The gift of giving has put big smiles on many faces at Round 26 of Community Fund Donation presentations held at the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club recently, recognising the range of sponsorships and donations made by the Nerang RSL to the local community.
The Community Fund Donation program supports community groups and individuals of all backgrounds and has done so since the Nerang RSL established the initiative in 1996.
The program has also enabled the Nerang RSL to further strengthen ties with the local community and forge new relationships with groups like the Gold Coast Volleyball Club.
The Volleyball Club approached the Nerang RSL seeking a major sponsor and, to help the club continue its contribution to the community, the Nerang RSL gifted the club with a $5000 sponsorship at the recent Community Fund presentations.
The Gold Coast Volleyball Club, established in 2017, has over 200 members and provides an opportunity for all people, regardless of age or skill, to get involved through skill development and social competitions. It also has an Elite Athlete Program in place to assist athletes in the transition to a national and international level of competition.
Gold Coast Volleyball Club President Brett Bennett said the club, which is entirely run by volunteers, is extremely thankful for the sponsorship.
“The Gold Coast Volleyball Club is ecstatic to receive this donation from the Nerang RSL and it will greatly assist to get our coaches, who are all volunteers, upgraded to Level 3 accreditations,” said Brett.
“It’s quite expensive to do and often, coaches have to cover their own expenses on top of what they already pay for in terms of travelling for coaching and competitions not only locally but state wide.
“We’re very lucky to have amazing coaches which is a major benefit to our club and players, so it’s very important to support these people to be the best they can be.”
Brett said the Gold Coast Volleyball Club also looks forwardto having the Nerang RSL as its official ‘home base.’
“We’ve supported the Nerang RSL and held presentations at the RSL before, so we’re grateful to have formed this new relationship and have the RSL as a home base and somewhere we can come back to after training or competitions, and for awards nights and social nights,” he said.
“This sponsorship by the Nerang RSL ultimately enables us to continue to grow our Club and it’s nice to see community groups supporting each other.”
Also among the list of donation recipients was Nerang State School, which received $4823 to assist with the purchase of 13 ipads and headphones for use by the Year 3 cohort.
The purchases will increase the equipment available to facilitate purposeful engagement of students in the digital world and will enable all students to adequately participate in programs like online NAPLAN.
Young local and Nerang Pony Club’s Nathan Moynihan was also presented with a $250 donation to assist with travelling to Sydney and representing Queensland at a five day event involving dressage, show jumping and cross country.
In the spirit of Christmas, the Nerang RSL, alongside Councillor Peter Young, has supported the Nerang Celebrates Committee for numerous years – with 2019 being no exception.
The RSL presented the committee with a $3300 donation to assist with the annual Christmas Carols at Bischof Park held by the committee each year, bringing the local community together for a fun afternoon of food, rides, stage performances from young artists and singers, and much more.
The donation assisted the Committee to purchase prizes for an Art Competition run in conjunction with the Christmas Carols, which encourages local school children to submit an artwork themed ‘What Christmas means to you.’
In the past, the art competition has received over 600 entries and the donation by the Nerang RSL will assist with prizes across junior and senior school categories.
Our Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Sub Branch President, Mr. Stewart McGettigan, has been at the helm of Nerang RSL’s Sub Branch since 2015 and is a long-standing member of the Club since 2003. Stewart has played a momentous part in making the Sub Branch and the Nerang RSL the special place it is today and we’re proud to profile him in this month’s edition of The Stentorian.
Stewart’s outstanding commitment to running the Sub Branch and also his role as Pension and Compensation Advocate has seen him oversee several Anzac Day, Remembrance Day, Vietnam Veterans Day and other ceremonies while offering a strong network of support for veterans and their families.
He understands the importance of making support networks available to veterans and their families first hand as prior to his roles at the Nerang RSL Sub Branch, Stewart served for 29 years in the Royal Australian Air Force and was stationed in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and all across Australia. Able to connect and draw upon his own experiences, Stewart is also the Nerang RSL Sub Branch’s Wellbeing Advocate and trainer and mentor to the team.
He is a passionate supporter of the Nerang RSL and says the support from the Club has been instrumental in creating a dynamic Sub Branch.
“We wouldn’t exist without the tireless support from the club and the hard work they undertake every day,” he said.
“With the efforts of Andrew McInnes, Nerang RSL’s General Manager, and his talented team, the Club has gone from strength to strength in recent years and it’s no secret that it’s a top spot for the local community to enjoy.
“All the hard work the team puts in is directly responsible for keeping the Sub Branch going and ultimately allowing us to help more and more families in the veteran community.
“You couldn’t possibly meet a better group of staff who are always willing to have a conversation and help with anything you need.
“On Fridays, I get together with the boys and have a few beers, and it’s always a pleasure to take part in the warm and inviting social atmosphere at the Club.”
