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Freemasons in Papua New Guinea have come forward to help with upgrades at a local centre for children and young people with disabilities.

Their efforts will help ensure the second and final construction stage – a double classroom –can begin. Madang Masonic Lodge, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, has donated $6,000 to the Creative Self Help Centre.

The centre is one of the only places of its kind in the remote northern province. It provides vital education and rehabilitation services for local children and young people who live with disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives.

Madang Lodge Secretary Ken McArthur said the funds raised would go towards purchasing materials and equipment required to complete the project.

“We’re really excited to see the double classroom come together,” Ken said.

“I personally have been involved with the centre for 20 years and can only describe their work as exemplary.

“Creative Self Help Centre is an independent organisation, with professionals and volunteers who are truly passionate about the work they do.”

“Freemasonry teaches us to look out for others in our community. So, by giving a hand up to an organisation that educates and empowers young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to lead independent lives, we are putting our values into action,” Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark congratulated the Lodge for its charitable efforts.

“This initiative really hit home for Hand Heart Pocket, because we strive to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“By helping with the construction of the second half of the double classroom, we will be enhancing not only the learning environment but clients’ overall wellbeing.

“This is the first time Madang Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have worked together to make a difference in Papua New Guinea. We hope we can continue working together for the betterment of local communities in Madang Province,” he said. 

Photo: Creative Self Help Centre Madang

Find out who Hand Heart Pocket helps 

Watch the video of how rehabilitation at the LCCH improved Abi’s quality of life

Members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge made the 600km journey to Brisbane last week to kick off the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal with a generous $6000 donation.

The cheque handover took place at the Year in Review Event, moments after Chairman, Tom Wiltshire launched the Appeal, calling on all donors, supporters and members to help reach the $150,000 target.

The 2017 Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation. 100% of all donations will help support the rehabilitation of 600 critically ill Queensland children through the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) in Brisbane this year, funding vital rehabilitation services like music therapy sessions and equipment.

Mitchell Lodge representative, Bill Purcell said the Appeal resonated with their members, as a few had recently had great grandchildren treated at the Hospital.

“We are extremely proud to have been the first Lodge to support this year’s Christmas Appeal,” Bill said.

“Many of us are family men. Knowing that the rehabilitation specialists at the LCCH are committed to giving these children their lives back is so inspiring. Not only will our efforts help improve their quality of life, but increase their chances of getting home sooner,” he said.

Also, finding out that, of all the children treated at the LCCH this year, around half were from the regions, really struck a chord with the Lodge.

“It is quite possible that a young child from our own community could directly benefit from this donation and have the chance of a normal life.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark thanked Mitchell Lodge for their generosity and encouraged others to get behind the Appeal.

“For a Lodge that is such a long way from Brisbane, to relate to this Appeal, just shows the impact that this Hospital has already had on rebuilding the lives of Queensland’s sickest children,” Gary said.

“Supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, to help fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the LCCH, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives, and in this case, empowering, Queensland children impacted by a serious illness or injury to get home sooner,” he said.

“I’d like to remind members that all Lodge donations will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied. I encourage all those that are yet to donate, to show their support.”

Photo: Representatives from Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Dave Walters, Ian Hotchin and Bill Purcell, alongside the Grand Master’s wife, Robyn Townson and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Director of Development, Katrina Hart. 

Find out more or donate to the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal proudly supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 

 

 

For almost 40 years, Lifeflight (formerly known as Careflight) has come to the rescue of thousands of critically ill and injured patients in regional and remote Queensland, providing emergency medical care and transportation to the nearest major hospital.

In recognition of their commitment to the Wide-Bay Burnett region, Boonara Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5000 worth of lifesaving equipment to be used on board the RACQ Lifeflight Rescue helicopter.

Boonara Lodge Worshipful Master, Steve Rath said their remoteness and the condition of the roads had meant the Lifeflight chopper was their only link to major medical support for those in need of urgent attention.

“The people of our district benefit greatly from this service, from the smallest of babies to the elderly, so we have everything to gain from supporting Lifeflight – enabling them to continue providing this vital service,” Steve said.

Boonara Lodge’s respect for the work of Lifeflight goes back to when one of its Lodge members was given a second chance at life.

“Reg might not have made it, if it wasn’t for Lifeflight.”

“He was on his way home from the local Tansey Bowls Club one evening, and had stopped on the side of the road when a car approached from the bend and t-boned him. While many people worked to save his life, without Lifeflight he wouldn’t have reached a major hospital equipped with the resources to help him,” he said.

