Category Archives: Ballarat S G

My Volunteering Time at Klibur Domin

From David 

 When I left Klibur Domin in November 2016 a lot of what was going through my mind concerned “what hadn’t been done”. There were some specific tasks on the agenda from day one. Tasks identified by others, tasks that could lead to giving real assistance to the Director.

Activities at Klibur Domin with the Sisters from the local school.

Snr Joaquim Soares, Director of KD, was the perfect host. Briefing me the first day he took me around the campus, an orientation walk and an introduction to a few of those on staff. Then into his office for the specifics about how best to use my time to help him. Over the next two days I met most of the staff and Iread lots of notes written by previous volunteers.

My role very much depended on access to information supplied by admin and finance staff. I was very grateful for their input. Early on I came to value the fact that their knowledge of English was vital to success of the job at hand. Key people around the KD site were working on a variety of projects within the compound and it was Joaquim’s desire that some of these projects could do with a helping hand. A new bore and pump needed to be commissioned, a massive 190 metre drain was being constructed along the front to carry the deluge in the monsoons and two new buildings were underway. Add to that a new front fence, entrance and cattle grid and I could see I was going to be spending as much time outside of the office as inside. My role was simply estimating the projects, drawing a few plans and getting the material on site. By the end of my stay I was on first name terms with the guys at the hardware and steel stores.

The new water bore delivered more clean water than ever before much to the delight of all the residents. After a  few weeks, a few new pipes and plumbing bits and it was working perfectly. The drain was finished and KD tradies started on the new Clinic. A local contractor was hired to do the new front fence and work began. Security for the residents was paramount, patients, young people and some residents are vulnerable, their safety is vital.

The compound sometimes looked like a farmyard, cattle grazing, pigs digging up the ground and goats eating anything and everything. ”We need a cattle grid!” After much designing and drawing we were ready to contract out the job. As the construction of the grid drew to a close it was time to get all the animals out before the final stage went ahead, ie “the grid”. Picture 15 people trying to herd sundry animals, never been herded before, through a gate. Somehow grid installed, no more animals.

There were other jobs in the pipeline but my time was up.  Finance reporting was now occurring weekly and Richard from Ballarat arrived to take on both the new project and enhance the role in finance and admin. Not everything on the list got done, but everything that was done allowed Joaquim to get on with his job.

I met some fabulous people, had the experience of working in what they call a “post conflict” country and from my cosy little home in Ballarat, I can appreciate how a little help can make a difference.

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!Continue reading Ballarat Grammar School Raises Funds for Raphael

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. Continue reading Telling My Story – A Life in Nursing

Ballarat’s Great Women 2016 and Ryder-Cheshire

Ballarat’s Great Women 2016 and Ryder-Cheshire

Congratulations to our very own Dianne McGrath, President of the Ryder-Cheshire Ballarat Support Group, who was recently recognised by The Zonta Club of Ballarat  as one of Ballarat’s Great Women 2016.

Dianne McGrath
Dianne McGrath

Dianne was honoured with this award by her peers during International Women’s Week in March, in recognition of more than 40 years as a primary and tertiary educator, in the Ballarat area, where she continues to work and to contribute in this field even today.

She was also recognised by her peers as a visionary, having decades ago understood and promoted the contribution that Asia and especially China has played in the development of Australia, and the special contribution that Chinese residents have played in the development of Ballarat since the 1850’ s goldfield days.

Her outstanding contribution to education, her leadership and active contribution to many charitable groups, her cultural vision in awakening the Goom Loong, the Chinese Dragon who resides Sovereign Hill Ballarat. and who celebrates his 20th Anniversary this year, and the redevelopment of the Ballarat Chinese Cemetery are just some examples of Dianne’s contribution to Ballarat life.

The presentation also mentioned Dianne’s sense of family, both immediate and extended  whom she tends with as much love as she attends to her cottage garden in historical Ballarat. In mentioning Dianne’s extended family, she has also developed an extensive network of close personal relationships with people from all over Australia and Internationally.

Congratulations to our much loved Dianne McGrath.

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