Category Archives: Mt Gambier Home

The 19th Biennial Conference is over

Delegates at the Conference

Over ninety delegates have made their way back to their homes in Timor-Leste, India, New Zealand and across Australia. We have been informed, challenged, inspired, and entertained.
Ryder-Cheshire is an inclusive family and an important function of the Conference is that of family reunion, and a welcome to new supporters. Those who normally communicate by email and telephone have been together for hugs and handshakes, and in-depth discussion that is not possible by other means.
We were fortunate indeed to have a beautiful venue, Hillsley, a former church which is part of the Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School campus, on the outskirts of Melbourne. Our heartfelt thanks to the School for making it available to us.
In conjunction with the Conference, Ryder-Cheshire Australia also held it’s Annual General Meeting, and a General Meeting of the Board, with all members present plus valuable input from Klibur Domin Managing Director, Sr Joaquim Soares and Raphael Chief Executive Officer, Brig Anil Sinha (Retd). The Board also welcomed observers Carolyn Tapley, RCF New Zealand, and John Kirby RCF SA.

Some highlights of the conference:
In the opening address by Dr Heather Schnagl AM, ‘ Never Too Young for Philanthropy ‘, she described the openness of young people to becoming engaged in philanthropy if approached in the right way, and the success she has achieved with her students in this respect. Dr Schnagl, is the immediate Past Principal of Ivanhoe Girls’ School and a “Friend of Ryder-Cheshire”. Indeed, lots of ideas for Ryder-Cheshire to pursue.

The lovely Conference room at Hillslea, which was formerly a Presbyterian Church and has been restored by the School.

We watched informative Power Point and video updates from Anil (from Raphael) and Joaquim (from Klibur Domin) about progress and developments at Raphael and Klibur Domin respectively.
Very important, as the overseas homes are the primary focus of the work and fundraising of Ryder-Cheshire Australia. Carolyn Tapley briefed us on developments in New Zealand.
Several overseas volunteers – Robyn Leeder, Christian Hiss, and Patricia McDonell, described their experiences at Raphael and Klibur Domin respectively. It is clear that for most volunteers these placements are life transforming, and for some become a long-term
commitment.

Saturday afternoon was engaged in a Workshop
“Vision 2025”, with facilitator Robert Gardiner. President Rory introduced his own vision which was followed by 3-minute presentations from all Foundations defining the challenges they see ahead. The delegates broke into small groups to explore ways to meet the challenges. The outcomes from the group work will provide a platform for the Ryder-Cheshire Australia Board and all committees to plan the way forwards.
The afternoon finished with a live interview with Tessa West, author of “Lady Sue Ryder of Warsaw: Single- minded Philanthropist.”, who joined us by interactive Skype from the United Kingdom. She shared many interesting observations and insights about Sue Ryder.

The Guest speaker at the Saturday night Conference Dinner was The Hon Tim Fischer AC, and what a treat that was !
From his perspective as an observer at the 1999 election when the people of Timor Leste chose independence, Tim talked about Timor Leste’s journey to statehood. He drew parallels with the Western Front of WWI, and went on to describe the role of Sir John Monash in the final months of the war. He finished by donating his book of railway adventures, “Trains Unlimited” for auction in support of Klibur Domin. It raised $250 on the spot! The audience showed its appreciation for Tim’s excellent speech and generous
gesture.

Tony McLennan, Melanie Williams and Carole McLennan of our new RCA supporter group in Traralgon, Gippsland.

A beautiful quilt designed, made and donated by Carole McLennan, was the object of a silent auction which raised a wonderful $800 !
Sunday morning held another treat with the showing of precious historical film footage from the early days of Raphael, tracked down by Hugh Elphinstone and Anne and Phillip Boyd. Proceedings wrapped up with a Q & A session which provoked interesting discussion and moved us further along the path of renewal.

Just a few need special mention:
Rory McEwen, President of Ryder-Cheshire Australia, for his energy, wisdom and leadership.

Terry Warr (RCA Website and Communications Co-ordinator) and Mike Moignard (President RCF Victoria)

Mike Moignard, Convenor of the Victorian Conference Working Group, and Master of Ceremonies and moderator for the Conference, and his team.
Terry Warr, computer and electronics whizz who managed the audio-visual aspects with such calm competence.
Sr Jane Gorey and committee members, staff and volunteers at the Victorian Homes for their warm welcome and ‘nothing is too much trouble’ support.

And a Very Special Mention: Evelyn Petters

Evelyn Petters (left) and Anthea Swann (RCF National Secretary). Evelyn has edited the Red Feather for the past sixteen years and after 36 issues she has resigned from the post. At the Conference, guest speaker The Hon Tim Fischer AC presented Evelyn with a Certificate of Appreciation from RCA.

Our best wishes go to Mount Gambier who will host the next Biennial Conference in 2020.

The Victorian Conference Working Group:
Mike Moignard, Don Hamilton, Peter McConnell, Kathy Oswin, Anthea Swann, and Barrie William.

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Great News for Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home!

‘Our application for a Federal Grant for the second Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home has been successful. Tony Pasin MP, our local member, announced the Grant on Monday 31st July when he visited the home.

Over the last two months we have been finalising building plans, which we had to have ready regardless, as the terms of receiving a grant require us to commence the project within 90 days. Once tenders are finalised we expect to begin construction before the end of the year and would hope to open the second home by October 2018.

The budget for the new home is $1.2m of which the Federal Grant is $537,000. The balance is being financed by significant donations, our cash reserves and a bank loan. The grant from RCA of $100,000 is greatly appreciated and again I thank the RCA Board for the support of our project. Similarly, the donation of $100,000 from the sale of the Ryder-Cheshire Singleton was a major contribution to our budget. There have also been several smaller but still significant donations.

This second home will make a significant difference to the lives of another five young disabled members of our community. It will also greatly enhance and further the image of Ryder-Cheshire both locally and on the wider front.’

Neville Gilbertson, Chairman Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home Board

Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier second home site plan

Some history pre Friday 31st July 2017 as reported in the Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home Newsletter, June 2017

When we received the disappointing news that our bid for National Stronger Regions Fund funding had failed the Mt Gambier Home Board was determined that if there was a next time we would put in a better bid.

Member for Barker, Mr Tony Pasin, advised us of a new Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) that became available in early 2017.

In order to improve our chances, we commissioned architect Stephen Herbert to redraw the concept plan to include some suggested improvements and to get the build costed by an independent cost consultant Mr Chris Sale. This was done so that we would be able to say we were “shovel ready” and we would be able to sign a contract with the Government within 90 days if we were advised that we were successful.

Plan for second Ryder-Cheshire Mt Gambier Home

We submitted an application for BBRF funding in late February.

Last December we approached Council to discuss the possible siting of the home and were advised that we would need to seek a road closure. It is not really a closure but more a rationalisation to match the existing logical boundary. Council graciously agreed to pay all reasonable costs. This follows the Council’s donation of the land now over 10 years ago. This process is time consuming but our surveyor has provided all the information to Council and all approvals are now in place. Now it is a matter for the Lands Title Office to register the change.

To ensure that we are ready to proceed we contracted architect Stephen Herbert to draw up detailed plans and specifications, to seek council approval, and to obtain fixed price quotes for the build. This has the advantage of minimising any financial risk to the Board.

The new plan builds on our experience with the current home and is expected to be even more satisfactory for the residents. Access has been a challenge but we believe we have a workable plan that maximises the garden space.

Discussions with Stephen have continued over the last six months and we believe that we now have a plan that will meet the needs for five new occupants.

We now await the decisions by the Federal government as to whether we have been successful or not.

If we are, then we are almost ready to start!