CELEBRATING YOUR SUPPORT
A Helping Hand
NSW Volunteer of the Year Award
International Volunteer Day
Five minutes with KPMG
ING mentoring program
Diary Dates 2009
2 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
A MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
As I reflect on all the volunteering events and activities
throughout 2008, I am reminded of what an incredible
volunteer force we are fortunate to have.
Last year, over 1,700 individuals volunteered more than 33,000
hours to The Spastic Centre. In financial terms, this equates to
over $1 million. A remarkable contribution which has allowed
us to provide services and opportunities to our clients that
otherwise would have been difficult or impossible to supply.
We are always delighted to expand our volunteer force and
welcome new people to our cause. Please do not hesitate to
contact our volunteer department if you have any ideas around
potential projects or prospective volunteers!
Thank you again for ‘lending a helping hand’ over the last
We look forward to an exciting and positive 2009!
FROM THE VOLUNTEER TEAM
What a way to celebrate the end of 2008 and International
Volunteer Day! Over 120 volunteers joined us at the Dendy
Opera Quays as we took the opportunity to say thank you to
our fabulous supporters!
Before volunteers were treated to choc tops, popcorn and the
screening of the much anticipated movie “Australia”, several
individuals & corporate partners were recognised for their
outstanding service & contribution.
Recipients of awards included Dean Calabrese, Nicole
Chidgey, Madeline Cousley, Bronwen Doran, Sally Garman,
Noela Hawkins, Johanna Henwood, Francis Kennedy, Vardit
Lahav, Don McLarty, Cheryl Morgan, Ellen Muller and Emily
A number of corporate supporters were also awarded on the
evening. They included American Express, Charlestown Square,
Clayton Utz, Commonwealth Bank, Disney International, Eli Lilly,
Ernst & Young, GE, GPT, ING, KPMG, Lend Lease, Macquarie
Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Westfield and Westpac.
While we realise that our volunteers selflessly donate their time
to The Spastic Centre and do not expect such awards, we do
want to recognise your amazing efforts!
We have several exciting initiatives planned for this year. We
will fill you in as the year progresses, but in particular keep an
eye on our website in March!
We hope that you have all enjoyed the holiday season and are
feeling refreshed and reenergised – ready for another great
year in 2009.
Amanda, Angela, Carole and Jackie
This year’s Reward and Recognition evening was held at the Dendy Cinema, Circular Quay
where volunteers were treated to a screening of the movie ‘Australia’.
Front Cover: Volunteers Don McLarty and Emily Sheppard
LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
2008 NSW Volunteer
of the Year Award
2008 NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award
nominee Annie Rahe from ING accepts her nomination
certificate from NSW Minister for Volunteering, the
Honourable Graham West
Photo courtesy of Lorenzo Olgiati of The Centre for Volunteering
Spastic Centre volunteer Annie Rahe from ING was recently selected as a finalist
in the annual Corporate Volunteer of the Year award.
Winners of the 2008 NSW Volunteer
of the Year Award were announced at a
gala ceremony on Friday 5 December at
Sydney’s Parliament House. ABC Radio host
Adam Spencer was Master of Ceremonies,
and NSW Minister for Volunteering, the
Honourable Graham West presented the
This year, almost 450 outstanding nominations
were received. A much larger number than
anticipated. Volunteers’ Manager Jackie
Curnow helped judge the individual volunteer
awards, selecting the winners for both the
Central West and Northern Rivers region.
All judges found their role fascinating and
enjoyable but difficult none-the-less! If only
it was possible to give an award to every
We are very proud to announce that Annie
Rahe from ING, nominated by The Spastic
Centre for the 2008 NSW Corporate
Volunteer of the Year award, was selected as
one of the nine finalists. Annie has worked
very closely with Peter Horsley, Project Coordinator
Community Links, volunteering for
the ING Ignition Mentoring Program (see
Peter tells us ‘Annie approaches her work
as a volunteer with amazing passion,
enthusiasm and skill. She is constantly
looking for opportunities to give for the
betterment of others. Each time she commits,
she commits wholeheartedly. She has an
infectious enthusiasm that pulls others into her
charitable vortex with that same enthusiasm
and drive. She leads programs when she
has the opportunity, and she’s also a great
team player. It is not just an extra curricular
activity for Annie - it exudes from her being.
