On the Monday 16 April after the 2018 Ryder Cheshire Australia Biennial Conference in Ivanhoe, the Raphael Northern India and Klibur Domin Timor-Leste visitors continued their journey to Ballarat to visit the Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire schools.
As 2019 will be Raphael’s 60th birthday this visit provided a wonderful opportunity to thank each school for their long time commitment ‘for the relief of suffering.’
Each school was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation plus the gift of the Leonard Cheshire Rose which will arrive in late July for planting. The rose will be in full bloom in time for Raphael’s birthday next year.
The first group visited Ballarat Grammar School and Ballarat Clarendon College. This group was accompanied by Trish Twaits, Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire Secretary, and Dawn Manning, Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire School Liaison Officer. The group included:
Brigadier Anil Sinha, Chief Executive Officer at Raphael and his wife Gouri Sinha, The Hon Rory McEwen, National President of Ryder-Cheshire Australia and his wife Di McEwen, Susie Mackerras, RCA National Project Officer (India) and Overseas Volunteers’ Coordinator.
A second group visited Damascus College and Loreto College. This group included:
Sr Joaquim Soares, Managing Director, Klibur Domin
Sra Fabiola dos Santos, General Manager, Klibur Domin
Mike Moignard, President Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Victoria and his wife Kathy Moignard,
Lucy Xavier who is from Ainaro in Timor-Leste and is having a Gap Year at Ballarat Grammar School
The group was accompanied by Dianne McGrath, Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire President and Andy Naus, Ballarat Ryder-Cheshire School Liaison Officer.
Patricia Prendergast, Honorary Life Member and her son Maurice joined the group at Loreto College.
Both groups came together for lunch at the Ballarat
Specialist School Café at their FARM. Sam Sheppard, Assistant Principal, hosted the lunch with help from the students from the Specialist School.
After lunch a third group visited Mt Blowhard Primary School, a small rural school north of Ballarat. The students warmly greeted their special guests and proudly conducted a tour of their school which was followed by a whole school assembly and afternoon tea.
Ballarat put on a wet, windy, cold day, but this did not dampen the enthusiastic welcome the schools gave to their overseas and national visitors. It was a day of great joy hearing about how each school supports RCA ‘for the relief of suffering.’
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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→
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→
When Klibur Domin was established in September 2000 a container, funded by a generous member of the Lions Club of Nunawading, was sent across full of building materials for a Rotary team to effect repairs to the buildings; and furniture and equipment for the first contingent of volunteers set up the new home. Continue reading Container Gets a Facelift→