Golden Valley Concert Raises Funds For The Philippines

Yesterday’s fundraising concert in Golden Valley, near Launceston, Tasmania was hailed a great success by ShelterBox District Rep, Bill Dobson. The concert Featured three popular Meander Valley opera singers, the ‘3 Divas’, who performed in the beautiful country gardens of Dr Peter Talbot and his wife Dr Lois Beckwith to raise money for the Philippines.

The weather didn't damped the spirits at the Golden Valley, Philippines fundraiser on Sunday.

The weather didn’t damped the spirits at the Golden Valley, Philippines fundraiser on Sunday.

 

Bill said, “As beneficiary of the fundraiser, ShelterBox were invited to set up a display and provide information to the concert-goers. Fellow ShelterBox Reps, Ian & Sue Routley and I manned the tent display and had great interest from the public. All thanks must go to Drs Lois and Peter for providing the beautiful setting and to the performers for donating their talents. We hope to have raised enough money to sponsor 2 ShelterBoxes”

ShelterBox Reps explain the disaster relief concept to concert-goers in Golden Vally

ShelterBox Reps explain the disaster relief concept to concert-goers in Golden Vally

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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

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

 

Recovery Continues After Tasmanian Bushfires

The cost to the state of January’s bushfires in Tasmania was recently put at a $45 million. The emotional and human cost is still being calculated. The village of Dunalley was severely affected and School Chaplain, David Walker and his family were one of those to lose their home.

The Walker family home, Brynmoor, before and after the fires

The Walker family home, Brynmoor, before and after the fires

Below are some reflections from David on how ShelterBox and Rotary have helped his family cope with the aftermath:

“The fires of January 4th 2013, destroyed many homes and properties in the Dunalley region. Our home was one of the homes that were totally destroyed on that day, along with our small cottage, large shed, family car, cubby house and many hundreds of metres of fencing. This left my wife, our five children and myself with only the clothes we were wearing, as a token reminder of our possessions.

Post fires we have been very impressed by the emotional and practical support from all tiers of Government and service providers. The Rotary Clubs that help in the distribution of the ShelterBox’s are one of those service providers that have been on the ground helping people like us. We first noticed one of the prominent white ShelterBox tents erected on a property close to ours. After a few phone calls we soon made contact with the ShelterBox providers in our area.

The ShelterBox enables us to work on our five acre property and use the tent as a safe and secure place to bed down our two youngest children for their afternoon sleeps. The ShelterBox is kitted out with many practical items that make life a little more uncomplicated and straightforward in the midst of so much destruction and change.

To us, the ShelterBox is more than emergency accommodation, it is a reflection of a caring organisation that puts peoples practical and emotional wellbeing as a priority.

Kind regards,

David Walker”

The Walker family

The Walker family before the fires

You can help families like David’s and thousands of others around the world by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

 

 

Are You Up For The Challenge in Tasmania?

Launceston's Cataract Gorge provides a stunning backdrop for the launch of ShelterBox Challenge Tasmania

Launceston’s Cataract Gorge provides a stunning backdrop for the launch of ShelterBox Challenge Tasmania

 

The Rotary Club of Launceston, Tasmania, is hosting Australia’s first ShelterBox Challenge in aid of the disaster relief charity. The event will take place on 27th April 2013 and will take in some of the regions most spectacular scenery, including the Cataract Gorge, the Trevallyn Nature Reserve and parts of Launceston City Centre. Based on the successful ShelterBox Dartmoor Challenge held in the UK and the Amsterdam Challenge in the Netherlands, teams of four are to negotiate the course carrying an iconic green ShelterBox, competing against the clock.

Competitors in the Dartmoor Challenge, held annually in the UK

Competitors in the Dartmoor Challenge, held annually in the UK

 

ShelterBox, a Project Partner of Rotary International, provides emergency shelter and life-saving supplies to families who have lost everything to disasters, both natural and manmade. The cornerstone of their aid package is their disaster relief tent, large enough to accommodate en extended family and tough enough to withstand the harshest of conditions. Also contained in the box is, water purification and cooking equipment; a stove; blankets and groundsheets; a tool kit; solar light and children’s activity pack. Mosquito nets and fleece hat/scarf/glove sets are sent as required. Since it’s formation in 2000, ShelterBox has responded to over 200 disasters in 90+ countries, helping well over one million people.

