Australian Capital Territory Commandery

The Australian Capital Territory Commandery has launched an online appeal to its loyal regular supporters for the L'Arche Foundation in lieu of the traditional dinner, which is usually held in late May. All Commandery charitable financial reserves have recently been expended in support of L’Arche. The nature of the lockdown has meant that Members have been incapable of getting out into the community to raise funds in the normal way. 

Elizabeth Scrivener OAM CLJ
President

New South Wales Commandery

The New South Wales has been encouraging members to reach out on a weekly basis to people whom they know may be negatively affected by the isolation.  This has concentrated on people who are elderly and live alone. The initiative provides connectedness and assurance through regular phone contact to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Feedback from Commandery members is provided below: -

Michelle-Henri Carriol KLJ

“I am involved with Le French Assist, a benevolent organisation created in Sydney in 1892.  As president of the organisation and with the help of volunteers, we are helping French people in Australia in various ways such as financial support, food, and moral support to the young, the elderly in their homes and retirement villages and for a few in prisons.  We are particularly active presently with people on working holiday visas in Australia, who have lost their jobs and have no money.  Even some mercy flights back to Metropolitan France and New Caledonia have been organised.”

 

Bill Killinger AM KLJ CMLJ,

“During the Covid-19 confinement I have: -

  • Attended church by streamed services from St John’s Gordon

  • Continued to organise and carry out many parish duties at St John’s

  • Continued with many Probus activities

  • Participated in Zoom Probus South Pacific Board Meetings (Australian and New Zealand, which has 123000 members) during this crisis with our finances

  • Visited sick friends (not Covid-19) at home and contacting hospitalised ones.”

 

Martin Dowling KLJ,

"Through the local parish, Martin and his wife Pauline have been allocated a person in need.  They drop off food and keep in touch to ensure they are looked after throughout the isolation period."

 

Bernadette Azizi CLJ

“As a member of the Rotary Club of Beecroft, I hold a position of Director of Service and Recipients for a community project called ‘Virtual Neighbour.’  The initiative provides comfort and social interaction through a weekly phone call to a recipient.  A potential recipient would be someone who lives alone and could be feeling lonely and isolated at this time. We match the recipient with a Rotary member and we schedule 2-3 weekly calls, which we monitor.  Most referrals have come through local General Practitioners who have been able to recommend patients who may be at risk of depression due to the isolation and loneliness. While this is a Rotary activity my inspiration to care comes from Saint Lazarus.”

 

Ian Hosking Richards OLJ

“I have been looking after Solomon Islands nationals, including a former Prime Minister (the Hon Rick Houenipwela), who got stuck in Sydney when the borders were closed.  Some of these nationals were patients under my care, and are severely immune-compromised, owing to having undergone months of radiation therapy etc, and so they require extra vigilance.”

 

Martin Dowling KLJ, President

 

Queensland Commandery

Queensland Commandery contributions and activities undertaken during COVID-19 crisis have been as follows: –

A donation of A$5,000 each to 3 charities (total A$15,000), Wedgetail Hospice, Communify, and the Trinity Pantry.

On May 13th 2020 ship disembarkation was prohibited. Packages containing donated personal hygiene items, individual entertainment such as:- (board games, puzzles, books, writing materials), clothing, and snack foods were delivered to seamen. This activity will be repeated in coming weeks.

The Mission for Seafarers (our members are regular and long standing volunteers) established a virtual shop for seaman to purchase personal items. Purchases were delivered to Wharf Gate.

A Queensland Commandery member has provided telephone counselling for Alcoholics Anonymous for new members unable to attend weekly support meetings during the Covid-19 emergency. The member is counselling at least 15 new AA members a week. This number has increased rapidly during time of shutdown.

In response to a national call for health care workers to return to clinical nursing one of the Commandery members has returned to frontline hospital nursing work in cancer wards. To date this member has donated 40 hours per week for 6 weeks ( at total of unpaid 240 hours).