“Reg is here today and is doing remarkably well for someone in his 80s, so we’re very grateful for all that Lifeflight did for him when he needed them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, acknowledged the important role that organisations like Lifeflight play in regional communities and commended Boonara Lodge for supporting such a deserving cause.

“Helping to alleviate suffering and misfortune is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s values, so Boonara Lodge’s intention to donate this vital equipment was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“It’s important that people in the Wide-Bay Burnett region know that, the local Freemasons are generous, community minded people who are ready to make a difference where they can,” he said.

Photo: Boonara Lodge representatives Maurie Sheather; LifeFlight Pilot Andrew Caton, Sunshine Coast Coordinator Mandy Hentschel and Lodge representative Steve Rath. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Residents at Mackay’s Nanyima Aged Care have given the new shade structure above their BBQ area, the thumbs up, which was made possible by members of Hamilton Masonic Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

This new improvement will allow year-round use of the space, giving residents at the 51-bed facility yet another spot to spend time outdoors, whether that’s to enjoy a BBQ lunch with fellow residents, to socialise with loved ones or to sit peacefully and get some fresh air.

Lodge Secretary, Ron Jackson said it was great to hear that their efforts had been so well received.

“We hope the BBQ areas becomes even more popular than it already is,” Ron said.

“Being outdoors and being able to enjoy a BBQ or two, every now and again, is part and parcel of life here in Queensland, so this initiative of ours, we feel, contributes to enriching residents’ well-being.”

“Above all we hope that through our effort we’re able to bring joy to residents. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make all the difference,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised Hamilton Lodge for their thoughtfulness and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

“Helping to improve the quality of life of aged care residents by enhancing their surroundings is in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said. 

“Therefore we did not hesitate to support Hamilton Lodge with their fundraising,” he said. 

Photo: Nanyima Aged Care Event Coordinator, Marion Barton with Hamilton Lodge representative Phil Lansdown and Facility Manager Margret Campbell

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket  

 

Bloomhill Cancer Care on the Sunshine Coast will be able to count on the support of the local Maroochydore Masonic Lodge to help make their latest fundraising initiative a reality.

The provider of integrated cancer care services on the Sunshine Coast is looking to replace three of its vehicles as part of its client transport fleet, with four new vehicles, which will be used to drive patients to and from local and Brisbane-based treatment, specialist and doctor appointments and other Bloomhill services.

Last year alone, Bloomhill’s volunteer drivers drove over 160,000 kms, making 1620 individual trips to support patients through a particularly difficult time in their lives.

Worshipful Master, Colin Elrington said the Lodge was on track to donate $10,000 towards the project which is expected to cost around $65,000 all up.

“One of our members is a volunteer driver at Bloomhill and confirmed that their vehicles were getting on, so we decided to put our heads together to raise some funds towards the purchase of the four vehicles,” Colin said.

“Bloomhill Cancer Care is an asset to region, everything they do is to make life better for cancer patients and their families, and many of their services are provided free of charge or at very little cost to the clients.”

“A big thank you to everyone for their support. Your generosity will help us, to help Bloomhill Cancer Care to increase its capability to transport more of the region’s cancer patients,” Colin said.

To help the Lodge with their fundraising, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has contributed $5000 through their Dollar for Dollar Subsidy Program, with the Lodge having come up with $5000 to reach their target.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, said it’s been a pleasure to support Maroochydore Lodge with their donation to Bloomhill Cancer Care.

“Empowering organisations such as Bloomhill Cancer Care to assist more patients through their cancer journey, allowing them to stay close to their families, is something that Hand Heart Pocket can relate to,” Gary said.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives is part of what we stand for,” he said. 

Photo: Maroochydore Masonic Lodge representatives Colin Elrington, Mike Aldrich, Bob Medlicott, and Ms Mervat Quirke CEO Bloomhill Cancer Care. 

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Hervey Bay Special School’s newest outdoor area can now be used to its full potential following the installation of a shade sail made possible in part, by the local Masonic Lodge.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, have contributed $10,000 towards the shade sail project which cost $13,000 all up.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge Secretary, Peter Keller said it’s been fantastic to help the school with this project, which has meant students and teachers can enjoy the new space while being protected from the sun.

“The new space is such a great addition to the school and will enhance the students’ school experience,” Peter said.

Currently, close to 100 students with disabilities are enrolled at the school, with each expected to make use of the new space at one time or another.   

