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BUSHchat Issue # 02 - 30 April 2015

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Welcome to the second edition of BUSHchat - issue # 02, released on
30 April 2015.

Lots to report in this edition, including the official launch of our 80th year program, the inauguration of our Friends of BUSHkids Brisbane group, and the announcement of a major expansion of our services.  You can read the full newsletter below, or you can download the PDF (685kb / 4pp) here

   Pathways to Bundy
Pathways to Resilience Trust

Pathways to Resilience Trust, with the support of BUSHkids, has just released details of the imminent Bundaberg Regional Tour
workshops, in the week of 11th to 15th May.

A comprehensive Prospectus may be read online or downloaded as a PDF, and registrations from parents, families, facilitators, teachers and schools are being accepted now.

BUSHkids’ General Manager Carlton Meyn said he was particularly looking forward to the week of workshops in Bundaberg. “With our planned expansion of BUSHkids’ outreach services to Agnes Water and Miriam Vale in the near future, this Pathways Tour is an excellent opportunity for the wider community in the Burnett to discover how our two organisations can assist families across the region.”

“We’re so excited to be coming to Bundaberg in a couple of weeks’ time,” said Pathways Executive Officer Anne Turnbull. “Our Central Highlands visit in March was such a success and the children and families who attended one or more of our workshops benefited enormously. We have lots of bookings for school visits in the Bundaberg region, but there are still places available if teachers and parents book early.”

Pathways to Resilience Trust is a charitable organisation which was established in August 2007 with the specific aim of promoting social and emotional learning and resilience in children, adolescents and families and to assist in the prevention of anxiety, depression and youth suicide.

This is achieved through education, mental health promotion, and working with schools and communities – particularly with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, of indigenous heritage, and in rural, remote and regional areas, including those affected by drought or natural disasters.

The afternoon and evening Pathways workshops are offered FREE to parents, teachers and health professionals (although bookings are essential), along with two, day-long facilitator training sessions in different Friends programs provided at a nominal cost. Download the info kit and registration form here.


Variety Jet Trek fleet visits the Burnett 
Tuesday 5 May @ Bargara sees the arrival of a flotilla of watercraft on Variety Qld's fundraising 'Keppel to the Capital' run. Find out more here

   BUSHkids regional services set to expand
Jane Prentice MP announcing DSS BUSHkids funding

Services to families and children from BUSHkids Centres at Dalby, Warwick, Inglewood and Bundaberg are set to expand in surrounding regions in the next five years.

More than $2.4 million in funding by the Department of Social Services was officially announced on 15 April by the Federal Member for Ryan, Mrs Jane Prentice MP.

This enables expansion of BUSHkids services from the Wide Bay/Burnett to Kingaroy and Nanango, and south to the NSW border. From Dalby, services will be extended to Nanango, Kingaroy and the region to the north; from Bundaberg, services will operate in the Agnes Water – Miriam Vale district; and our Warwick and Inglewood Centres will jointly support expanded activities in Stanthorpe and the Border region. 

Jane Prentice announces the DSS funding package at Toowong on 15 April 2015. (Photo: Tuba Media Productions)

General Manager Carlton Meyn said these regions were chosen according to needs identified in their communities and the limited services currently available for families and children.  “Early intervention and prevention services aimed at improving kids’ development and wellbeing are key,” says Carlton of the new programs, “with support for parents to develop their skills being accompanied by professional development for early childhood educators, so it’s a three-tiered approach.”

"We work with people who can't access services – people who can't even afford to put petrol in their cars to go to other services," Carlton said. "We will always provide a service for families who cannot afford to take advantage of other programs."

The expanded services will utilise a mix of proven programs as well as new, specially targeted seminars, home visits and supported playgroups. Preparations for the launch of the expanded services are well underway, with detailed consultations with community and professional organisations, schools, other service providers and the Friends of BUSHkids groups.

More info in upcoming editions of BUSHchat! Meantime, you can read more in the media reports here.

BUSHkids service locations and outreach 2015<
   'Q80' cake-cutting kicks-off anniversary year

With the enthusiastic support of our many corporate, business, political and civic partners, we officially launched our 80th anniversary program at our Toowong headquarters in Brisbane on 15 April. Country and City came together in fine style, with the luscious ‘Q80’ cake and specially-made BUSHkids Macarons provided by our friends at the French Patisserie among the gourmet hits of the night.

BUSHkids Toowong '80 driveway art' Sharon (L) and Anthony (R) from French Patisserie with Carlton, Allison and Neil

Friendships old were renewed (lovely to have you join us, Pat and Sue!), and new friendships made (big thanks to Keith and Dustin from Virgin Australia in particular for your stellar assistance with the audio/visual technology!). BUSHkids Council members mingled with the more than 150 guests, who also had the chance to talk, first-hand, with our teams from Dalby and Inglewood, who had driven hundreds of kilometres especially to be with us for this cornerstone event.