ShelterBox recently helped families who had lost their homes in the bush fires that swept through SE Tasmania

ShelterBox recently helped families who had lost their homes in the bush fires that swept through SE Tasmania

 

Rotarians and ShelterBox Ambassadors, Ian Routley and Bill Dobson have been busy with volunteers from their club planning the event and are looking for teams to register. Mr Dobson said, “The aim of this event is not only to raise funds for further boxes but also to raise awareness of ShelterBox in the greater community and the involvement of Rotary Clubs at a local, national and international level.’ Registration is $500 per team with teams encouraged to seek sponsorship and raise funds by way of donations. ‘The event promises to be great fun, in aid of a great cause”

 

To register for the event please email Bill Dobson: billdobsonrtn9830@hotmail.com

Places are limited, so get you registration in early. Interstate teams are encouraged to enter.

 

For more information on ShelterBox visit: http://www.shelterboxaustralia.com.au

Latest news From the ShelterBox Response Team in Tasmania

Here are the latest reports from the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) in Tasmania. Team Leader, Greg Moran from Inverell, NSW, gives an overview of the team’s activities plus an insight into the devastation caused by the fires and it’s affects on the community.

Only the stone chimneys of this property are left standing

Only the stone chimneys of this property are left standing

Monday 14th Jan was a full and  productive day as we started early and finally got home at about 9.00pm.

Today we had a meeting early with the manager of Housing Tasmania to discuss the potential numbers of displaced people from the Tasman peninsula who had lost their homes and all their goods who may want temporary accommodation in a ShelterBox tent. The meeting was very positive with the issue of registration and assessment being arranged .A ShelterBox was delivered to us from Launceston by District 9830 Rep,Bill Dobson and this was demonstrated to the people at Housing Tasmania. This Dept also gave us a locked storage to place a number of ShelterBoxes when they arrive in Hobart

The Director of Emergency Services for Tasmania in the Premier’s Dept asked us to attend a meeting in Dunally at 3pm to meet other cluster type people and aid organisers .We travelled through to Sorell and visited the registration and distribution centre for the area for those affected by the fires and spoke to them about ShelterBox , leaving literature, etc with them. They were quite impressed by the concept. We also had the opportunity to talk with the Mayor of Sorell, as he is heading up the relief and response efforts in Tasmania

We travelled on to Dunally and had to detour through Connallys Marsh as the road was cut with power lines down on the road .The devastation of the hills , properties and houses was amazing , with fire jumping over some paddocks to take a house out and the indiscriminate nature of the wild fire was frightening .Total devastation. All the power lines were down and sagged to road level . At least the pub survived and was certainly the centre of the town efforts and a much needed meeting place. The 3 pm meeting with all the main players gave us the opportunity to demonstrate ShelterBox as we had erected the tent just outside the pub and all were most interested. From not knowing much about Shelterbox, many people learned a lot about it and wanted brochures to spread the word .

The area outside the Dunally pub was a major meeting place and distribution and food centre for all those from the area affected, so it was a great place to erect and present the tent. We now know of a number of residents of this area that appear to genuinely need help.

SRT Scott Jarman (AU) is shown around the ruins of this lay's home

SRT Scott Jarman (AU) is shown around the ruins of this lay’s home

 Tuesday 15th Jan. Early start today as we headed out to Dunalley at 7.00 am to meet ABC reporters and attend a 9.30 am meeting of the support team for the response teams

We were put in touch with a couple of older ladies that had lost the lot and were in a bad way. We went with them and inspected their sites and realised how devastating it was for them to stand amongst the ashes of a lifetime of work and special memorabilia that meant so much to them. As we stated previously, it was amazing to see how indiscriminate the fire was as it hopped one house or paddock to get another. A stark reminder of how devastating it was  to see blackened chimneys standing with no building around them, how sad and demoralising .

The 9.30am meeting was purely organisational, as groups of volunteers were put together to form outreach teams to go out to the various areas to ascertain how the residents were going and if they needed any help or direction to assist them.

The neighbourhood community house was the next port of call and we spoke to the staff there to ascertain their function and if there had been any genuine needs cases come through the doors that really needed a ShelterBox .They do a great job for this small community and are an example of how rural people pull together and rarely seek outside assistance. We travelled from Dunalley to Murdunna, near to Eaglehawk Neck, to ascertain the damage sustained at this town .There was an enormous amount of damage seen as per the photos  and the community was getting right into it doing cleanup and whatever they could .The one major evident aspect is the amount of help occurring. Electricity lines and poles are down everywhere and crews and trucks from NSW, VIC, and SA are here to assist the repairs ,so are the numbers of volunteers on the ground just helping out ,a great effort with everyone pitching in .

The Tasmanian Govt. and Councils have contracted a company to carry out the cleanup at sites where houses have been burned down as it looks like a bomb has hit .Thick ash and tin plus burned possessions are strewn and the sites do need cleaning up especially if there is an asbestos presence. We are therefore finding it difficult to find locations to put up tents in most locations on residential blocks before the cleanup at each site is done, but we do have some takers that want a tent and box in the community area at the moment.