“We have such great weather in Queensland so it would be a shame not to spend more time learning outdoors,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated Mundubbera Burnett Lodge for pitching in.

“In the last 10 years Mundubbera Burnett Lodge in conjunction with the Sandy Strait Sizzlers have donated over $80,000 to various charities in the Wide Bay region, giving countless individuals, community groups and organisations a hand up,” Gary said.

“Enriching the lives of students, by helping to improve the built environment, tallies with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes. Thus we were keen to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge, enabling them to make a bigger difference,” he said.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Photo: Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, along with Hand Heart Pocket joined forces to ensure the installation of a shade sail for the benefit of students at Hervey Bay Special School.

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Calls to Queensland’s only statewide specialised domestic violence legal helpline will continue to be answered over the coming months with Hand Heart Pocket stepping in with a generous donation to Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ).

The $120,000 donation, ensures that WLSQ can continue to run its helpline services for the next few months until longer-term government funding can be secured.

The donation will allow WLSQ to continue providing essential DV legal advice services to women in urban, regional and remote areas across the state.

The funds will also enable WLSQ to conduct community training in Emerald and Rockhampton and refresh its website to make information more easily accessible to those needing help.

WLSQ CEO, Angela Lynch, said the funds had come at a crucial time for the organisation.

“We are immensely grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for stepping in and providing critical assistance while we look to secure additional long-term Government funding for this essential service,” she said.

“Women’s Legal Service provides free legal and welfare support to Queensland women and their children affected by domestic violence and, without ongoing funding, 13,000 calls for help per year would go unanswered.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said his organisation was proud to support this vital service that had already helped more than 100,000 women and children affected by domestic violence in Queensland.

“Hand Heat Pocket believes in providing sustainable support by giving a hand up – not a handout – to communities, other charities and individuals,” Mr Mark said.

“We look to fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential to those most vulnerable in our community and are proud to partner with WLSQ to help affect change on this issue.”

“With domestic violence rates at an all-time high, it is more important than ever that the organisations providing frontline support can continue to keep up with the demand.”

Former Governor-General The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, a leader in domestic violence prevention, attended the funding announcement to raise awareness of the need for more support networks for victims.

“Domestic violence is not isolated to South-East Queensland – women and children across the State deserve the right to be supported in the most difficult of circumstances,” Ms Bryce said.

“There’s no denying that this is a complex issue but, if we are to make a tangible difference for Queenslanders, we must support organisations such as the Women’s Legal Service that provide vital legal information and assistance to thousands of women and children each year.”

Hana Nataprawira, a former client of WLSQ, said without the support of this service, it would have been hard to put a stop to the abuse she experienced.

“Free services like this are crucial for women of all ages as it helps them to break free from the cycle they may find themselves in and to change their life for the better,” she said.

“I am so fortunate to have had the support of Women’s Legal Service and can’t begin to imagine the gap that will be left if the service is cut long-term.”

This gift of interim funding is one of several large donations Hand Heart Pocket has announced in a matter of weeks, reflecting the increasing focus that Freemasons in Queensland are placing on their charity work.

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Photo: (From left) Amanda Stein (Women’s Legal Service Ambassador), Marisa Vecchio AM (Women’s Legal Service Ambassador), Gary Mark (CEO, Hand Heart Pocket), The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, Angela Lynch (CEO, Women’s Legal Service Queensland), John Aronis (Board Member, Hand Heart Pocket), The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC (Women’s Legal Service Patron) and Thomas Christensen (Hand Heart Pocket Champion). 

 

 

Vital research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation could potentially be fast-tracked after a new piece of lab equipment was donated by the local Freemasons.

City of Brisbane Consistory, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently donated a new Epithelial Voltohmmeter which will be used by researchers in the Liver Cancer and Ophthalmology Research Units to measure membrane potential and resistance of epithelial cells in culture.  Up until now, researchers have had to travel from Greenslopes to QIMR Berghofer in Herston to measure their cultures, for a procedure that takes no more than 10 minutes.

City of Brisbane Consistory Grand Secretary, Rod Powell said that having this resource on site would save valuable time and money – potentially leading to improving patient outcomes sooner.

“In the past eight years the Consistory has donated over $18,000 to the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation. We hope our latest donation supports scientists in their quest for answers,” Rod said.

Currently Liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Australia. Head of the Liver Cancer Research Program at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Dr Jason Steel, welcomed the donation.