Stewart is looking forward to this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, where he will be giving a special opening address, and says it will be a touching tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in honour of their country.
“It’s an incredibly important day in which we gather to pay our respects to fallen servicemen and servicewomen who helped shaped the country for what it is today,” he said.
“This historic day is significant to not only servicemen and veterans, but to all Australians who are lucky to call this wonderful country home.
“We hope to see a large turnout this year of the back of last year’s terrific event, and look forward to honoring our servicemen and servicewomen, past and present.”
Nerang RSL Remembrance Day ceremony takes place on November 11, commencing at 10:30am at the Club.
Elma Wilkinson has visited the Nerang RSL every Friday for a spin on the pokies and a spot of lunch for an impressive 26 years running and was honoured on Friday, October 18 at the club ahead of her 100th birthday at a special morning tea with her nearest and dearest.
Andrew McInnes, General Manager of Nerang RSL, says Elma is a much-loved member of the club.
“It’s long-time members like Elma that truly exemplify what it means to be part of an RSL,” he said.
“By taking an active role in her local community for close to three decades, it’s amazing to see the sheer amount of friends she has made and the connections forged with all the staff.
“She is very much adored by everyone and is truly part of the furniture.
“Elma has visited every single Friday for a total of 26 years running, and we couldn’t be more honoured to celebrate such a huge milestone in someone’s life.
“The morning tea was our way of saying a huge thank you to Elma, and we hope she has an amazing 100th birthday celebration with her friends and family.”
Born in Coraki, New South Wales on October 19, 1919, Elma moved to the Gold Coast with her husband Christopher in 1942, who sadly passed away six years ago.
The couple spent 71 years in marital bliss and after Christopher’s retirement bought a Volkswagen Kombi Van and spent time around Australia fossicking for gemstones.
Elma is the proud matriarch of a large and close-knit extended family, including her children Christine and Robert, seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and two great, great-grandchildren.
Elma’s daughter Christine said the 100th birthday celebrations extended over two weeks, culminating at Evans Head for a 60-strong family gathering.
“We wanted to make this mum’s most special birthday yet,” she said.
“It was fantastic to see the Nerang RSL hold this wonderful event for mum and she is adored by several staff members and local visitors.”
Christine says Elma still spritely hops on board the Nerang RSL courtesy bus week after week, and is out and about every day on her own.
“She is an utter free spirit who is completely independent and doesn’t want to be cooped up at home,” she said.
“Everyone in the family jokes that if you want to see Elma, you better make an appointment – she’s never home!
“She knows everyone and is incredibly social for a woman of her age.”
We just had to share a couple of snaps from Elma’s Birthday Bash!
The Nerang RSL and Memorial Club played host to an intimate lunch on Tuesday, September 3, to honour veterans and wives of those who fought courageously in WWII.
The event marked the 80th anniversary of the commencement of Australia’s involvement in the Second World War and offered a rare opportunity for the WWII veteran community to unite.
Mark Swain, Commemorative Committee Member of the Nerang RSL, said the lunch was a chance for 20 surviving veterans and wives to come together and share stories over a three-course lunch, all within an intimate setting.
“It was an exciting opportunity to bring together a distinguished group of individuals and say an enormous thank you for their service in such a critical time in our history,” he said. “We heard a few incredible stories of mateship that are so synonymous with the ANZAC spirit.
“With many ex-serving Veterans now in their mid-nineties, this event is a crucial time to recognise and celebrate these members of our community.”
Never short of a story about his past adventures, WWII veteran Derek Mumford, 93, said he and his wife Diana were excited to attend the commemorative lunch.
“My wife and I have been members of the Nerang RSL for close to forty years, and we thoroughly enjoyed socialising and trading some stories over a few drinks,” he said.
“It was great to see other veterans who we haven’t met before and we forged some new friendships.
“I feel truly honoured to have received an invitation to this special event.”
Lifelong Nerang resident Kim Bruhn is no stranger to the local community, volunteering countless hours of her own time to give back to the suburb she calls home.
Kim, who has worked as a contracted cleaner at the Nerang RSL for over five years, is most recently the driving force behind a huge charity effort to help those in need suffering from the recent bushfires.
Living in Mount Nathan, Kim saw the destruction the fires were causing in neighbouring rural areas and put in a word to Nerang RSL General Manager, Andrew McInnes and Club President, Terry McDonald, to suggest a call-out to the public to donate non-perishable foods and drinks to be donated.
Kim’s efforts saw a huge outpouring of support from the local community, so much so the rural fire brigades from Canungra and Gilston/Advancetown ran out of room to store the donated goods!
Even more still, Kim personally drove the goods out to the rural fire brigades to show her community spirit.
Kim says giving back is important to her and she loves to do whatever she can to help the local community.