The outreach groups from yesterday may have some leads for us today as they were processing people and their needs and were going to advertise that we were present and put them in touch with us to ascertain their situation.

Response Team Assesses Need in Tasmania After Fires

Former Murrindindi Shire Mayor Lyn Gunter with SRT members Greg Moran (AU), Scott Jarman (AU) and Lynn Jarman (AU) in Dunalley, Tasmania's worst hit town by recent fires, January 2013.

Former Murrindindi Shire Mayor Lyn Gunter with SRT members Greg Moran (AU), Scott Jarman (AU) and Lynn Jarman (AU) in Dunalley, Tasmania’s worst hit town by recent fires, January 2013.

 

‘Residents had no time to flee as the fire came over the hills and swept through the town in under four minutes,’ said Dunalley’s Mayor Kerry Vincent, also a Rotarian, to a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) that has just arrived in the Tasmanian township recently damaged by the Australian bushfires. 

Dunalley is said to be the worst affected area in Australia’s southern state. SRT members and Rotarians Greg Moran (AU), Scott Jarman (AU) and Lynn Jarman (AU) are working with local Government and Tasmania’s State Emergency Service to assess the need and assist an estimated 150 households who have lost everything.

‘On entering the area, we witnessed the indiscriminate path of the fire noting that some areas of bush land and pastoral fields have been left untouched,’ said Scott. ‘But houses centered in the fields have been destroyed by embers reported as travelling some 15 kilometres and igniting on impact.

‘Fields and livestock destroyed’

‘In other areas electricity lines are burnt to the ground and fields and livestock are destroyed. Yet remarkably lone houses stand untouched unlike the numerous businesses and households in the town centre that now only have blackened remnants of chimneys to identify where homes used to stand.’

Local residents were very pleased to see ShelterBox’s immediate response after the reopening of the access roads into the fire-damaged area, one being former Murrindindi Shire Mayor Lyn Gunter. ShelterBox worked closely with her during the 2009 Victoria state Black Saturday bushfires that destroyed 1,300 homes.

‘The ShelterBox tents provided essential support for those in need during the crisis and they will once again be well-received by those that have lost everything to these recent blazes and need support to restart,’ commented Lyn Gunter.

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ShelterBox on Standby to Help in Tasmania and New South Wales

Victims of the deadly Victorian bush fires of 2009 received aid from ShelterBox

Victims of the deadly Victorian bush fires of 2009 received aid from ShelterBox

 

ShelerBox stands ready to respond to the devastating bush fires that have swept through south eastern Tasmania. The small communities of Dunalley and Boomer Bay have been almost completely destroyed and 126 properties burnt to the ground.

NSW-based ShleterBox Response Team (SRT) members Greg Moran and Scott Jarman are on standby to fly to Tasmania if required, with pre-positioned stock from Melbourne.

ShelterBox Australia Communications Officer, Mike Greenslade said, “We have been in touch with the State Emergency Service in Tasmania and made them aware of the resources we have on offer. Greg is coordinating efforts and has also contacted emergency management in New South Wales, where serious fires are sweeping the countryside and threatening homes. Thankfully, no deaths have been reported but our hearts go out to those who have lost property and livelihoods ”

In February 2009 Victoria was devestated by the countries worst ever bush fires.  Estimates suggest that around 900 homes were destroyed, leaving around 7,000 survivors registered for assistance with the Red Cross. 79 ShelterBoxes were successfully delivered to the fire-ravaged Whittlesea area.

International Students Inspire Kings Meadows High School, Tasmania

District 9830 Ambassadors, Ian Routely and Bill Dobson with Jolie Kaloko and Saleh Kasinguvu from Kings Meadow High School

Here’s an inspirational ShelterBox story from our Representatives in Tasmania.

Kings Meadow High School students, Saleh Kasinguvu and Jolie Kaloko have both experienced the benefits of living in a ShelterBox tent, in a refugee camp in Africa. This inspired their classmates to support the leading international disaster relief charity, that provides shelter to those displaced by man-made or natural disasters.

Jolie’s family escaped from the Democratic Republic of Congo, travelling to Tanzania where she was born in a refugee camp.

Saleh first became aware of ShelterBox at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Saleh said, “ShelterBox not only helped my parents, but also my grandparents and gave the children books”.

ShelterBox Tasmania Representative, Rotarian Bill Dobson was delighted that from having a display at Harmony Day held earlier in the year at UTAS, that Kings Meadows High School requested that a ShelterBox be erected for an information/awareness day.

This resulted in Saleh and Jolie talking of their personal knowledge of the benefits of receiving this form of shelter.  Saleh still has a photograph of the tent they lived in Kenya.

Grade 7 of Kings Meadow HIgh raised a fantastic $1,080.00 to support ShelterBox, enough to fund another box. Well done and thanks to all involved