“This piece of equipment is vital for our research where we are attempting to model the epithelial barriers found in the Gastrointestinal tract in cell culture and find viruses that are able to move through this layer and shuttle to the liver. The ultimate goal of this work is to help us target the liver with an oral treatment,” Dr Steel said.

“Similarly, the new equipment will support the Ophthalmology unit to model the epithelial barriers found in the eye, as they attempt to develop treatments that can move through the eye and into diseases such as Uveal melanoma found behind the eye,” he said.

In addition, the Consistory donated computers and software to the Foundation’s Veteran’s Mental Health Initiative, enabling researchers to carry out comprehensive imaging and analysis of their lab findings, looking at ways to support the next generation of Veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, spoke highly of City of Brisbane Consistory acknowledging their charitable efforts.

“Empowering researchers to understand and find solutions for some of the most complex health issues aligns with our philanthropic goals, which in part is to equip people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“For that reason Hand Heart Pocket was happy to match the charitable efforts of City of Brisbane Consistory, maximising the impact of their donation,” he said.

Photo: PhD student Bijay Dhungel uses the new Epithelial Voltohmmeter as part of his Liver cancer research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute. 

Find out who Hand Heart Pocket helps 

The District Grand Master of North Queensland and his deputy are leading the chorus of support for Hand Heart Pocket’s donation of $290k to fund Camp Quality’s Family Camps in Queensland for the next 12 months.

The pair was invited to stop by a camp put on by the children’s charity on Magnetic Island this past weekend, where 43 children impacted by cancer from North Queensland were able to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of North Queensland, Les Keane said the visit, although brief, reinforced how important it is for these children to be given the opportunity to thrive, in a fun and relaxed environment.

“To see the smiles on these children’s faces was really special, especially when you know what they’re going through. For many, this was the first time they had been able to leave their hospital bed to enjoy themselves and mix with other children going through a similar situation,” Les said.

“There was a huge team of volunteers too, with some said to have volunteered with Camp Quality for over 20 years. That kind of commitment is hard to come by these days.”

“We are delighted that Hand Heart Pocket has donated $290k on behalf of Freemasons of Queensland, to help ensure state-wide support is available to children impacted by cancer and their families,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark said Saturday’s announcement which took place in Brisbane, had been a resounding success and that it was something which all Freemasons of Queensland should be proud of, particularly because of the state-wide reach of this donation.

“It was important for us to make sure our donation made a difference in the lives of as many Queensland families, whether they were from regional and rural Queensland or in the metropolitan cities, because our membership like Camp Quality is spread throughout the state,” Gary said.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Photo: Camp Quality Recreation Program Coordinator Emma Wilkes, Melissa Parsons from Leadlease, North Queensland District Grand Master Les Keane, North Queensland Deputy Grand Master Beresford Whyte and Camp Leader Jeff Brooks. 

Watch Lodge representatives talk about making a difference with Hand Heart Pocket's support 

Outdoor living is a huge part of people’s lives here in Queensland and it will be no different for the eight young people with high care needs living at Youngcare’s Livewell Apartments in Albany Creek, which were officially opened last month.

Members of the local Ionic Prudence Masonic Lodge have donated funds for a new outdoor setting, enabling residents to sit outside and catch up with family and friends or simply soak up the winter sun.

Lodge Master, Michael Churchward said the Lodge was able to donate the outdoor setting with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

“This is our way of saying welcome to the neighbourhood. It’s a housewarming present if you like, but in all seriousness we are continually amazed by the work of Youngcare and all that they do to ensure young people with high care needs can lead young lives,” Michael said.

“They’ve done a marvellous job of making the apartments a warm and welcoming place, with all the mod-cons and technology, where the residents can really make it their own and be part of the community, which we think makes all the difference,” he said.

Interestingly, young people seem to have been the focus of the Lodges’ fundraising efforts this year, with the Lodge also having donated $1500 worth of equipment for Mitchelton Special School’s sensory unit for students with autism and over $400 for Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House for the purchase of a glider and ottoman set – all made possible with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, commended Ionic Prudence Lodge for being attentive to the needs of their community.

“Like Hand Heart Pocket, the organisations that Ionic Prudence Lodge has chosen to support believe in improving people’s quality of life through innovative support, giving us every reason to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge,” Gary said.

Photo: Ionic Prudence Lodge representatives John Sheraton and Michael Churchward present a cheque for $800 to Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan. 

