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Its Life Jim But Not As We Know It- The Cool Tech Stuff Making ISO Easier

Its Life Jim But Not As We Know It- The Cool Tech Stuff Making ISO Easier

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

2020 has bought some surprises, and tech has never been more important. We peek at some of the tools, innovations and ideas that have showcased brilliant out of the box thinking in living, music and health. 

When we attended the Pausefest business festival in early 2020 guest speaker, Dom Price from Atlassian made some stunning predictions. The global whiz company make tools like Trello and Jira, along with customized collaboration platforms. 

So what did Dom Price, Atlassian work futurist predict? Well, he mentioned a new wave of productivity wasn’t too far away, with teams working from their homes instead of sterile office spaces with sharp efficiency. We all smiled and thought it too far out of reach. But it seems the future thinkers at Atlassian are touched with the golden gift of insight when the future came hurtling through the front door quicker than you can say Pandemic. In a new survey commissioned by Atlassian, 96 per cent of respondents stated that some or all of their employees have transitioned to working remotely due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Along with the likes of Atlassian, some wonderful innovators are seeking to connect and improve people’s lives. Amongst them is Next Address. 

 

 

The real estate selling platform has been winning hearts now for a few years; Next Address is at its core in an exciting bid to place the power of buying and selling homes into the hands of the people.

Using next-level tech, the company founded by Julie O’Donohue has an extensive listing all over Australia thanks to their closely held secret marketing algorithm and sales results. However, it is their virtual tech systems that have rocketed into popularity since COVID hit. 

Julie says; “Virtual Technology creates powerful user interactions and social experiences, all with the goal to generate a positive impact.”

Cleverly named; the NextReality3D technology allows you to virtually walk through a house, conducting an inspection from your chair!

All the elements of the property are extracted using a smart tech camera and its pure genius. From isolation or interstate, people can inspect homes and get more of a real aspect of the property that you cannot achieve with photos or a clever promo video. Check it out for yourself here: https://nextaddress.com.au/property/15-cluny-road-armidale-nsw-2350-23296

Virtual tours – tick! Now, what about some Yoga or self-discovery? 

 

One very special place adapting their sails to the wind to extend help to others is the Rocklyn Ashram.

Settled in the beauty of Wombat State forest in Victoria, Rocklyn Ashram has been a sacred place for schools, VCE students, Backpackers, CEOS, Doctors, Nurses, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents and Retirees for well over 4o year. Every walk of human has passed through those doors from around the world.

A traditional Ashram, it is a destination for global specialists, botanists and horticulturalists with the drawcard of simplicity away from the rat race. 

With COVID came restrictions on visitors to the Ashram seeking solace and retreat. The very forward-thinking Yoginis have recreated a whole variety of classes and lessons online using a combination of their platform, Facebook and Zoom; however, the home retreat via Zoom was the one that caught our eye.

With classes live streaming to homes all over the country, the retreat aims to help offer some stability and routine each day, a regularity and re-establishment of daily practice. If you are in isolation and seeking to glean some peace and self-exploration along with balance, this is a beautiful and affordable way to do so. 

With offerings of Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation and Asana, there are 3-4 online classes a day along with guidance from instructors. Click here for more details. 

AshramRocklynVictoria by Kirsten Macdonald Ponderings Magazine Australia
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What about Music? The musical arts have certainly taken a hit with tours, performances and festivals being canned quicker than you can say BoyBand. 

However, in true form, many musos have risen to the occasion thinking outside the box to deliver music to their fans. Facebook live concerts, the ABC Sound series, Youtube and Instagram have become the new dance halls. However, there is one more delightful la tribune that has really amped things up; MIXLR. 

MIXLR kicked off in 2010 by Londoner Rob Watson. A live social platform, MIXLR users can push out their live audio feed. In other words; create your own radio station!

We are big fangs of Fangradio- Neil Finn’s MIXLR station. Sublime, personal and brilliant; Neils rendition of Prince’s classic When Dove’s Cry is on repeat in the Ponderings office (Heroes by Bowie is pretty bloody amazing too) 

Perhaps the charm comes from being able to watch while the Crowded House legend strums it out with the mic on the table cloth, notes and headphones, but I am guessing it is more than a hint of musical genius. You can use the playback feature or play live; the choice is yours. Check it out here: https://www.neilfinn.com/fangradio

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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The Inside Files of The Mysterious Banksy

The Inside Files of The Mysterious Banksy

Written by Renae Failla

Who is the real Banksy? Or who do we think he can be?

