Category Archives: Volunteering

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

Karen

My Raphael Family

Karen COWTONI have been asked to submit an article about my time at Raphael in October/November 2014 but I just don’t know where to start.  My 19 yr old daughter and I spent almost two months at Raphael so you would think I could come up with something.  My fear is not being able to do Raphael justice  in  just one short article. I have thought of every excuse under the sun not to write the article but here I am attempting to write it none the less. Continue reading Karen

A Round up of Recent News from Ryder-Cheshire Australia

A very important appointment in Timor-Leste!

Earlier this year, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo became the fifth Prime Minister of independent Timor-Leste. Dr Araujo has had a distinguished career as a medical practitioner and administrator and has previously held the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister. Until recently, he was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Klibur Domin (the home which Ryder-Cheshire Australia supports in Timor-Leste) and still serves as a member of the Board. Dr Araujo has contributed very generously of his time and expertise to the support and development of Klibur Domin, and we all wish him great success in his role leading Timor-Leste.

Our new web-site is coming soon.

A new version of the Ryder-Cheshire Australia web-site should be up and running in the next few months. The new version will be at the same web address (www.ryder-cheshire.com) but will be streamlined, more easily up-dated and will incorporate new search functions and links. So please keep an eye out for our new look web-site. Continue reading A Round up of Recent News from Ryder-Cheshire Australia

Tristan

TMI arrived about two weeks after Jo and Kate, with almost no idea what to expect.  With 36 hours of travel behind me, I crawled into bed and woke up to the sounds of Raphael all around me.

It has been an island of peace and complete tranquillity in an otherwise bustling country.  It took a week for me to begin calling it “home” and to tell each other “I can’t wait to get home” while out and about on weekends. Continue reading Tristan