“It was a no-brainer to see what I could do for the fire-affected communities, given they are so close to home,” she said.
“I was amazed to see the overwhelming level of support we had from the whole local community, and it’s a testament to the Nerang RSL for doing their bit to help in this awful situation.”
Kim also volunteers her time as treasurer for the Nerang State School P&C and oversees the raising of funds for new equipment for the students.
Kim, who has overseen several changes to the Nerang RSL in recent years, said the club still retains its warm, close-knit community atmosphere.
“The building may have undergone a facelift, but what makes the Nerang RSL club great is the members and staff who fill its rooms,” she said.
“It’s always lovely to come to work and see no shortage of families enjoying the social environment or the staff with smiles on their faces.
“It truly is the last of the great RSL clubs across Australia, with the community at its very heart.”
It’s safe to say Kim is our very own ‘community hero’ and we couldn’t be happier to have her as a club member and a dedicated, hard-working member of staff
Thanking you for your ongoing efforts, Kim!
The Nerang RSL Sub-Branch Inc. Secretary Dave Barnicoat took possession of our new LDV G10 People Mover vehicle this year at the Nerang RSL & Memorial Club Inc.
It has since received a new-look and is the First in Queensland to be adorned with the new RSL Queensland Brand Refresh ‘logo’ and has attracted some very positive feedback.
The acceptance of this vehicle was the culmination of two years persistent and dedicated work by Sub-Branch Committee personnel through the Veteran and Community Grants (V&CG) program and approved by the Honourable Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veteran Affairs and Defence Personnel. The Grant approved was for $27,243.75 to assist with the purchase of the vehicle to
reduce social isolation.
The vehicle will be and has been used for several Welfare related tasks including transportation to and from meetings as follows:
• Hospital and Home visits
• Women’s Auxiliary Members
• Legacy Social Group
• View Club Members
• State & District Meetings
• Other Ex service Organisations; and
• Ad-Hoc and other entities as required
I would like to thank the dedicated and persistent efforts of our Grants Officer, Ron James, who spent numerous hours processing the necessary documentation, particularly once the administrative requirements were taken over by Department of Veteran Affairs whereby some of requirements or ‘goal post’ were changed. Ron was ably assisted by former Deputy President Stephen Cook, Secretary Dave Barnicoat and Assistant Treasurer Rod Bovill.
STEWART M. McGETTIGAN
Nerang RSL Sub Branch Inc
For more information, please contact the Nerang RSL Sub Branch.
‘Locals supporting locals’ is one way to describe the 15 year relationship between Nerang RSL and the Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club.
The Roosters have welcomed players of all ages and abilities to join the mighty game of Rugby League for over 40 years and they’re set to build on that for many years to come with the announcement of an additional three year sponsorship from Nerang RSL.
The local club, home to over 20 teams and 300 junior players, has propelled several junior players to a representative status on the Gold Coast, Southern Division and Queensland sides – including big names such as Keegan Hipgrave, Mat Rogers, Benji Marshall and Zahara Temara, who made her Australian Jillaroos debut in 2017 and was the youngest member of the Jillaroos World Cup squad.
The Roosters received the sponsorship as part of Nerang RSL’s community fund donation program and were presented an official cheque for the first 12 months of $11,187.00 by member for Gaven, Ms Meaghan Scanlon MP.
President of Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club, James Fitzgerald, said the club is ecstatic to continue strengthening its ties with Nerang RSL and is extremely grateful for the three year sponsorship.
“Nerang RSL and Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club have fostered a relationship for over 15 years and it’s fantastic to see that relationship continue to move from strength to strength. The Nerang RSL is a major supporter and contributor to our club and we are extremely appreciative of past sponsorships and we are humbled to receive this additional funding,” said James.
“The funding for the first year will go towards the purchase of non-competition jerseys for our Under six to Under 12 players, Under 14 to Under 16 girls and Under 18 boys.
“If it wasn’t for the support of the community and the Nerang RSL, our club – which is a small non-for-profit organisation, would really struggle to even operate.”
The ‘locals supporting locals’ support also stems past the footy field, with both clubs often putting their hands up to help each other where they can.
“Nerang RSL has even helped to strengthen our relationship with referees and people within the community, and it’s great to see the support go both ways as the Roosters feature Nerang RSL on the front of our club jumpers, polos and on signage at our home grounds, and, not to mention, many of our members’ parents love to visit the RSL for a bite to eat after a game!
“We’ve also been involved in Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Anzac commemorations for the past few years and this year, a couple of our members layed a wreath at the service and were part of the March.”
James said the Nerang Junior Rugby League Football Club looks forward to what the future holds.
“It’s fantastic to be involved with a club like Nerang RSL, which is focused on supporting the community and giving back where possible,” he said.
“It helps our club to deliver on what we set out to do which is to ultimately provide an opportunity for kids to get involved in sport and learn about teamwork and mateship, and have fun while doing so.”