She lives for others. All of this while she holds
down a very senior position with ING.’
Nominations for the 2009 Volunteer of
the Year award open during National
Volunteer week (11-17 May) and close
Please let the volunteer team know if
you would like to nominate either an
individual or corporate volunteer for this
very special award.
4 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
Festive Season At The Spastic Centre
Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful corporate supporters and volunteers,
The Spastic Centre’s clients and families were treated to a magical time over this
Performers and clients at the KPMG Family Picnic Day, Prairiewood
Meret meets Santa’s ‘helper’ Millie at the North & East
Children’s Services ‘Christmas for the Kids!’
Macquarie Group Foundation volunteers cooking up a storm
Daniel pretends to test drive Santa’s racing car!
Families, children and siblings had the
opportunity to connect with each other
and enjoy fabulous food, entertainment
and gifts at a number of Christmas parties
held at Orange, Terrey Hills, Prairiewood
My Time Christmas party - Megan Finkle (mum), Anna and Claire from Musswellbrook
LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
Line of Business group (TLTS) within the Audit Division began
the relationship over a year ago and in particular with the
Prairiewood site. I have continued to volunteer both from a
corporate perspective but also on an individual basis.
What do you enjoy most about your role with
The Spastic Centre
Well, I have to say that I have met a great bunch of wonderful
people at The Spastic Centre and enjoy working with them to
“get the job done”. My role means a great deal to me in that I (my
team) can make a difference to the children and their families.
What is your connection with The Spastic
I have been an employee with KPMG for the past five years.
KPMG are not only the Auditors at The Spastic Centre but are
also a State Community Partner with the organisation. Our
Favourite volunteering story/moment
I can’t go past the day KPMG (TLTS Division) completed the
Prairiewood Garden project which was six months in the making.
All the planning, organising and praying for good weather paid
off. To see the completed garden at the end of the day was the
highlight of my year. Everyone in the team had a fantastic day
digging holes, planting and painting. We achieved our goal to
make a difference.
No worries leave it to me.
What do you most enjoy about your role at
The Spastic Centre
When I finish my work I get a real sense of achievement and
personal pride. I feel that in some small way I am helping out
and doing something of value.
Favourite volunteering story/moment.
I do not normally have much contact with the clients of The Spastic
Centre, but recently I was very moved by a young 12 year old
boy trying out a new motorised chair. The look of enjoyment
and fun he was having, regardless of his problems, was very
Our life is like a concert except there is no rehearsal; it’s right on
with the show.
What is your connection with The Spastic
My job is to do my best to keep the lawns and gardens at the
Nowra cottage tidy and presentable for visitors and clients.
6 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
Many Lending Hands
For the past three years The Spastic Centre has partnered with ING to run
a volunteer mentoring program for teenagers with cerebral palsy
It all starts with good intentions…and no, this story doesn’t have
a bad ending. The most common response volunteers give
when we ask them why they want to volunteer for the Ignition
Mentoring program is, ‘I want to give something back’. Little do
they realise what they also receive in return.
For the past three years the ING volunteer mentoring program for
teenagers has achieved overwhelmingly positive results. Each
year, volunteer staff from ING meet once a fortnight with a small
group of teenagers to talk about things that matter to them. They
are also involved in some very exciting group outings, including
a twilight visit to the zoo and a trip to the snow.
One of the volunteer mentors recently commented, ‘I was so
scared when I put my name down for this program. Scared of
what, I really didn’t know, although my exposure to people with
special needs was limited. I was inches away from not coming
the first night. Conjuring excuses in my mind as to why I couldn’t
attend, though I am so glad that I did.
Not only was I given a fantastic opportunity to meet some of the
most intelligent, funny and articulate people I know, I also had
the opportunity to grow within myself. I realised that I got more
out of my time with these kids than I have out of most of my adult
In 2009, The Spastic Centre will be hosting three mentoring
programs in Sydney Metro, Sydney West and Newcastle. If you
would like to know more about being involved with this fabulous
program, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the members of
the volunteer team.