Freemasons in Papua New Guinea have come forward to help with upgrades at a local centre for children and young people with disabilities.

Their efforts will help ensure the second and final construction stage – a double classroom –can begin. Madang Masonic Lodge, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, has donated $6,000 to the Creative Self Help Centre.

The centre is one of the only places of its kind in the remote northern province. It provides vital education and rehabilitation services for local children and young people who live with disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives.

Madang Lodge Secretary Ken McArthur said the funds raised would go towards purchasing materials and equipment required to complete the project.

“We’re really excited to see the double classroom come together,” Ken said.

“I personally have been involved with the centre for 20 years and can only describe their work as exemplary.

“Creative Self Help Centre is an independent organisation, with professionals and volunteers who are truly passionate about the work they do.”

“Freemasonry teaches us to look out for others in our community. So, by giving a hand up to an organisation that educates and empowers young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to lead independent lives, we are putting our values into action,” Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark congratulated the Lodge for its charitable efforts.

“This initiative really hit home for Hand Heart Pocket, because we strive to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“By helping with the construction of the second half of the double classroom, we will be enhancing not only the learning environment but clients’ overall wellbeing.

“This is the first time Madang Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have worked together to make a difference in Papua New Guinea. We hope we can continue working together for the betterment of local communities in Madang Province,” he said. 

Photo: Creative Self Help Centre Madang

Find out who Hand Heart Pocket helps 

Watch the video of how rehabilitation at the LCCH improved Abi’s quality of life

Members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge made the 600km journey to Brisbane last week to kick off the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal with a generous $6000 donation.

The cheque handover took place at the Year in Review Event, moments after Chairman, Tom Wiltshire launched the Appeal, calling on all donors, supporters and members to help reach the $150,000 target.

The 2017 Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation. 100% of all donations will help support the rehabilitation of 600 critically ill Queensland children through the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) in Brisbane this year, funding vital rehabilitation services like music therapy sessions and equipment.

Mitchell Lodge representative, Bill Purcell said the Appeal resonated with their members, as a few had recently had great grandchildren treated at the Hospital.

“We are extremely proud to have been the first Lodge to support this year’s Christmas Appeal,” Bill said.

“Many of us are family men. Knowing that the rehabilitation specialists at the LCCH are committed to giving these children their lives back is so inspiring. Not only will our efforts help improve their quality of life, but increase their chances of getting home sooner,” he said.

Also, finding out that, of all the children treated at the LCCH this year, around half were from the regions, really struck a chord with the Lodge.

“It is quite possible that a young child from our own community could directly benefit from this donation and have the chance of a normal life.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark thanked Mitchell Lodge for their generosity and encouraged others to get behind the Appeal.

“For a Lodge that is such a long way from Brisbane, to relate to this Appeal, just shows the impact that this Hospital has already had on rebuilding the lives of Queensland’s sickest children,” Gary said.

“Supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, to help fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the LCCH, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives, and in this case, empowering, Queensland children impacted by a serious illness or injury to get home sooner,” he said.

“I’d like to remind members that all Lodge donations will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied. I encourage all those that are yet to donate, to show their support.”

Photo: Representatives from Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Dave Walters, Ian Hotchin and Bill Purcell, alongside the Grand Master’s wife, Robyn Townson and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Director of Development, Katrina Hart. 

Find out more or donate to the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal proudly supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 

 

 

For almost 40 years, Lifeflight (formerly known as Careflight) has come to the rescue of thousands of critically ill and injured patients in regional and remote Queensland, providing emergency medical care and transportation to the nearest major hospital.

In recognition of their commitment to the Wide-Bay Burnett region, Boonara Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5000 worth of lifesaving equipment to be used on board the RACQ Lifeflight Rescue helicopter.

Boonara Lodge Worshipful Master, Steve Rath said their remoteness and the condition of the roads had meant the Lifeflight chopper was their only link to major medical support for those in need of urgent attention.

“The people of our district benefit greatly from this service, from the smallest of babies to the elderly, so we have everything to gain from supporting Lifeflight – enabling them to continue providing this vital service,” Steve said.

Boonara Lodge’s respect for the work of Lifeflight goes back to when one of its Lodge members was given a second chance at life.

“Reg might not have made it, if it wasn’t for Lifeflight.”

“He was on his way home from the local Tansey Bowls Club one evening, and had stopped on the side of the road when a car approached from the bend and t-boned him. While many people worked to save his life, without Lifeflight he wouldn’t have reached a major hospital equipped with the resources to help him,” he said.

