The posting of any family can be a time of upheaval and a disruption of family life to say the least. Every consideration is made for a smooth transition for all. At times, even in the simplest situation, things can be forgotten or left behind during the confusion of a move. Imagine moving a large family, with a special needs child included, from one end of Australia to the other. Even with military precision, this would be a big task for anyone.
At the commencement of this year, a wonderful family was posted from Melbourne to Darwin. The family had six children, and the youngest child, Michael, had cerebral palsy. This family required assistance as one item that had been overlooked in the move was a chair. The Kelly chair is a specially designed chair to aid stability, posture and improve safety. This chair is a valuable asset in the classroom and, like most pieces of medical equipment, is an expensive item despite its plain appearance.
Above: Michael (centre) with his dad, Sean, and mum, Naomi
The Mountain District Christian School had recently acquired the chair for Michael, through the use of school funds and government funding. As they no longer required it, and to save Marrara Christian College (MCC) in Darwin the need to acquire such an expensive item, they generously agreed to donate the chair to MCC.
Removal needed to be arranged from the Darwin end. With the help of Margaret Fisk OAM—National Co-ordinator for Defence Special Needs Support Group—contact was made with Toll Transitions, who generously agreed to transport the chair, free of charge.
These kind acts have made a big difference in the life one small person at this school. The smile on Michael’s face says it all. A very heartfelt thankyou goes out to all involved.
Marina Pilicic is a Defence School Transition Aide at Marrara Christian College, in Darwin
The Army Art Show in East Freemantle
The Army Art show is a charity fund raising event run by the Special Air Services Regiment Auxiliary. on the event not only raises money for worthy causes but promotes Western Australian art that is crafted by both established and emerging artisans, including painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, and jewellery.
Everything that is displayed at the Army Art Show exhibition is for sale. There is an entry fee to exhibit the work, and, if sold, a commission goes towards a donation to that year’s chosen beneficiary.
In the past the event has supported worthy charities such as Legacy, War Widows Guild, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children’s Research Foundation.
This year’s nominated charity is the not-for-profit community support group Recreation and Sport Network Incorporated. The special people who form this network believe in a future where all people should have the opportunity to participate in a welcoming community. Their mission is to enrich the life of people living with disability by facilitating inclusion in sport, recreation and civic life. For more information see their website.
So please, support this worthy, charitable event by attending this year’s spectacular Army Art Show…
For past two years the residents of the Married Quarter Patch on RAAF Base Richmond have come together to acknowledge life, family and community on Easter Saturday in the on-base park.
What started out as an opportunity to get to know the neighbours by bringing the children together for a party, the Easter ‘Patch’ party looks to become a regular event in our community.
With face painting, colouring in competitions, Easter egg hunts, egg and spoon races, a ‘pin the egg in the basket’ game, pass-the-parcel, party food and goodies bags, the children are entertained and the playground equipment is well used.
Each year we have enjoyed the arrival and attention of our special guests: a crew from No 325 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron Fire Section, who arrive kitted out and in their very impressive vehicle providing a real ‘wow’ factor for all party-goers.
Last year the children made and decorated super-sized papier maché Easter eggs. This year a competition was held for the Eggiest Hat and the Craziest Hat in the Easter hat parade. The Fire Crew also thrilled family members, young and old, by providing an opportunity to experience and explore the fire truck.
Left: The Eggiest hat is modelled for one and all!
While we don’t live in each other’s pockets, we are asmall community of 20 households who have taken the opportunity to meet each other and provide support for each other and our families, maintaining communication and encouraging our work-family-life balance. Our children are making friends, playing and learning together and we have established a solid support network. When our neighbours deploy they can feel assured that their families remaining in Richmond are part of a caring community.
Editor’s Note: Has your local Defence community come together to celebrate and hold an event? Let dfm know!