Meander Valley Gazette

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Red Cross

A life of giving to others

Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Kim Brundle-Lawrence of Carrick  Photo by Mike Moores

Kim Brundle-Lawrence of Carrick

Photo by Mike Moores

By David Claridge

HELPING THE community is something that has come naturally for Carrick lady Kim Brundle-Lawrence.

Ever since learning first aid from the Red Cross in grade 4 at school, Kim started on a path of volunteering which has resulted in 54 years with the Red Cross, 45 years with the Tasmanian Bands League (the majority of that time with the City of Launceston RSL Band) and nearly 30 years with the Tasmania Fire Service to name a few.

Kim is also President of Lifelink Samaritans.

Her roles have ranged from door knocking for the Red Cross March Appeal to helping with disaster relief in Tasmania and on the mainland.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Kim was recognised for her many years of services to the community with the Order of Australia Medal.

‘People ask me how I prioritise … I ask myself who needs me more. Once I took my Red Cross bag in the back of a fire truck due to a town potentially being evacuated,’ she said.

‘It’s getting out there and helping people. I don’t have many ties at home now, so it keeps me busy.

‘While the award is really nice for me and I’m stoked about it, I see it as recognition of not only me doing work but for all volunteers doing work. It’s an acknowledgement to all of us.

‘I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support from the families I have across the various groups.’

Kim was awarded Honorary Life Member of the Red Cross in December 2018, which sits with the many other accolades she has collected over the years.

Kim Brundle-Lawrence has received the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her many years of services to the community.

Evacuation centre poised for action

NewsJoanne Eisemann

March 2019 | Hayley Manning

THE TASMANIAN Government, in association with Tasmanian Fire Service and local councils, opened evacuation centres for those areas impacted by fires or threatening embers.

Meander Valley Council’s Social Recovery Coordinator, Patrick Gambles, in response to guidance and direction from Tasmanian State Emergency Services (SES) and other emergency services, activated the Westbury Town Hall Supper Room as an evacuation centre several times during the recent bushfire threat.

“Our role is to help the community get back on its feet by providing access to personal support, shelter and information. It could be as simple as come in and let us know you are safe and we will register you. We can help with immediate needs and for more substantial support we will bring in services like Red Cross, financial or health services, and ultimately, if people need somewhere to sleep, we have contingency plans to turn a hall like this into an overnight evacuation centre,” Patrick said.

“Regrettably, Council does not always have the time or resources to door-knock during an emergency situation so we work in partnership with volunteers from our six local service clubs, who can provide low-risk support, check on people in their home, help with clean-ups and do minor repairs.”

Patrick says the Council emergency management team has a strong association with Red Cross, and they appreciate the support of agents with training in psychological first-aid, evacuation centre management and all forms of disaster impact experience.

Emergency Services Manager Tasmania, Howard Colvin, says Red Cross staff help people complete a ‘Register. Find. Reunite.’ national registration service that informs Tasmania Police, other emergency services and loved ones of evacuation details (according to permission indicated at the time of register) – in the event that communications are compromised.

“In my experience, Meander Valley Council is one of the most switched on councils in Tasmania when it comes to emergency management,” Mr Colvin said. “They have engaged with Red Cross in emergency management, adapted some of our emergency management operational practices, and worked with us to train a range of community organisations in the joint recovery effort that follows.

“We see the benefits every time they respond to an event and the community can take comfort from the hard work the Council has put in.”

Patrick says while it is heartening to receive offers of goods and volunteer assistance, it is not practical due to the unpredictable nature of events.

The best way people can help is by registering to volunteer. To do so, please visit www.volunteering tas.org.au.

Patrick Gambles and Vicki Jordan, ready to offer assistance to those in need at Meander Valley’s Evacuation Centre in Westbury   Photo | Mike Moores

Patrick Gambles and Vicki Jordan, ready to offer assistance to those in need at Meander Valley’s Evacuation Centre in Westbury

Photo | Mike Moores

Compassionate nation

EventsJoanne Eisemann

March 2019

A NEW Red Cross survey reveals Australians are compassionate, with around two thirds (64%) of the population wanting to do more to help people in need. Kerry McGrath, Director Community Programs, Australian Red Cross said: “In the second year of our Red Cross survey, Australia is trending in a very positive direction, with the great majority of us wanting to help others, and even an 8 percent increase from last year.”

“Young people top the country, with eight of ten (82%) aged 16-17 saying they want to help others doing it tough. This is excellent news for the state of our communities, now and into the future.” “Australians are absolutely crying out to make a contribution, with more than one in two (56%) saying they genuinely want to do more locally, yet just over a third (38%) say they are actively connected and engaged.”

The new research coincides with thousands of volunteers hitting the streets for March’s Red Cross Calling Appeal. Every March, Red Cross Calling brings volunteers together to host events, knock on doors or donate to Red Cross Calling.

Good food on a budget

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

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November 2016

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THE AUSTRALIAN Red Cross are holding four workshops over four weeks at Deloraine House.

The program is designed to teach participants how to cook delicious meals on a budget.

The workshops will cover things like food safety, shopping on a budget and how to choose good food options.

It will also cover Healthy cooking and basic cooking skills.

The workshops are free and will run for three hours a week over four weeks at Deloraine House starting on Wednesday 23rd of November from 10:30am to 1:30pm.

Booking are essential.  Please call Deloraine House on 6362 2678.