“Reg is here today and is doing remarkably well for someone in his 80s, so we’re very grateful for all that Lifeflight did for him when he needed them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, acknowledged the important role that organisations like Lifeflight play in regional communities and commended Boonara Lodge for supporting such a deserving cause.

“Helping to alleviate suffering and misfortune is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s values, so Boonara Lodge’s intention to donate this vital equipment was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“It’s important that people in the Wide-Bay Burnett region know that, the local Freemasons are generous, community minded people who are ready to make a difference where they can,” he said.

Photo: Boonara Lodge representatives Maurie Sheather; LifeFlight Pilot Andrew Caton, Sunshine Coast Coordinator Mandy Hentschel and Lodge representative Steve Rath. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Residents at Mackay’s Nanyima Aged Care have given the new shade structure above their BBQ area, the thumbs up, which was made possible by members of Hamilton Masonic Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

This new improvement will allow year-round use of the space, giving residents at the 51-bed facility yet another spot to spend time outdoors, whether that’s to enjoy a BBQ lunch with fellow residents, to socialise with loved ones or to sit peacefully and get some fresh air.

Lodge Secretary, Ron Jackson said it was great to hear that their efforts had been so well received.

“We hope the BBQ areas becomes even more popular than it already is,” Ron said.

“Being outdoors and being able to enjoy a BBQ or two, every now and again, is part and parcel of life here in Queensland, so this initiative of ours, we feel, contributes to enriching residents’ well-being.”

“Above all we hope that through our effort we’re able to bring joy to residents. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make all the difference,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised Hamilton Lodge for their thoughtfulness and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

“Helping to improve the quality of life of aged care residents by enhancing their surroundings is in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said. 

“Therefore we did not hesitate to support Hamilton Lodge with their fundraising,” he said. 

Photo: Nanyima Aged Care Event Coordinator, Marion Barton with Hamilton Lodge representative Phil Lansdown and Facility Manager Margret Campbell

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket  

 

Bloomhill Cancer Care on the Sunshine Coast will be able to count on the support of the local Maroochydore Masonic Lodge to help make their latest fundraising initiative a reality.

The provider of integrated cancer care services on the Sunshine Coast is looking to replace three of its vehicles as part of its client transport fleet, with four new vehicles, which will be used to drive patients to and from local and Brisbane-based treatment, specialist and doctor appointments and other Bloomhill services.

Last year alone, Bloomhill’s volunteer drivers drove over 160,000 kms, making 1620 individual trips to support patients through a particularly difficult time in their lives.

Worshipful Master, Colin Elrington said the Lodge was on track to donate $10,000 towards the project which is expected to cost around $65,000 all up.

“One of our members is a volunteer driver at Bloomhill and confirmed that their vehicles were getting on, so we decided to put our heads together to raise some funds towards the purchase of the four vehicles,” Colin said.

“Bloomhill Cancer Care is an asset to region, everything they do is to make life better for cancer patients and their families, and many of their services are provided free of charge or at very little cost to the clients.”

“A big thank you to everyone for their support. Your generosity will help us, to help Bloomhill Cancer Care to increase its capability to transport more of the region’s cancer patients,” Colin said.

To help the Lodge with their fundraising, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has contributed $5000 through their Dollar for Dollar Subsidy Program, with the Lodge having come up with $5000 to reach their target.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, said it’s been a pleasure to support Maroochydore Lodge with their donation to Bloomhill Cancer Care.

“Empowering organisations such as Bloomhill Cancer Care to assist more patients through their cancer journey, allowing them to stay close to their families, is something that Hand Heart Pocket can relate to,” Gary said.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives is part of what we stand for,” he said. 

Photo: Maroochydore Masonic Lodge representatives Colin Elrington, Mike Aldrich, Bob Medlicott, and Ms Mervat Quirke CEO Bloomhill Cancer Care. 

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Hervey Bay Special School’s newest outdoor area can now be used to its full potential following the installation of a shade sail made possible in part, by the local Masonic Lodge.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, have contributed $10,000 towards the shade sail project which cost $13,000 all up.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge Secretary, Peter Keller said it’s been fantastic to help the school with this project, which has meant students and teachers can enjoy the new space while being protected from the sun.

“The new space is such a great addition to the school and will enhance the students’ school experience,” Peter said.

Currently, close to 100 students with disabilities are enrolled at the school, with each expected to make use of the new space at one time or another.   