 

In 2010, Banksy was considered one of Time Magazine’s most influential people alongside the likes of Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Lady Gaga. There are many theories and speculations of who the real ‘Banksy’ could be. In fact, you will find Google and YouTube littered with their takes on who he could possibly be based on attempted unmaskings and geographical profiling, a technique which has been used by investigators to work out offenders probable origins. 

Banksy has literally left his mark on cities throughout the world anonymously. Some popular opinions claim that he could be Robin Banx, this was the name he used during his teenage days around Bristol, England. This theory also correlates to a story where a young boy named Azarya was gifted a $30,000 painting signed by the artist after helping him pick up his fallen paintbrushes on a New York train – he provided the name, Robin Banks. 

The boy had described Banksy to be a white man in his late 40s and this might actually be the only legitimate information on the artist if this was indeed him. 

Other accounts claim he could be a team of 7 people or Robin Gunningham, a consequence of geographical profiling which discovered a graffiti artist by the name in Bristol.

Image credit/ Canon Snapper – Artwork: Banksy

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What does he stand for and what drives his passion?

We may never know who the ‘real’ Banksy is – and many of his biggest fans prefer not to know. Instead, they hold a strong passion for what he stands for. Banksy derives his notoriety through his satirical and subversive politically inclined art. 

He achieves this by utilising a stencilling graffiti technique which enables him to garner a political edge to his art. Additionally, the graffiti technique helps to add a layer of history- “they have been used to start revolutions and stop wars,” he says. 

In interviews, Banksy has shared that from a young age, he always had issues with police and authority figures, this alone could be the underlying reasons why his work often depicts political figures in satirical ways. 

Banksy is never one to follow the status quo, often doing the very opposite making a fool of the world of art which gives him his anonymous notoriety and source of income.

Image credit: Warchild Artwork: Banksy

Banksy is very aware of his audience and the platform he has been given with the shift of the 20th century, telling a friend in an interview:

“There’s a whole new audience out there, and it’s never been easier to sell [one’s art],” he continues, “You don’t have to go to college, drag ’round a portfolio, mail off transparencies to snooty galleries or sleep with someone powerful, all you need now is a few ideas and a broadband connection.This is the first time the essentially bourgeois world of art has belonged to the people. We need to make it count,” this is the attitude that has turned him into a household name and obtaining that name goes against what he stands for.

What has he done?

The mediums, locations and continually new pieces to his collection make it difficult to keep track of all of his artworks. Some of his well-known artworks include the Banksy Monkey Parliament, displayed at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, One Nation Under CCTV in London, Sweep it Under the Carpet in London and Kissing Coppers in Brighton.

In addition to his graffiti artworks and what seems to spark the interest of many are his documentary, his pop up exhibition Dismaland and his self-destructive auctioned artwork.

In 2010, Banksy worked on a documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Calling it ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop,’ the film tells the real story of how a strange French shopkeeper became a documentary maker attempting to discover and befriend Banksy. 

Banksy reverses the camera back onto the owner, once again protecting his anonymity. Banksy maintains that he is ‘unfilmable’. Many speculated that Banksy would show in disguise when the film was nominated for an Academy Award, but once again were left disappointed.

 

(Image credit: Banksy)

Dismaland, the Bemusement Park was a temporary art project that took place in an abandoned resort in Weston-super-Mare, UK.

In 2015, Banksy worked with other well-known artists to create the exhibition that took a mischievous twist on Disneyland. The tagline to the exhibition was ‘The UK’s most disappointing new visitor attraction!’.

Banksy funded the exhibition himself asserting that it was a Family Amusement park that was unsuitable for children. There were 4000 tickets available each day for the duration of 5 weeks which unsurprisingly all sold out.

 

More recently, Banksy’s painting of ‘Girl With Balloon’ had just sold for $1.4m in 2018 and to the shock of many onlookers, an alarm went off once it sold and the painting shredded right in front of their eyes. Banksy claims that it turned the exhibition itself into a work of art as it makes a mockery of auctions and the art industry altogether. 

Many considered it a PR stunt which inevitably raised the prices of his pieces.

Why are people so fascinated by him?

It can be said that people are so fascinated by Banksy due to his elusiveness and the unknown factor where they are constantly left wondering who could be responsible for the artwork. It seems the fascination is not even so much by his skill but more so the fact that he has managed to remain a mystery all around the world for so many years. 

For Banksy, anonymity has created a buzz and fame that he would never tap into from being associated with an image.

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A Nibble on Philosophy and The Soul Part Four- Berkeley

A Nibble on Philosophy and The Soul Part Four- Berkeley

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Welcome to Part 4 of Ponderings Nibble on the Soul, an unashamedly reductionalist peekaboo at one of the greats: Berkeley.

George Berkeley was a priest of the Church of Ireland and one of the three most famous British Empiricists.  

Berkeley is best known for his early works on vision and metaphysics; a field of philosophy that is generally focused on how reality and the universe began.

In the Principles and the Three Dialogues Berkeley champions two metaphysical discourses: idealism (everything that exists either is a mind or needs a mind to exist) and immaterialism (matter does not exist). 

If we do not see a tree if we do not use a tree, then does the tree exist? Or if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Our perception of what a tree is gives it form according to George. 

Berkley’s argument that every physical object is actually a collection of ideas is reflected in his motto esse is percipi (to be is to be perceived). 

If ideas are understood to be objects of knowledge, then there must be something that “knows or perceives them, and operates them, remembering them and willing.” 

Berkeley calls this ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’. Minds (as knowers) are distinct from ideas (as things are known). For an idea, to be is to be perceived (known). Since this holds for ideas in general, it holds for “sensations or ideas imprinted on the sense” in particular. 

 This article, for example, doesn’t actually exist, it is a construction of your mind. 

According to George, there is something indeed behind the thinktank, driving it and helping it to create form. Ordinary objects are nothing but collections of ideas, he proposed, and there are only two kinds of things: spirits and ideas. Spirits are simple active beings producing and perceiving thoughts, ideas are passive beings which are created and perceived by spirits.

The truth is perfect and eternal, but cannot found in the world of matter, only through the mind. The world of matter is imperfect and constantly changing. 

If you smash a table to pieces, will it cease to exist? No, because the memory of it still exists in your mind so therefore it still exists in some way. The idea of it makes it so. 

Incredibly complex, George’s thinking was nothing short of a gold winning Gymnast defying the laws of gravity and walking tiptoe on the roof holding a powder puff as walking stick. He liked backgammon. Imagine playing Cluedo wih him? Yikes. 

 

Hmmm. 

 

References:

(An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, 1709)

(A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710; Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, 1713). 

Berkeley, George | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://iep.utm.edu/berkeley/

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Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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Australian Father of the Year Award

Australian Father of the Year Award

Written by Renae Failla

With Father’s Day, a day to remember paternal bonds and the influence of fathers on society, fast approaching on the 6th September 2020, we look to the Australian created award that recognises and congratulates famous fathers in society for their achievements.

Surprisingly, Father’s Day is so significant that it is celebrated by over 111 countries.

About the Award

The Australian Father of the Year award is an annual award that is normally awarded to high profile fathers of society which includes prime ministers, politicians, business leaders and entertainers. It recognises the support and guidance that they not only show to their own children but to other children in society. The award is normally announced annually at luncheon with all proceeds from the day being donated to The Shepherd Centre, however, this year will look a little different with specific details of the ceremony yet to be confirmed.

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This year’s winner is yet to announced, however, Dr Jim Hungerford, CEO of The Shepherd Centre, has spoken to the qualities of this year’s winner saying

“The 2020 Australian Father of the Year Award winner is a father who has played a critical role in fostering community recovery and spirit during some of the tough times Australians have faced over the last 12 months. While the timings of this year’s nominations mean that the 2020 announcement is not related to COVID-19, this father has provided critical support to Australian families – including his own, over the course of the year. 

However, there is no reason why the 2021 Australian Father of the Year couldn’t be one of our dad’s on the COVID-19 frontline. The Shepherd Centre and the Australian Father’s Day Council would love to see nominations that recognise these heroes and their contributions. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how the 2020 Award will be presented but we look forward to what will nonetheless be a very special announcement and invite Australia to celebrate with us.”

 

How it all began

The awards were inaugurated in 1957 and later co-run by The Shepherd Centre, a world-leading children’s charity helping deaf children to develop spoken language at early intervention stages. The second organisation who run the awards are Father’s Day Council Australia. 

Past Winners of the award include the following:

  • Bandit Heeler from the TV show Bluey
  • Sports Journalist Mark Beretta
  • Entrepreneur, aviator, adventurer and philanthropist Dick Smith AC
  • Former NSW Premier Mike Baird
  • Former Governor of New South Wales His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d)
  • GP and community leader Dr Jamal Rifi
  • Basketballer Andrew Gaze
  • Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond
  • Air Chief Marshal (retired) Angus Houston
  • Former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia Guy Cooper
  • Author of best-selling autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin
  • Former Swans Coach Paul Roos

To qualify for the award, nominees must meet the following criteria:

  1. A father who is an inspirational role model and maintains a strong commitment and involvement with his family.
  2. A father who is an inspirational role model to the children in the communities with whom he associates.
  3. A father who has made a significant contribution to the nation and is recognised for his personal, academic or professional achievements.
  4. A father who is committed to maintaining an ongoing and future contribution to the nation. Consideration is given to voluntary, unpaid work undertaken and awards and recognition previously received.