Hunter Ignition Mentoring
All smiles for the mentors and mentees at the Belmont
16 Footers Club on Lake Macquarie
After two successful years in North &
East, the Ignition Mentoring program
was launched for the first time in the
Hunter Region this year. The launch of
the program was aided by the Greater
Building Society. The partnership they
formed with The Stuart Centre provides
volunteer staff mentors, funding, and a
venue for the group to meet.
The group had its first session in May
with 10 teenagers being matched with
10 volunteer mentors from the Greater.
The group meets fortnightly for a total of
15 sessions across the year with the goal
of fostering a strong, positive mentoring
relationship and having a positive influence
on the self-esteem, confidence and life
experience of the teenage participants.
The program involves a combination of
discussion topics relevant to teenagers
with a disability, and a range of group
activities providing opportunities and
experiences they may not usually have.
Overall, the outcomes of the program have
exceeded all expectations. Additionally,
there have been some incidental benefits,
including the establishment of some
important and meaningful community
partnerships. These partnerships have in
turn contributed to the ongoing provision
of quality services and support in the
LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
Corporate supporters continued to donate their time, services and expertise
right through to the end of 2008.
Throughout 2008, our team of corporate supporters assisted The Spastic Centre on a huge range of projects. These included
mentoring programs for teenagers with CP, ‘backyard blitzes’ of therapy rooms and group homes, hosting fundraising and social
events, sponsoring programs and selling promotional material.
Commonwealth Bank at Hydro pool
GE at St. Ives Respite House
In just a few hours, these wonderful volunteers from
Commonwealth Bank spruced up the gardens surrounding
our Hydro Pool and gave the rails and post a fresh coat of
paint. Thank you for all your support.
It took two large groups from GE Real Estate, lending many
helping hands, to tidy up the front yards at St. Ives Respite house.
The volunteers worked through rain and shine to get the job
done. Everyone worked so hard with great results. Thank you all
for giving us such a lovely yard.
8 LEND A HELPING HAND NEWS
Westpac at Belrose House
Gardening at Belrose House was the project chosen by this
volunteer team from Westpac and what a difference they all
made. The residents can now look forward to spending summer
in their smart new garden and enjoying the plants kindly donated
by this energetic team.
We would also like to thank the following companies who
have given their support to The Spastic Centre:
• Volunteers from Ernst and Young, KPMG and the local
Anglican Church helped raise funds by wrapping gifts at
the Supa Centa Moore Park on the run up to Christmas.
• KPMG made some generous donations to Boccia NSW
as a thank you for presenting Boccia demonstrations at
their teambuilding events.
• Individual volunteers from ING helped us out with the
Fundraising Christmas Appeal at Head Office.
• Commonwealth Bank kindly sourced and donated
several tickets for our clients and carers to attend the
Sydney FC vs Central Coast Mariners game at Sydney
• Thanks to the generosity of Sydney Opera House, some
of our clients and carers enjoyed a wonderful night out
at the Rolf Harris show.
• Clayton Utz, GE, KPMG and Macquarie Group volunteers
who all worked so hard to ensure the Children’s Christmas
parties were a huge success (See photos page 4)
ING at Lifestyles
The volunteer team from Business Analysis at ING arrived at
Lifestyle Options ready to do battle with weeds and garden
debris. However, no stone was left unturned as they stayed on
to help improve the look of surrounding pathways and give the
entrance hall a fresh coat of paint. Even the outdoor storage
container received attention. Lattice was erected and colourful
creepers planted. Thank you for all your hard work.
In 35 °C heat, 10 enthusiastic volunteers from ING Australia
laid new turf, and prettied up the garden at Merrylands House.
The residents are now very proud of their smart new front yard.
Great job everyone!
Diary Dates 2009
Sunday 22 February
Saturday 7 March
Nokia City Chase
Saturday 21, 28
March and 4 April
Golden Slipper Festival at
National Volunteer Week