“We have such great weather in Queensland so it would be a shame not to spend more time learning outdoors,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated Mundubbera Burnett Lodge for pitching in.

“In the last 10 years Mundubbera Burnett Lodge in conjunction with the Sandy Strait Sizzlers have donated over $80,000 to various charities in the Wide Bay region, giving countless individuals, community groups and organisations a hand up,” Gary said.

“Enriching the lives of students, by helping to improve the built environment, tallies with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes. Thus we were keen to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge, enabling them to make a bigger difference,” he said.

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Photo: Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, along with Hand Heart Pocket joined forces to ensure the installation of a shade sail for the benefit of students at Hervey Bay Special School.

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Calls to Queensland’s only statewide specialised domestic violence legal helpline will continue to be answered over the coming months with Hand Heart Pocket stepping in with a generous donation to Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ).

The $120,000 donation, ensures that WLSQ can continue to run its helpline services for the next few months until longer-term government funding can be secured.

The donation will allow WLSQ to continue providing essential DV legal advice services to women in urban, regional and remote areas across the state.

The funds will also enable WLSQ to conduct community training in Emerald and Rockhampton and refresh its website to make information more easily accessible to those needing help.

WLSQ CEO, Angela Lynch, said the funds had come at a crucial time for the organisation.

“We are immensely grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for stepping in and providing critical assistance while we look to secure additional long-term Government funding for this essential service,” she said.

“Women’s Legal Service provides free legal and welfare support to Queensland women and their children affected by domestic violence and, without ongoing funding, 13,000 calls for help per year would go unanswered.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said his organisation was proud to support this vital service that had already helped more than 100,000 women and children affected by domestic violence in Queensland.

“Hand Heat Pocket believes in providing sustainable support by giving a hand up – not a handout – to communities, other charities and individuals,” Mr Mark said.

“We look to fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential to those most vulnerable in our community and are proud to partner with WLSQ to help affect change on this issue.”

“With domestic violence rates at an all-time high, it is more important than ever that the organisations providing frontline support can continue to keep up with the demand.”

Former Governor-General The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, a leader in domestic violence prevention, attended the funding announcement to raise awareness of the need for more support networks for victims.

“Domestic violence is not isolated to South-East Queensland – women and children across the State deserve the right to be supported in the most difficult of circumstances,” Ms Bryce said.

“There’s no denying that this is a complex issue but, if we are to make a tangible difference for Queenslanders, we must support organisations such as the Women’s Legal Service that provide vital legal information and assistance to thousands of women and children each year.”

Hana Nataprawira, a former client of WLSQ, said without the support of this service, it would have been hard to put a stop to the abuse she experienced.

“Free services like this are crucial for women of all ages as it helps them to break free from the cycle they may find themselves in and to change their life for the better,” she said.

“I am so fortunate to have had the support of Women’s Legal Service and can’t begin to imagine the gap that will be left if the service is cut long-term.”

This gift of interim funding is one of several large donations Hand Heart Pocket has announced in a matter of weeks, reflecting the increasing focus that Freemasons in Queensland are placing on their charity work.

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Photo: (From left) Amanda Stein (Women’s Legal Service Ambassador), Marisa Vecchio AM (Women’s Legal Service Ambassador), Gary Mark (CEO, Hand Heart Pocket), The Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO, Angela Lynch (CEO, Women’s Legal Service Queensland), John Aronis (Board Member, Hand Heart Pocket), The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC (Women’s Legal Service Patron) and Thomas Christensen (Hand Heart Pocket Champion). 

 

 

Vital research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation could potentially be fast-tracked after a new piece of lab equipment was donated by the local Freemasons.

City of Brisbane Consistory, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently donated a new Epithelial Voltohmmeter which will be used by researchers in the Liver Cancer and Ophthalmology Research Units to measure membrane potential and resistance of epithelial cells in culture.  Up until now, researchers have had to travel from Greenslopes to QIMR Berghofer in Herston to measure their cultures, for a procedure that takes no more than 10 minutes.

City of Brisbane Consistory Grand Secretary, Rod Powell said that having this resource on site would save valuable time and money – potentially leading to improving patient outcomes sooner.

“In the past eight years the Consistory has donated over $18,000 to the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation. We hope our latest donation supports scientists in their quest for answers,” Rod said.

Currently Liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer in Australia. Head of the Liver Cancer Research Program at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute, Dr Jason Steel, welcomed the donation.

