Singer/songwriter Sarah Cowan gave a rousing performance on Saturday night, while on a leave pass from Moruya Hospital.
Sarah told a rapt audience the story of Aden and Fardowsa, the refugees she is supporting in their quest to get their family to safety. Sarah is facing a life-threatening illness and helping this family is on her bucket list.
Moruya RSL Hall was rocking with Sam Fletcher, the St Peter's Anglican College Blues Band and Driving Sideways joining Sarah's own band sacred cow. Sarah's Gift was hosted by comedian Vicki Haberley, who kept the games and music pumping.
The generosity of the 200 people who came for a great night, as well as those who donated has raised $10,000 for the family stuck in a Kenyan refugee camp for so many years. This was an evening celebrating the kindness and compassion of Eurobodalla Shire people. We thank all the local businesses who made donations of prizes.
The money will be held in a trust fund while the Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla supports the family in their applications for resettlement. RAC won't be able to bring them to Australia as our government is refusing to take refugees from Somalia.
Sarah told how Aden was only six years old when his parents were murdered and he walked with his older sister and younger brothers for three weeks to reach temporary shelter in Kenya. Fardowsa's parents were killed in the war and she was helped by other women to escape a forced marriage.
Aden and Fardowsa married and now have three small children. Aden has been working as a social worker helping new arrivals in the Dadaab refugee camp.
Sarah and her friends in Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla hope the success of "Sarah's Gift - Music and Mayhem Spectacular" will achieve a safe future for this family. The night was a wonderful effort by the musicians and all the helpers.
Refugee Action Collective Eurobodalla
Road safety for local government
I attended the recent NSW Training Awards at Sydney Town Hall for the NSW Training Awards as NSW president of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA)
There were 900 submissions for eight categories. To make it the finals was a great achievement. There were lots of really amazing young people there.
We didn't take out the big gong in our category (Industry Collaboration) and the teams that did had really great programs for Services NSW, including growing young people (including young Indigenous people) in regional NSW. They are great people and deserved winners.
However, we're proud to have secured funding and delivered free ASQA accredited training in the Road Safety Audit to 122 of 128 councils in NSW and growing. We have the only accredited course in NSW, have now trained more than 500 people, including in private enterprise, and will soon roll this training out in South Australia.
This training provides a new capacity in local government (which looks after 90 per cent of public roads in NSW). This will save lives and reduce road trauma. You won't hear about it, because it is "no news", which is good news, in this case.
This is just the first step, with free training to be rolled out shortly in Road Safety Planning for councils across NSW. This capacity building aims for local government to drive down the 120,000 serious injuries and 4000 fatalities expected across NSW in the next 10 years if we don't act.
It is fair to say I'm really inspired by the work our very small IPWEA NSW team has been able to deliver on this (and other areas) in recent years. The team is truly committed to our mission of enhancing the lives of NSW communities through excellence in public works and engineering, and a big part of this is aimed at helping councils, and the people who work for them, succeed.
IPWEA NSW President
Bay street kitchen
We are running a volunteer-led "Batemans Bay Street Kitchen" on Saturday, September 28, from 1.30pm - 3.30pm at the Batemans Bay Community Centre, 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay.
Inspired by the Moruya Street Kitchen, this is a community initiative to provide nourishing, healthy home-cooked meals to those living on the streets, in their cars or anyone who is struggling to feed themselves and their families. We are hoping to run these street kitchens on a fortnightly basis. We have a large community of volunteers who will be helping on the day, cooking food, serving and donating clothes, toys, blankets and anything else of need.
This will be a waste and plastic-free event, and we are hoping to combat food waste by asking local supermarkets and cafes to donate any good quality food that may otherwise be wasted. The intention of this initiative is to bring the community together, to reduce inequality, support those in need and provide non-judgemental space for connection, friendship and kindness to flourish. In providing a service like this to others, we also bring purpose to our own lives, and help to heal the disconnection caused by modern society.