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Meet the 2018 Do Good Community Award Finalists

19 November 2018 |Community

Meet the 2018 Do Good Community Award Finalists

19 November 2018 |Community

Our finalists have one thing in common, a desire to Do Good. 

Do Good Community Award Finalists
Rodney South is the founder of the Southern Highlands Truck Convoy, an event that has raised close to $100,000 over the past five years for the BDCU Children’s Foundation.
Rodney South
Rodney South

The most recent event saw eighty-five trucks travel through Berrima and New Berrima to the Moss Vale Showgrounds where locals and truckies enjoyed a day of celebration all for a great cause.

The Truck Convoy is just one of the activities Rodney is involved in within his community. As a reluctant nominee, locals wanted him to know how much they value his commitment and contribution.

Steve Granger is a volunteer with a number of community clubs in the Bundanoon region, is President of the Bundanoon Cricket Club and Deputy-Chair of the Bundanoon Club.
People lawn bowling at Bundanoon Club
Bundanoon Club

Beneath his knockabout exterior you’ll find a thorough gentleman who radiates warmth and generosity. He attributes his sense of community to humble beginnings - as one of seven he learned the value of caring for others and pitching in to lend a hand.

Over the years Steve has been actively involved in many sporting and social clubs across the NSW Southern Highlands. Concerned that sport will eventually disappear from country towns Steve believes that, for children particularly, the camaraderie, sense of belonging and self-esteem that kids derive from sport is vital to their wellbeing.

He was also instrumental in saving the Bundanoon Club from closure. After operating for more than 65 years it is again a thriving community hub for locals and continues to play an important role in the social fabric of the district.

Steve also raises substantial funds for Camp Quality through annual car rallies and the Nathan Granger Golf Day. This memorial event honours the memory of his son whom he lost to cancer. His dedication to the cause – and all his voluntary endeavours – is testament to his strength of character.

‘There’s no point whinging,’ says Steve ‘there’s always someone doing it tougher than you. So get on with it.’

A strong believer in community and that actions speak louder than words, Steve will keep doing what’s needed to ensure his local community continues to thrive.

Isobella McGrath is a country girl at heart and her love of animals is proving to be a real lifesaver. As a veterinary nurse, she recognised the need to establish a dog blood donation service in Australia and so she has, its called BLOOD Hound Australia.
Isobella McGrath Founder Blood Hound Australia
Isobella McGrath

Isobella started with the help of her own dog Roo, and is now educating others about the need with the veterinary sector. She is a student and works full time so getting momentum for this much needed service is challenging. She is gaining traction though as one of the first calls vets in the ACT region make when an urgent transfusion is needed. Her network of dog owners is growing and they're providing lifesaving blood for our canine buddies.

With an eye to a future where there is a national Dog Blood Bank, Isobella says her biggest challenge is getting the word out there and educating dog owners that they can help save our best friends through pet blood donations. If you’d like to support the cause or want to find out more take a look at Isobella’s website.

Steven Neville has an extraordinary story to tell. Once homeless himself, he is the founder of the Portable Bed Project, a not-for-profit that provides portable beds, warm clothing and importantly, companionship and understanding to his community’s homeless.
Steve Neville
Steven Neville

Steven is well placed to be an advocate. He knows first hand what it’s like to be cold and wet, tired, lonely and hungry.  He spends his time walking the streets and alleyways at night to talk and listen to the people he finds there and, if they were sleeping on the ground, offers them a portable bed. What he’s found is that by providing off the ground bedding the incidence of pneumonia and skeletal issues is reduced, as is the demand for dry clothing and bedding from other charities.

Last Christmas Steven took his sons to meet some of the people and his 10-year old son made quite an impression.

‘He sat on their level and asked them why they are homeless and if they have a family they miss…. it turned many to tears, one man who had a son same age and said to my boy… Thank you for your words little man you have touched my heart and given me more strength… and I thank you for that.’

Alanna Davis and her son TJ were involved in a serious accident in 2017, both sustained terrible injuries, particularly TJ who has had four surgeries and experiences extensive pain every day. A woman under the influence of the drug ICE caused the accident.
Alanna Davis and son TJ
Alanna and TJ

Despite their horrific ordeal Alanna has joined the ongoing campaign to raise awareness among young people about the potential horror of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The ACT Health P.A.R.T.Y Program (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) drives awareness and prevention through education in schools. Alanna shares her story with year 10 students as part of the program, which incorporates a full day at Canberra Hospital where they see first hand the impacts of risk taking behaviour.

Alanna has found some light in the pain and suffering that has shaken their lives, ‘Seeing the impact of our story on the young people I speak to and having the opportunity to continue a relationship with the very people who saved my son’s life and support the work they do in our community helps.’

Following the death of Rebecca Picone’s sister in-law, she and her brother decided to turn tragedy into a source of comfort and support for others. They established the Peace of Mind Foundation, a not for profit that supports people affected by brain cancer.
Family Retreat

Through their own experience they found there is very little support available for people in these circumstances. Motivated by the courage and strength of the people suffering from the disease and spurred on by the memory of her sister in-law the Peace of Mind Foundation is providing an extraordinary service to families in very difficult circumstances.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the work the Foundation is doing is running weekend retreats for people who have or care for someone with brain cancer.

Describing the events Rebecca said, ‘I think when you bring everyone together and you see people start the weekend as strangers, scared of what to expect and over the course of two days you watch them start to get out of their shell. They get comfortable and develop these incredible friendships with other people that understand what they are going through because they are going through something similar. And then seeing how that manifests after the retreat and they catch up in real life and their families get together.

That’s the most rewarding thing about what we do, bringing smiles and support to people who really need it.’ Click here to find out more about The Peace of Mind Foundation.

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