“This piece of equipment is vital for our research where we are attempting to model the epithelial barriers found in the Gastrointestinal tract in cell culture and find viruses that are able to move through this layer and shuttle to the liver. The ultimate goal of this work is to help us target the liver with an oral treatment,” Dr Steel said.

“Similarly, the new equipment will support the Ophthalmology unit to model the epithelial barriers found in the eye, as they attempt to develop treatments that can move through the eye and into diseases such as Uveal melanoma found behind the eye,” he said.

In addition, the Consistory donated computers and software to the Foundation’s Veteran’s Mental Health Initiative, enabling researchers to carry out comprehensive imaging and analysis of their lab findings, looking at ways to support the next generation of Veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, spoke highly of City of Brisbane Consistory acknowledging their charitable efforts.

“Empowering researchers to understand and find solutions for some of the most complex health issues aligns with our philanthropic goals, which in part is to equip people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“For that reason Hand Heart Pocket was happy to match the charitable efforts of City of Brisbane Consistory, maximising the impact of their donation,” he said.

Photo: PhD student Bijay Dhungel uses the new Epithelial Voltohmmeter as part of his Liver cancer research at the Gallipoli Medical Research Institute. 

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The District Grand Master of North Queensland and his deputy are leading the chorus of support for Hand Heart Pocket’s donation of $290k to fund Camp Quality’s Family Camps in Queensland for the next 12 months.

The pair was invited to stop by a camp put on by the children’s charity on Magnetic Island this past weekend, where 43 children impacted by cancer from North Queensland were able to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of North Queensland, Les Keane said the visit, although brief, reinforced how important it is for these children to be given the opportunity to thrive, in a fun and relaxed environment.

“To see the smiles on these children’s faces was really special, especially when you know what they’re going through. For many, this was the first time they had been able to leave their hospital bed to enjoy themselves and mix with other children going through a similar situation,” Les said.

“There was a huge team of volunteers too, with some said to have volunteered with Camp Quality for over 20 years. That kind of commitment is hard to come by these days.”

“We are delighted that Hand Heart Pocket has donated $290k on behalf of Freemasons of Queensland, to help ensure state-wide support is available to children impacted by cancer and their families,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark said Saturday’s announcement which took place in Brisbane, had been a resounding success and that it was something which all Freemasons of Queensland should be proud of, particularly because of the state-wide reach of this donation.

“It was important for us to make sure our donation made a difference in the lives of as many Queensland families, whether they were from regional and rural Queensland or in the metropolitan cities, because our membership like Camp Quality is spread throughout the state,” Gary said.

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Photo: Camp Quality Recreation Program Coordinator Emma Wilkes, Melissa Parsons from Leadlease, North Queensland District Grand Master Les Keane, North Queensland Deputy Grand Master Beresford Whyte and Camp Leader Jeff Brooks. 

Watch Lodge representatives talk about making a difference with Hand Heart Pocket's support 

Outdoor living is a huge part of people’s lives here in Queensland and it will be no different for the eight young people with high care needs living at Youngcare’s Livewell Apartments in Albany Creek, which were officially opened last month.

Members of the local Ionic Prudence Masonic Lodge have donated funds for a new outdoor setting, enabling residents to sit outside and catch up with family and friends or simply soak up the winter sun.

Lodge Master, Michael Churchward said the Lodge was able to donate the outdoor setting with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

“This is our way of saying welcome to the neighbourhood. It’s a housewarming present if you like, but in all seriousness we are continually amazed by the work of Youngcare and all that they do to ensure young people with high care needs can lead young lives,” Michael said.

“They’ve done a marvellous job of making the apartments a warm and welcoming place, with all the mod-cons and technology, where the residents can really make it their own and be part of the community, which we think makes all the difference,” he said.

Interestingly, young people seem to have been the focus of the Lodges’ fundraising efforts this year, with the Lodge also having donated $1500 worth of equipment for Mitchelton Special School’s sensory unit for students with autism and over $400 for Queensland’s only children’s hospice, Hummingbird House for the purchase of a glider and ottoman set – all made possible with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, commended Ionic Prudence Lodge for being attentive to the needs of their community.

“Like Hand Heart Pocket, the organisations that Ionic Prudence Lodge has chosen to support believe in improving people’s quality of life through innovative support, giving us every reason to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge,” Gary said.

Photo: Ionic Prudence Lodge representatives John Sheraton and Michael Churchward present a cheque for $800 to Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan.