earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, typhoons and conflict, delivering emergency humanitarian aid to communities in need.  Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.  Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing emergency shelter for the people who need it most on every continent.  ShelterBox is currently working in Vanuatu following the destruction caused by Cyclone Pam, as well as in Cameroon, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Gaza, Niger, Iraq, Malawi, Pakistan, Philippines and Syria.

 

In accepting the position of Patron, Sir Angus said: “I am delighted to accept the offer to become Patron of ShelterBox Australia.  Over the years I have been involved in many disaster and humanitarian relief operations. I am acutely aware of the need for the provision of shelter to those in need and ShelterBox brings life saving aid, hope and dignity to families made homeless by disasters worldwide, responding to earthquakes, fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, landslides, typhoons and areas of conflict.  I look forward to working with the people of ShelterBox on current and future disasters.”

 

ShelterBox Australia Chair Bob Furner responded:  “ShelterBox Australia is delighted to have Sir Angus as its new Patron.  Sir Angus is well known for his commitment to serve the nation in leadership roles in a variety of roles in the community.  His support of ShelterBox give us great confidence in the future of our organisation.”

Raising Our Profile Raises Funds – ShelterBox Ambassadors At Work

John Hale, June Wade and David Brockway are part of a hard working ShelterBox team in WA

John Hale, June Wade and David Brockway are part of a hard working ShelterBox team in WA.

ShelterBox Australia relies on a network of volunteer Reps & Ambassadors to raise our profile and much-needed funds. Many of our Ambassadors are Rotarians working within a club or District structure, others are members of the public that been inspired by the work of ShelterBox. All of them give their time freely to promote our cause and increase our public profile. Many hours are spent at fairs, conferences and events displaying our impressive relief tent and the contents of our iconic Shelterbox, and talking about disaster relief.

The tent and box display always creates a lot of interest amongst supporter old and new

The tent and box display always creates a lot of interest amongst supporters old and new

The importance of these public displays cannot be underestimated. The emphasis is not on raising funds, but raising awareness. Once people are familiar with what we do, the aid we provide and how we deliver it, funds flow naturally. A case in point was the rapidity at which the public and Rotary community responded to our Typhoon Haiyan Appeal, launched in November of last year when over $1 million was donated in just over six weeks! Many of those donors who responded would have seen ShelterBox displays at events around the country and immediately thought of ShelterBox when the people of the Philippines needed us most.

One thing leads to another ……….

Often, the amount of money collected at such events is relatively small, compared to the effort put in to erecting and manning the display but that is never a measure of the event’s success. Earlier this year, our Ambassador team in Tasmania had display at the Deloraine Craft Fair. The effect of engaging with the public and telling our story can cause ripples like a stone dropped in lake. Several months after the fair, we received a donation sponsoring a whole ShelterBox from a donor in WA who had seen the display whilst on holiday in Tasmania. This week, donations were received for another 2 boxes  from the 5th grade students from The Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Launceston, inspired by the display at the Craft Fair…… the stone that caused the ripple!

5th graders at Scared Heart Primary held a Jelly-a-thon and a walk-a thon to raise funds for ShelterBox

5th graders at Scared Heart Primary held a Jelly-a-thon and a walk-a-thon to raise funds for ShelterBox

#GivingTuesday

Next Tuesday is the international day of giving, known as Giving Tuesday. It is chance for us to thank our Ambassadors and supporters and give credit where credit is due. To that effect we have created a “Thank You Album” on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shelterbox.australia

Giving Tuesday is also a chance for people to take a break from the Christmas shopping and think of others less fortunate than themselves. You can take part in Giving Tuesday by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

If you would like to give your time, join a great team and volunteer as ShelterBox Ambassador please click: Ambassador

Thank you.

 

 

ShelterBox Ambassador Recognised For Outstanding Service

ShelterBox Australia relies on a network of volunteer Ambassadors to help spread awareness and raise funds for disaster relief. One of our longest serving Ambassadors is Western Australian, Gordon Cargeeg. Gordon, now in his nineties, is a Past District Governor of the Rotary Club of Melville in Perth and was recently awarded a Certificate of Gratitude for his voluntary work, promoting Shelterbox.

The award was presented at the Melville club’s changeover dinner on behalf of the Board of ShelterBox Australia by District 9455 ShelterBox Representative, David Brockway, . David said that Gordon’s “magnificent efforts to promote ShelterBox have resulted in many hundreds of ShelterBoxes to be funded and subsequently deployed to many areas of need around the world.

