All posts by Dianne McGrath

Ballarat Grammar School Raises Funds for Raphael

Bina Day began in 1978 at the Ballarat Grammar Junior School when the school sponsored their first Little White House resident at the Raphael Ryder-Cheshire International Centre in Dehra Dun, Northern India. Her name is Bina and she went on to study nursing. Raphael has been operating for 59 years.

The Assistant Principal, Julian Hopkins said, ‘We now sponsor six children and one adult with disabilities at Raphael.’

‘The school was buzzing with all the students’ excitement for their 2017 Bina Day. They organized the stalls and activities to raise the funds. They set up cake stalls, environment stands, busking and lots of fun games.’ From Ballarat Courier 3rd May 2017

Lots of goodies to chose from.

Brigadier Arun Bhatnagar, CEO Raphael, sent through a message of encouragement to the students. ‘Last year, I and my wife had the pleasure of meeting some students from Ballarat Grammar School, while we were in Ballarat attending the Ryder-Cheshire Biennial Conference. We were moved to see the commitment of the students for reaching out to support our residents at Raphael. This in itself speaks volumes of the ethos of your school and the values you are cultivating in the GenNext. Hats off, indeed!

Even in the rain Bina Day is fun.

‘The magical day is a ‘kids’ zone’ where adults are politely asked to stay away. We generally regard Bina Day as the most exciting and wonderful day of the year, largely because it is the students who make it all happen – with a little assistance from their families and teachers. ‘Bina Day by children- for children.’ From Ballarat Grammar Junior School Newsletter 31st March 2017

Mark Warwick, Head of the Ballarat Grammar Junior School reported, ‘Bina Day once again surpassed all our expectations in terms of young children taking responsibility for their actions, working hard for the benefit of others less fortunate and developing their entrepreneurial skills…Bina Day is truly an amazing and wonderful day. We were very very impressed with the work of the Year Six Committees who undertook to ensure this day was a success. We had some former members of the staff attend the opening which helped incorporate some of the history and values around the meaning of Bina Day.’ From Ballarat Grammar Junior School Newsletter 28th April 2017

Julian Hopkins, Ballarat Grammar School AP, introducing original Bina Day teachers from 1978.

Members of Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire assisted with the opening of the day. A special Bina Day anthem was sung. The new teachers to the school were inducted with a Bina Day First Aid kit consisting of an L-plate, two Panadols and Ferrero Rocher chocolates to assist them survive the day!

Dawn Manning, Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire School Liaison Person, commented that, ‘The energy level of the children for helping others in the cause for the relief of suffering was so special. Their compassion for world wide and local humanitarian causes is just outstanding and so well received.’

Dawn Manning and Julie Brusaschi at Bina Day. Derek Smith was the photographer.

Dawn attended the School Assembly after Bina Day to thank the school for their work and long time dedication and also to present Ryder-Cheshire badges to the students who undertook the research into the history of Bina Day.

Bina Day raised $6800. These funds are used to support their seven Raphael residents and also to give to other worthy humanitarian causes.

Telling My Story – A Life in Nursing

Ondria Cheeseman has always wanted to write a book since her early days.

It was her volunteering experience at Klibur Domin in 2014 that pushed her along her bucket list giving her the much needed motivation to write and realize her dream.

At the age of three, Ondria needed to be hospitalized for heart surgery. She knew then that her calling was to nursing. That was in 1966 and fifty years on Ondria is still nursing.

She trained at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Upon her graduation she worked in Northern Territory, Western Australia, Papua New Guinea in the Duke of York Islands and Bougainville.

Ondria met her husband, Leicester, in Papua New Guinea and went to live in his homeland New Zealand, where they raised their three children.

Returning to Australia they settled in Ballarat, Victoria. Ondria worked in a variety of nursing positions and developed a serious interest in palliative care. This has been her main area of nursing in recent years.

About four years ago, she tried to retire, “I didn’t work out as I didn’t want to tidy my cupboards!”

Papua New Guinea made such a strong impression on Ondria, so much so, that she decided to go down that path again.

Ondria responded to an advertisement in the Ballarat Courier asking for volunteers to work at the Ryder-Cheshire overseas homes. Her credentials led her to the Klibur Domin Health Facility in Timor-Leste in 2014.

Ondria with the KD Stop Smoking resources

Whilst there she wrote up some basic procedures for medical conditions such as heart attacks, diabetes, asthma, stop smoking, high blood pressure and common cold. These procedures have been translated into the local language, Tetum. Upon her return to Ballarat, Ondria assisted the Ballarat Support Group under the guidance of the Director of Klibur Domin, Sr Joaquim Soares, to develop and design stop smoking educational resources materials to be used at Klibur Domin. These materials were financed through the generosity of the Ballarat Loreto College students. The students presented the no smoking materials to Sr Joaquim when he visited their College last year.

“Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste are two countries who face so many challenges in their health systems. My goal was always to work out how to make the most of what they have and perhaps just add a little more in which is both culturally acceptable and achievable, but still not be surprised if it is not as sustainable as I thought it might be and to just accept the reality of life. I wanted to learn from the local people and not to impose my ways on them.”

Ondria has achieved her goal on her bucket list. Nursing, Challenges, Laughter and Tears is finished and will be launched on Sunday 18th June at the Buninyong Bowls Club at 2pm. Her story is one spanning over fifty years of nursing. It is a down to earth recollection of her memories which are both humorous and touching. It is definitely an enjoyable must read.

“I have finished my book now and possibly will also finish work this year – perhaps it is time to tidy my cupboards!”

Ondria Cheeseman is a member of the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria-Ballarat Support Group.

Ballarat Support Group members at Ondria’s Book Launch in Buninyong

 Nursing, Challenges, Laughter and Tears can be purchased for $30 from:
Ryder-Cheshire Homes Victoria, 10-14 Donaldson Street, Ivanhoe, VIC (03) 9254 2400

Ondria Cheeseman cheesion@bigpond.com

Ryder-Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference in Ballarat 15 – 17th April 2016

Sr Abel Guterras, Brigadier Arun Bhatnagar, Dianne McGrath and Sr Joaquim Soares
Sr Abel Guterras, Brigadier Arun Bhatnagar, Dianne McGrath and Sr Joaquim Soares

In Sydney 2014, the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria Ballarat Support Group volunteered to host the next Ryder-Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference for 2016 in Ballarat, Victoria.

Planning began immediately, including securing the all-inclusive, beautiful venue and surroundings at the Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre in Ballarat for 15, 16 and 17 April. Continue reading Ryder-Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference in Ballarat 15 – 17th April 2016

Ballarat Civic Hall Tells a Ryder-Cheshire Story

Original 1964 poster advertising Leonard Cheshire's Public Meeting in the Ballarat Civic Hall
Original 1964 poster advertising Leonard Cheshire’s Public Meeting in the Ballarat Civic Hall

 The Ballarat Civic Hall is gathering stories for historical records. The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria Ballarat Support Group was asked to add their story to the collection, as it was back in 1964 that its birth took place when Leonard Cheshire visited Ballarat.

The late Group Captain Lord Leonard Cheshire of Woodhall VC, OM, DSO, DFC and the late Baroness Sue Ryder of Warsaw CMG, OBE. set up the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation in 1959.

Leonard Cheshire was Britain’s most highly decorated WW2 airman. He was a British observer at the atomic bomb raid on Nagasaki. His reaction to the war led him to undertake humanitarian work as his contribution to peace.

Sue Ryder served in the Special Operations Executive in WW2 with responsibilities in Poland. Witnessing the terrible destruction after the war, she set up homes in Eastern Europe to help and sick, homeless, disabled and destitute people especially those from concentration camps.

Continue reading Ballarat Civic Hall Tells a Ryder-Cheshire Story

Ryder-Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference 15th to 17th April 2016

April this year sees the Ryder-Cheshire fraternity assemble in Ballarat for their Biennial Conference.

The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria Ballarat Support Group is hosting the Conference. The Ballarat members feel honoured to be undertaking this task and are eagerly looking forward to the fruits of their work.

It is a weekend packed with presentations, workshops, historical movie, guest speakers and the celebration of the work of Ryder-Cheshire ‘for the relief of suffering.’

Delegates are coming from all over Australia and from India, Timor-Leste and New Zealand. Continue reading Ryder-Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference 15th to 17th April 2016