A spellbinding, and movingly personal, ‘welcome to country’ was delivered by Turrbal Song-woman Maroochy Barambah to formally open proceedings. Among the entertainers on the night, we were blessed to once again have musician/singer Emma Bell with us, along with the angelic voices of the Somerset College Choir, as well as our stalwart supporters, the members of the Band of the 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.

Event MC Matt Tesch, our 80th Anniversary Program Manager, did his best to keep things moving along, for there was a lot of ground (and time and space) to cover. We heard from BUSHkids Council Chairman Dr Neil Bartels, and GM Carlton Meyn, about the extensive Bartels family involvement in the organisation, and the many transformations and evolutions which have occurred in its operations over the past eight decades.

Guests listened, transfixed, to the recording of a radio appeal broadcast in October 1939 by the founding President of the Bush Children’s Health Scheme, Queensland Governor Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, and many were heard to remark that His Excellency’s words from 75 years ago continue to be relevant today.

We are indebted to the teams from AB Events & Theming, Nomadic Tents, and Catering by Clancy who made the logistics of this wonderful event a reality, and to the many hours of effort dedicated by our volunteers and staff which made it possible. Thank-you, everyone.

View our online albums of some of the images from the 15 April events here
   Friends of BUSHkids inaugurations
Jane Prentice MP with Dr Neil Bartels, unveiling the FoBk emblem

Unveiling of the new statewide Friends of BUSHkids emblem on 15 April 2015, by Mrs Jane Prentice MP, Member for Ryan, and BUSHkids Council Chairman Dr Neil Bartels.

Mrs Prentice has kindly accepted the role of Honorary Patron of the FoBk Brisbane group, and we hope that, together with the enthusiastic response on the night, this will enable our latest FoBk group to play a pivotal role as a conduit between City and Country to raise the profile of the urgent health needs of Queensland kids.

Following extensive, statewide work over the past year, which saw the establishment of FoBk groups associated with all our regional Centres, it remained only to commission the Brisbane group to complete this first stage of our new statewide community network.  

(Photo: Ian Mace)

As well as Mrs Prentice, a number of speakers on the night remarked on the need to renew the communications channels between the Bush and the coast, to help ensure the needs of rural, remote and regional families and children are heard, and acted-upon.

The new emblem was revealed to great acclaim by the guests, and FoBk badges materialised – almost supernaturally – on the lapels, jackets, shirts and blouses of BUSHkids staff and volunteers, before being offered to all the guests. 

Everyone present at the event was given a gift bag at the end of the night, with a comprehensive info pack about the organisation, our work, and our aspirations for the FoBk network.

'Love in the Bush' and similar words have been hallmark themes of the work of BUSHkids and its publications in the past 80 years. People joining together, with a shared interest in what Sir Leslie Orme Wilson famously described as "an investment in the future of Queensland", are the symbolic heart of the FoBk emblem, accented by the red-earth and 'big-sky' blue colours of the main brand's wordmark.

There’s not a lot more we probably need to say about this emblem here, except to note that the vibrant, elegant simplicity of the design is what seemed to strongly resonate with everyone present on the night of the 15th.

Rather like our ‘Q80’ graphic it draws its inspiration from elements of our past, emboldened with the rich, bright colours of our future.

If you would like to find out more about Friends of BUSHkids in your local area, and how you or your organisation might be involved, please click here

   Brisbane City Council spans the years
Carlton Meyn with Cr Peter Matic

As the sun set over Brisbane on Wednesday 15 April, the iconic Story Bridge glowed in BUSHkids’ red-earth, sky-blue and white colours.

Local Councillor for Toowong Ward Peter Matic, who represented Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, spoke of the rich historical connections between the City of Brisbane and BUSHkids, at the same time our volunteer Rob Gluch was driving around the CBD and New Farm to capture these magnificent images of the bridge!

Story Bridge 15 April 2015 BUSHkids lighting

Coinciding with the official launch of our 80th year program and the Friends of BUSHkids Brisbane group, this stunning landmark also illuminated our shared history with Brisbane City Council and the office of the Lord Mayor. Readers might recall it was Lord Mayor Alderman Alfred Jones, who convened – at the request of Governor Sir Leslie Orme Wilson – the public meeting at City Hall which led to the foundation of the Bush Children’s Health Scheme. It was also Sir Leslie who, in May 1940, officially opened the Story Bridge.

How good is it, then, in 2015 that both connections were revitalised and illuminated anew?

Story Bridge BUSHkids colours 15 April 2015





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