Ronald Campbell Phillips KOTJ KLJ
President

 

South Australia Commandery

The South Australian Commandery has donated A$5000 to the current South Australian Anglicare Appeal, which is raising funds to support the homeless, the jobless and vulnerable people in the South Australian community as winter approaches and the ongoing effects of the coronavirus are felt.

Dr Ross Sweet AM KLJ
President and Deputy Chancellor

 

Tasmania Commandery

Following circulation of the request for support by members of the Tasmanian Commandery, a wide range of responses from members was considered. Opinion coalesced around the concept that Church based local charities and charities associated with support to the homeless should be our focus, as they are at the “coal face” and have the ability to identify immediate genuine needs and direct resources speedily. The Tasmanian Commandery decided to distribute its remaining charitable funds as follows: - A$5000 each to:

  • Hobart City Mission

  • Anglicare

  • St Vincent de Paul

with a request they be spent in our local community to reflect the source of our funds. Additional occasional personal donations from Commandery members resulted in a total distribution of A$16,800 across these three charities.

Richard Pringle-Jones KLJ OMLJ
President

 

Victoria Commandery

The Green Cross Project Inc., is a semi-independent charitable arm of the Order of St Lazarus in Victoria. Many of the Victorian Commandery members are also involved with the charitable work of the Green Cross Project. In the midst of the emerging coronavirus crisis (March 2020) we formally launched our third charitable outreach bus with a new health services partner - Monash Health. 

Some of the existing buses (which are converted former Metro vehicles) are being used as mobile GP clinics, which provide CoVID-19 testing for disadvantaged people in Melbourne's northern and western suburbs.

The Green Cross Project currently has a sound financial position, so no funds have been sought from the Victorian Commandery. Monash Health has identified a number of ideas to use more buses. The former Chair of the Green Project Inc Walter Uhlenbruch AO KLJ OMLJ suggests that at least three more buses may be needed to answer heavy demand. Around A$300 000 will be needed to do this.

John Molnar OAM KLJ OMLJ
President

 

Western Australia Commandery

The Commandery in Western Australia has provided assistance to Just Manna Incorporated, a charitable body and outreach service, during the recent Covid 19 crisis. Two members, Chev Peter Walters KLJ, Almoner, and Professor Christopher Wortham OLJ were instrumental in drawing the Commandery’s attention to the important work of Just Manna and felt a donation should be expedited to assist during the current crisis.

The Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd AM KLJ OMLJ became aware of the marvelous work of Just Manna Inc. when he worked with the Anglican parish of St Paul’s Beaconsfield as a locum priest, and was able to vouch for the integrity and importance of their outreach ministry to the wider community.

Following an online Commandery meeting it was agreed to donate A$5000 to alleviate the burden of increased need among their clients. A cheque was presented by the Commandery President and the Treasurer shortly after Easter.

Just Manna is a not-for-profit organisation, which has been in operation since 2006. Originally it was set up to serve refugees newly arrived in Australia and has expanded to serve all those in need in the broader Australian community. Just Manna aims to provide direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, disability or helplessness including financial and non-financial assistance to people in Australia. Just Manna administration and service delivery is managed by volunteers and as such all funds are used to benefit their clients. By working with other agencies to ensure services are not duplicated, they can focus on meeting unmet community needs. Much of this work involves being an advocate for their clients as they negotiate complex situations.

During the past year some of the services that have been provided include: -

Pastoral and advocacy support, assistance to Syrian refugees, operating a no-cost op shop, provided swags and sleeping bags, providing educational support and personal development, sport and recreation activities. Funds have been made available to cover the expense of housing rental bonds for those seeking accommodation, assisting with meals, transport services, provision of white goods and providing funds for essential medical expense.

Commandery Almoner, Peter Walters KLJ has sourced two refurbished computers from the Mandurah Musketeers for immediate use for students in need. They were delivered at the beginning of May. By using the internet, the have overcome the tyranny of distance and the Covid 19 boundaries imposed by government and delivered assistance in a timely manner.

Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd AM ChLJ OMLJ
President

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