L-R D9455 ShelterBox Rep, David Brockway and PDG Gordon Cargeeg with his award

L-R D9455 ShelterBox Rep, David Brockway and PDG Gordon Cargeeg with his award

Upon receiving the award, Gordon said, ‘My first contact with ShelterBox was in the Rotary Year 2004-5.  DG John Iriks, on returning from a meeting in the Eastern States, having seen the ShelterBox Programme, asked me if I would obtain further details.  I contacted  them (ShelterBox) and they arranged for a complete box to be sent West.

Since then the box and contents has been shown extensively throughout the state.  eg  All  District conferences, Club meetings. Royal & local shows (in conjunction with Scouts)

 This has given much publicity, resulting in valuable contributions & support over the ensuing years.

ShelterBox has gone from strength to strength in Western Australia, with the Rotary Club of Melville alone funding more than 42 boxes, the most recent of which were deployed to the Philippines. A big thank you to Gordon, the Rotary Club of Melville and all our supporters in Western Australia.

To find out more about Shelterbox visit www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au

 

ShelterBox Trains with the Australian Defence Force

Australian SRT member, Peter Pearce takes part in Exercise Sea Dawn

Australian SRT member, Peter Pearce takes part in Exercise Sea Dawn

Shelterbox Response Team members recently completed a disaster relief training exercise with the ADF (Australian Defence Force). All three Services of the ADF have came together in joint amphibious training as part of Exercise Sea Dawn in North Queensland. ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members, Peter Pearce and Mike Greenslade were involved in the HADR (Humanitarian Aid & Disaster Relief) part of the 3-week exercise.

Bushmaster vehicles belonging to the 2 Royal Australian Regiment are transported ashore by landing craft.

Bushmaster vehicles belonging to the 2 Royal Australian Regiment are transported ashore by landing craft (LCM8).

The exercise provided Navy, Army and Air Force personnel with the chance to work closely together and develop critical skills necessary for the ADF’s development of a joint capability and execute the full spectrum of amphibious operations. The chance to work with experienced SRT members was embraced by the exercise control team as part of their HADR training. 

Officers from 2RAR negotiate with the "Mayor' and 'Police Chief' of Cowley Island.

Officers from 2RAR negotiate with the “Mayor’ and ‘Police Chief’ of Cowley Island.

The Amphibious Task Group had to not only deal with the simulated disaster situation on the fictional ‘Cowley Island’ but also the constraints of working from a sea-based platform, HMAS Choules.

HMAS Choules conducts simultaneous boat and helicopter operations with an Australian Army LCM8 landing craft operating from the wet dock and a Blackhawk helicopter operating from the flight deck.  HMAS Choules and 2RAR are conducting phase two of Exercise Sea Dawn 2014 north of Townsville.

HMAS Choules conducts simultaneous boat and helicopter operations with an Australian Army LCM8 landing craft operating from the wet dock and a Blackhawk helicopter operating from the flight deck.
HMAS Choules and 2RAR are conducting phase two of Exercise Sea Dawn 2014 north of Townsville. (image ©ADF)

ShelterBox Australia General Manager and SRT member, Mike Greenslade said, “Exercise Sea Dawn provided a fantastic training opportunity for Australian SRTs and a chance to exchange expertise. Valuable lessons were learned by all parties and it is hoped that ShelterBox can work closely with the ADF in the future.”

L-R Commander Australian Task Force, Captain Jay Bannister RAN, SRT members, Peter Pearce & Mike Greenslade; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaight 2RAR

L-R Commander Australian Task Force, Captain Jay Bannister RAN, SRT members, Peter Pearce & Mike Greenslade; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Bassingthwaight 2RAR

ShelterBox visits Hobart’s Salamanca Markets

ShelterBox's first display at Hobart's famous Salamanca Markets drew great interest.

ShelterBox’s first display at Hobart’s famous Salamanca Markets drew great interest.

 

Tasmanian ShelterBox Reps and Ambassadors were busy over the weekend, manning our first display at Hobart’s famous Salamanca Markets. The display, complete with relief tent and box contents, drew great interest from the public. The ShelterBox Australia team (comprising District Reps, Bill Dobson & Ian Routley and SBA Ambassador, Art Shrimpton) worked hard, engaging with the public and distributing information.