This year, nominations for the award closed on the 29th June 2020.

Mark Beretta, the 2019 award winner

Last year’s winner of the award was Sunrise sports presenter Mark Beretta. Mark, is a father to two young children and over the years has been a strong supporter of many organisations including RAISE Foundation, Fight Cancer Foundation and the Australian Paramedic Support Foundation.

On being selected as the 2019 winner, Mark was undoubtedly honoured saying

“Becoming a dad is a special experience and it does change your life in a very fulfilling way – all my favourite memories involve my family. So many dads out there are doing a great job with their families and I am regularly inspired by the role they play in bringing up brilliant Australian kids. I take my hat off to fathers across Australia for all they do; they deserve a pat on the back.”

photo credit: The Shepard Centre

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Thinking Yourself Slim is Serious Science

Thinking Yourself Slim is Serious Science

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Can you think yourself slim? According to groundbreaking therapist Julia Lorent, the answer is a resounding YES.

 

More than 12 million Australians are overweight according to the ABS, and surgeons operated on more than 22,000 people to help them lose weight from 2014 to 2015. Bariatric surgery is becoming more popular for people to shed kilos in Australia, however with many elective surgeries on hold due to COVID19 rules the operation is not as accessible. 

 

Julia Lorent, change expert and therapist- receives referrals from doctors around the country trying to assist patients and need help- urgently. 

 

The psychological impact of weight gain and loss and the urgent need for mind science to merge and complement surgical interventions is crucial, says Julia, the founder of Savvy Bariatrics

“Right now with people in Isolation our Zoom personal conferencing allows us to do the therapy for patients in their homes. Our new bariatric program helps to scaffold the process and set up patients for success with a multidisciplinary approach” says Lorent.

“The combination process targets different brain pathology, stimulating and strengthening neural connections. The results have been exciting for patients. Everyone has a unique mindset, so it is crucial to use finite targeting and profiling to help the patient. So when you recondition the mind and provide tools and support- you have a winning combination for the patient. It all starts with a conversation.”

“We shine a light on why the mind is triggering behaviours, then we retrain it, reform it and revitalise the patient” says ​Julia​.

The successful Melbourne based therapist says people are not getting psychological assistance, and the statistics combined with the growing referral rate is evidence enough- people are in crisis. “When people are in isolation they can become depressed, eating triggers can be reactivated and old habits can emerge, we really want people to reach out now more than ever.” 

 

For more information about Bariatric Surgery for the Mind Julia Lorent click here http://www.savvybariatrics.com

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Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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Top Ten Go Fund Me Pages In Australia

Top Ten Go Fund Me Pages In Australia

Written by Renae Failla

While we are sitting at home during COVID, particularly for those of us in Victoria, it’s easy to feel a little powerless and out of touch with the happenings of the world.

Everyone’s situation is different at the moment with some of us being completely stood down from our jobs, partial days or working full time in the new normal climate that COVID 19 dropped down on us in a whirlwind. 

For those of us who have noticed some extra savings due to staying at home more often, dining in, or cutting back on those material purchases, you may be looking for something to focus your energy on and impact a real difference. 

We have foraged through the countless listings of those currently in need looking for some extra support around Australia and comprised our round-up of The Top Ten Go Fund Me fundraisers who need additional support at this time.

Meals for Hospo – A COVID-19 E.A.D Initiative

This team led fundraiser by E.A.D, hopes to provide some much-needed support following the rise of COVID-19. The team produces chef cooked, pre packed meals that are delivered via contactless delivery within 20km from Melbourne CBD.

The initiative was brought to life by two bar owners that wished to feed their stood down employees and later grew to extend their efforts to all of Melbourne. Hospitality workers made up a large percentage of those who found themselves unemployed when the pandemic hit. For many families, this has meant struggling to make ends meet. An added bonus about this initiative is that even $1 donations can make a difference as the unit cost of producing and delivering a meal can range between $1 – $3. So for the price of a daily coffee, you can pay it forward to someone less fortunate with a meal. 

The Bennet Family – QLD

 

A family of three, The Bennet Family didn’t realise how their life would change forever on the fateful night of the 6th of August. Glen, the father of the family, was involved in a truck accident while working.

With Glen now in an induced coma and burns to over 70% of his body, the family have been inundated with emotional support from those close to them, but have taken a huge financial hit.