Bill said, “we talked to about 500 people between us and a good many of them already had some knowledge of ShelterBox. One American lady from WA had family in Ohio that had sponsored 10 ShelterBoxes but this was the first time she’d seen one ‘in the flesh’. There was great interest in setting up school projects from interstate visitors too.”

ShelterBox is currently busy helping disaster victims in the Philippines and Lebanon and monitoring developing situations in Tonga, Brazil and Central African Republic. If you would like to organise a guest speaker or initiate a school project such as our Socks 4 Syria campaign, please contact: volunteer@shelterbox.org.au

 

Salamanca Market's are a Hobart institution

Salamanca Market’s are a Hobart institution

Salamanca-2014-01-12 14.57.37

The ShelterBox Team talked to over 500 people about our disaster relief work.

 

Give A Special Box This Christmas

Brazil box no. 1, Camp Brazilia Uno, Uniao Dos PalmaresThis Christmas, families around the world will find themselves homeless and in desperate need of help. Whether they have lost their homes to a natural disaster, like the victims of the Super Typhoon in the Philippines or have been forced to leave their homes because of conflict, like the millions fleeing the violence in Syria, their needs are quite simple: Shelter, Warmth & Dignity.

If you are stuck for gift ideas or are tired of exchanging presents destined for land-fill, why not break the mold and give a gift that keeps on giving. You might like to club together as a family or at your workplace and sponsor a ShelterBox.

For a gift of $1,000 you will be providing an extended family with a family sized relief tent, blankets and ground sheets, water purification and storage equipment, a stove and cooking equipment, a tool kit, solar lights, a children’s activity pack and, where appropriate, mosquito nets or thermal hats/gloves/scarves. Life-changing, life-sustaining equipment.

In return you will receive a custom designed Christmas card to give in lieu of this very special present.

Sponsor a box as a gift this Christmas and receive this custom-designed card. The card is blank on the inside with a clear explanation of what it represents on the back.

Sponsor a box as a gift this Christmas and receive this custom-designed card. The card is blank on the inside with a clear explanation of what it represents on the back.

You can specify if you want your box to go to the Philippines Appeal; to our Syrian Refugee Appeal or into our Relief Fund (recommended) to enable us to react immediately when disaster strikes. Simply donate in the normal way and notify us at sbaoffice@shelterbox.org.au that this is a Christmas gift and we will get your card out to you.

Next year we plan to have a range of cards and equivalent gifts to suit all budgets.

Thank you for your support and have very Merry Christmas

(Please note, no box number will be issued for the Philippines of Syria appeals, your box or equivalent aid will be sent to those destinations. In the unlikely event that these appeals exceed the need, excess donations will be transferred to ShelterBox Trust Unrestricted Funds. It is therefore recommend that you specify donations to our Relief Fund to ensure you get a box number and help us respond to future disasters)

ShelterBox Gets Ministerial Approval at RC of Matilda Bay Craft Fair

Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop with ShelterBox District Reps. Michael Reeves & Jackie Bullock

Foreign Minister, The Hon Julie Bishop with ShelterBox District Reps. Michael Reeves & Jackie Bullock at the Rotary Club of Matilda Bay Annual Craft Fair

 

The Rotary Club of Matilda Bay have held their annual Craft Fair for 19 years and has up to 250 stalls selling crafts, etc. All proceeds go to Rotary Projects for the next year including ShelterBox, local projects and international ones.  All the Club members are involved on the day as well as Rotary Exchange students.

For several years the fair was held at Kitchener Park but had to be moved to University of Western Australia a few years ago, with support from the University and the City of Subiaco.  Unicamp for Kids help the Rotary Club with getting stall-holders in and out of the fair and of course helping set up the Shelterbox display. In return, the Club donates to the Unicamp cause. Unicamp for Kids then put the money towards camps during the year for disadvantaged children, referred to them by Schools and Social workers.

 

The Hon Julie Bishop MP inside a ShelterBox relief tent.

The Hon Julie Bishop MP inside a ShelterBox relief tent.

 

The Hon Julie Bishop MP officially opened the event and spoke at length about Rotary and the good it is doing in the world. Polio eradication and ShelterBox received special mention.

Later in the day accompanied by the Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA, she visited the Rotary promotion stall and spent a good length of time at the ShelterBox display.

 

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA with Foreign Minister, Hon Julie Bishop

Hon Bill Marmion BE MBA MLA with Foreign Minister, Hon Julie Bishop

 

For ShelterBox the day was a great success with the promise of 3 boxes, monies donated on the day and of course the exposure of ShelterBox to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the local Minister for Mines, Petroleum and Housing. Both where considerably impressed with ShelterBox and asked many questions.

A special thank you to the Rotary Club of Matilda Bay for its ongoing support for ShelterBox

 

Australian SRT Member Leads Rotary Team in PNG

Australian ShelterBox Response Team member, Greg Moran, from Inverell, NSW has just returned from Kokoda in Papua New Guinea where he led a team of rotarians helping to build a hospital. Earlier this year, Greg led a ShelterBox Response Team in Tasmania following the devastating bush fires. Here, is up to something a little different, you can read Greg’s report below.

Rotary volunteers and locals club together to build the new hospital

Rotary volunteers and locals club together to build the new hospital

“A group of nine volunteers, made up of members of three Rotary clubs and other volunteers, spent two weeks during late August and early September at Kokoda, Papua New Guinea. Led by Greg Moran from Inverell Rotary Club the main project was the commencement of a building to be used primarily as a Hospital Aids Clinic. Funding was provided by a private endowment to Rotary.

The group comprising Greg and Sue Moran, Phil Goddard, Lyn Eddie and Terry Cross from Inverell, Bob Swain, Richard Clarke and Arthur Hall from Warialda and Bob Missingham from Murwillumbah arrived in Port Moresby on 20th August and spent some time sight-seeing and visiting Bomana War Cemetery before flying to Popondetta the following day. With all the extra luggage (eight laptop computers and nine boxes) it was a challenge transporting it all and some overweight had to unfortunately be paid so that they could fly in PNG. They had a welcoming committee waiting for them at the airport and again at Kokoda Hospital when staff, locals and even the local member held an official welcome as well as decorating the accommodation with brightly coloured flowers.

Work progressed well on the AIDs clinic with the help of six local volunteers as well as five vocational students doing work experience. Bob Swain often worked late training locals with welding skills. The group initially threw their efforts into organising the work site, with foundations and footings being dug and concreted with steel foundations. This allowed the team to also work on footpaths, ramps and steps for the Clinic building while waiting for the delivery of the timber for the floor joists and bearers. When this timber was delivered the flooring and prefabricated walls were completed. Time was also found to complete maintenance on the main hospital replacing flywire and fixing roof leaks, some painting and the installation of three tanks on existing buildings that were completed on the previous trip.

A team of Rotarians from Inverell, Warialda and Murwillimbah have commenced building a Hospital in the remote Kokoda region of PNG

A team of Rotarians from Inverell, Warialda and Murwillimbah have commenced building a Hospital in the remote Kokoda region of PNG

The Rotary teams worked closely with the local workers and Tech students who learned a variety of skills from the team members from Australia. The team also learned a few skills from the locals as well, and the interaction and friendships between the groups was very evident when it was time for the team to return home. Fortuately the team had a kit of new power tools to carry out the building works thanks to the generosity of Bunnings, Inverell and Ozito tools, and the local workmen were most impressed when taught to use these tools.

While the men were involved in the building the two ladies in the team were involved in various teaching activities and the distribution of a large amount of donated items. Eight preloved laptop computers provided by Pam Vincent and Computerbank were used in computer lessons for hospital staff and other local professionals. Some people had more advanced training while the majority had no previous computer experience and were very excited to learn some valuable skills that could be used in their everyday work.

Concrete and steel foundations for the new hospital

Concrete and steel foundations for the new hospital, new skills are learned by the local volunteers.

Two donated electric sewing machines and a large amount of fabric had a number of ladies very excited with learning new skills. Each day they spent several hours learning to sew as well as producing shoulder bags, simple items of clothing and stuffed toys. As well as being able to make much needed items for their own families, they saw this as an opportunity for the future to produce items that they could sell at the local markets for much needed cash. Donated knitting needles and wool were used for knitting classes and the ladies loved the fact that they could knit items in their spare time.

A large quantity of children’s clothing made by Elsie McIlhenney was distributed to needy children. Many children in this area don’t possess any or very little clothing so were very excited to have lovely new clothes. Bras were collected by Moree Rotary Club and were very popular with the local ladies as it is difficult and expensive for them to buy these items. Lightning Ridge Rotary Club put together baby kits which are provided to mothers who give birth at the hospital. This is an incentive for the mothers to have their delivery at the hospital and has been proved to increase the survival rate for both mothers and babies. Red Cross donated some knitted teddy bears for the children in the hospital and these were very gratefully received by the children who have no other toys. They were also copied by the knitting ladies. As well, donated First Aid books and bandages were put to good use in the training and resourcing of village volunteers. A big thank you to everyone in Inverell and other towns who made it possible for the donation of all these items.

As well as working on these projects, the team had the opportunity for some recreation. This is the very scenic and iconic area of the Kokoda track, with brightly coloured flowers, green countryside and the majestic mountains of the Owen Stanley Range. The team spent a pleasant afternoon walking the first part of the Kokoda Track, visited Mamba Estate, originally the home of legendary Bert Kienzel, the man responsible for organizing the supply lines for the Kokoda Campaign and at the end of the two weeks away visiting Sanananda, site of some of the most ferocious fighting in PNG during the war when the Japanese were pushed off the island. The local landowners have built a traditional guest house next to the beach and treated the team to a traditional welcome, a beautiful meal and a night dance as well as demonstrating some of the aspects of their traditional lifestyle which has changed very little from that of their ancestors.

Overall, this was a very successful, rewarding and enjoyable experience for members of the team. There is always more work to do and it is intended that a further team will return to Kokoda early next year to complete this project.”

If you would like to find out about joining Rotary please visit: http://www.rotary.org.au

ShelterBox provides a great opportunity for international service for rotarians and non-rotarians alike. To find out more please visit: www.shelterboxaustralia.org.au

Young Max Steps Up For ShelterBox

Max Lathwell, from Gosnells in Perth, was only 11 when he became aware of Shelterbox earlier this year. Max was taking part in the “Dare To Lead” project run by WA’s Primary Education Challenge Programme (PEAC) and luckily for us, he chose ShelterBox as the beneficiary of his work. Inspired by recent events in the news, like the floods in Bundaberg and the bush fires in Tasmania, Max put his caring nature to great use. The story is perhaps best told in Max’s words, as shown in his brilliant report.

Max's final artwork for his ShelterBox project

Max’s final artwork for his ShelterBox project

 

“I chose to raise money for Shelter Box Australia as my dare to lead project after seeing a display at The Duck Race in Mandurah.

The decision to support SBA has become passionate to me because of how it helps give families their dignity after they have been affected by disaster.

I had to come up with ways to raise money???  So I first emailed Mrs June Wade who had the contents of the Shelter Box on display at The Duck Race and is a Shelter Box District Representative. I needed to find out what I was allowed to use with the SBA logo. The reply was good and I printed some posters to help me explain to family and friends what I wanted to raise money for.

I planned to raise enough money for one Shelter Box, but I was hoping for two.  So I started by making donation tins.  I also enlisted help from my parents [as I am not allowed to door knock] to tell their work mates about my project and hopefully they would put their hands in their pockets.

I also got my friends involved to do the same thing. My sister, Georgie put some of her savings in the tin.

Then I emailed Mr Ken Wyatt, our local MP, and asked if there was anything the shire could help with.

Then it was time to ask my school to help. We decided to have a Free Dress Day for a gold coin donation. I designed posters, had them printed and put them up around the school, also had one put in the School Newsletter. Now the planning was done it was time to start counting.

My school had a call from Mr Wyatt saying he wanted to meet me and hear my ideas. He came to school and presented me with a cheque for $100 Plus $10 from himself. I was very nervous.

Then the money started rolling in. The free dress day was a success raising $372.75, the tins raised a total of $1507.50 and with the chq I have a total of $1980.25.  I have put money in to make it up to $2000 and my goal is reached. This will be donated and will buy two Shelter Boxes.

Each Shelter Box is numbered and can be followed to where it is needed. I am looking forward to knowing where the Boxes will end up and for the family to have a little help in their time of need.”

Max’s efforts are such an inspiration that he’s been invited to meet the West Australian Governor at Government House on 17th October.

I’m sure you’ll all join me in congratulating Max on his efforts. There will be two families somewhere in the world that will receive the gift of Shelter.Warmth & Dignity because of what this young man has achieved. THANK YOU MAX!

Syria Refugee Appeal image courtesy of Aram Karim/Metrography

Syria Refugee Appeal image courtesy of Aram Karim/Metrography