Stefani, the organiser of the fundraiser, decided to create the page as Glen’s wife , would never be one to ask for financial support.

Monetary donations are the best way to contribute to Glen’s recovery and will not only cover the hospital bills for months to come but also assist in supporting his wife who has taken time off work, cover the cost of food, pay for daycare for their child, cover the cost of fuel, accommodation and parking fees.

 

 

 

 

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Help for Noodles – VIC

 

For the dog lovers out there, this one’s for you. Noodles was unfortunately diagnosed with a condition called Hydrocephalus at just 6 months old.

It is a condition where fluid can build up in the cavities of the brain and apply pressure resulting in brain damage.

Noodles has suffered brain damage in his case and over the last two years, his family has invested $45,000 to help pay for his surgeries.

With Noodles being so young, his family will do anything to keep him going and the latest update is that he has only had 2 seizures in the last month but has been doing well, gaining some weight.

All funds received will go to Noodles procedures and in the event that he passes away, will be donated to neurological research in animals.

 

 

 

Save The Blues Train – VIC

Local The Blues Train business, has taken a big hit during COVID-19 which has been worsened by the second wave of lockdown in Victoria. Now struggling to keep the train chugging, The Blues Train is looking for some extra assistance aside from JobKeeper and State Government Support.

Requiring $70,000 to keep the business afloat, The Blues Train are searching for a monetary injection that will support not only their staff but their Blues Musicians and the volunteer-run Bellarine Heritage Railway.

They are requiring support to cover rent, phone bills, IT Support, Marketing and much more. If you can cover one of the following with complimentary services – feel free to reach out directly.

 

 

 

End the Itch for Australian Wombats – NSW

 

The Wombats need our help! Unfortunately, a skin mite that was introduced around 200 years ago by European Settlers is still making its way around the wombat population.

When a wombat is infected with the skin mite, it can suffer endless itching and subsequent infections which often lead to death.

Considered the ‘death sentence’ for many wombats, Dr Chris Brown is hoping to raise money that will create a ‘fighting fund’ to develop better research and understanding into the disease and possible treatments as wombats in some parts of Australia continue to become endangered.

 

 

 

 

Dental Work for Baylie

 

Baylie was diagnosed with both Phelan Mcdermid Syndrome (PMS) and Ring chromosome 22 at just a week old. This has resulted in Baylie being non-verbal and delayed in her development.

The only way for Baylie to keep her smile is to get porcelain veneers placed over her stable teeth. Her developmental delay has meant that she does not understand the importance of brushing her teeth twice a day and they are as fragile as butter.

Baylie’s mum Keri hopes to raise this money as soon as possible to give Baylie the perfect smile before her 21st birthday.

 

 

 

 

A Cause For Good – NSW

 

A brand invented to feature in a family gym to make it ‘a clean place’ now has the mission to develop products that can change the world.

Hoping to bring this vision to life and provide innovative, healthy ways to clean – A Cause For Good is hoping to raise money that will assist in meeting manufacturing requirements so it can be introduced into the market. Plus any donations of $50 or more are eligible for a complimentary hygiene starter pack.

 

 

Good Love – VIC

 

Like many other restaurants and cafes in Victoria, Good Love have been forced to close their doors during COVID 19 and as a result, are unable to pay their rent.

With hopes to stay open once lockdown is over, they are looking at taking a different approach – they are offering merchandise and permanent discounts upon reopening to keep themselves afloat.

With a $30,000 goal to reach, they are offering options such as a beanie for $20 or 2 beanies, $150 for 2 meals, a bottle of wine and a membership with a 12.5% discount for life.

 

 

The Claxton Family – SA

 

This family was put through the wringer late last year and early this year. Just before Christmas, their family home burnt to the ground and they had no insurance to cover the rebuild based on hidden technicalities.

Following this, in February this year, they lost father and husband Michael due to a sudden heart attack at just 37 years old. Now left with no home or father, this family has commenced the rebuild of their new home.

With labour donated from friends, Luke Woolman hopes to raise $100,000 to assist with the rebuild.

 

 

Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund – NSW

Cobargo is seeking funds to Recover and Rebuild after the Australian Bushfires that hit earlier this year.

Their rural village was impacted greatly and now The Cobargo Community Bushfire Recovery Fund Inc has been set up by four of Cobargo’s leading not-for-profit community groups which include the Yuin Folk Club Inc, the Bowerbird Opportunity Shop, the Cobargo Cooperative Society Ltd and the Cobargo Show Society Inc.

As of July 28, 2020, the fund has provided grants to 15 projects but they still have a long way to go, seeking $1,000,000 as their final goal and anticipating a 10-year rebuild.

 

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