It was Hot Wings GALORE at the Nerang RSL last month with our Hot Wings Challenge attracting food fanatics, competitive eaters and lovers of the wings to the RSL in an attempt to tackle the wings and claim victory as king or queen of the Hot Wings.
20 competitors took to the stage to do their best damage and finish TEN full-sized wings in seven minutes. The Hot Wings were well and truly HOT made by Head Chef Jason Blond using a concoction of Blair’s Death Sauce Australia products mixed with loads of the world’s hottest chilli “The Carolina Reaper”, putting competitors to the ultimate test.
The competition saw the return of the renowned Chad ‘Froman’ Jones who made history as Nerang RSL’s first Pig Out Pie Eating Contest held on Australia Day this year. Chad proved the Hot Wings were no challenge as he devoured all 10 insanely hot wings in 1:52 to take out first prize of $300 cash and Hot Wing champion Hat & Shirt.
Close behind was Michael Harrison scoring $75 cash plus hat & shirt and finishing not long after and in third place, was Hendrika who took home $25 plus merchandise.
The atmosphere was absolutely electric as the crowd cheered on our competitors who put on their bravest faces. It was a fantastic afternoon for all and all the photos from the day can be found on our Facebook Page plus each wave of the competition can be seen on our YouTube Channel.
Nerang RSL welcomes Wakefield Trinity players and presents gold coast titans $1000 cheque at Nerang RSL’s ‘big talk’ night in support of the Men of League Foundation.
Talking all-things footy and life beyond the Fields, to cooking snags on the BBQ and raising funds for the Men of League Foundation, the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s recent Big Talk night in support of the Men of League Foundation was certainly one to remember!
The Nerang RSL presented a one thousand dollar cheque to the Gold Coast Titans in support of their Physical Disability Rugby League Team and welcomed three super league players from Wakefield Trinity, who flew from the United Kingdom, to attend Big Talk and play against the Gold Coast Titans Physical Disability Rugby League team (GCTPDRL) in a curtain-raiser game prior to the Titans taking on the Broncos at CBUS Stadium last month.
The Nerang RSL’s Big Talk night was BIG indeed with guests not only sharing in some banter, a barbeque and some bevies, but also the opportunity to listen to Wakefield Trinity’s Darren Dean, Connor Lynes and Ben Nicholson share about their physical disabilities, passion for Rugby League and life beyond the footy field.
Nerang RSL Board Member – and footy fanatic, coach of league referees and the night’s official emcee – Lloyd Evans, said the Nerang RSL was pleased to present the Titans with a cheque and welcome Darren, Connor and Ben for a fantastic night in support of the Men of League Foundation.
“The recent Big Talk night held at Nerang RSL was one for the history books! It was fantastic the Nerang RSL was able to present a cheque to the Titans in support of their Physical Disability Rugby League Team and have Gold Coast Titans CEO Steve Mitchell, Executive Chairman Dennis Watt, Community and Game Development Officer Renee Cohen and their latest signing, English International Kallum Watkins at the RSL. It was also nice to
see the local community come together to hear Darren, Connor and Ben, all the way from the UK, share their stories and passion for Rugby League,” said Lloyd.
“The Nerang RSL is proud to be able to provide a donation to help with the costs associated with hosting a physical disability game. There are many individuals who can’t partake in League at high-end levels because of
physical disability, whether due to aspects like Cerebral Palsy or injury resulting from an accident, and, as part of their community work the Gold Coast Titans formed the Physical Disability Rugby League team which allows players with physical disability to get involved in modified games, be part of a team and have some fun on the footy field.
“Big Talk also saw the likes of English fullback Paul Charlton, halfback for Australia Dennis Ward, centre for Australia Bob Honan and New Zealand half-back Graeme Farrar join us. It was fantastic to see the Rugby League community, and the wider community, come together to enjoy all the night had to offer while raising money for the Men of League Foundation.”
Following Big Talk at the Nerang RSL, Darren, Connor and Ben were treated like NRL royalty.
“The boys took to the field and played against the GCTPDRL team as part of the Legends team, which in the past has included the likes of Scott Prince and Preston Campbell, in a curtain-raiser before the Titans took on the Broncos at CBUS Stadium last month,” Lloyd said.
“It was great to see the excitement and the smiles on the boys’ faces as they took to the field to partake in a sport they love.
“Darren, Connor and Ben were also taken under the wing of the Melbourne Storm, who kindly gave the boys a unique game-day experience, including a tour of the Storm’s dressing room before their game against the Titans last month.”
Lloyd said the Nerang RSL, a community-centric club, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to support the boys on their adventure ‘Down Under,’ invite them to Big Talk, and, showcase the Club’s support for GCTPDRL.
“It was humbling to play a part in Darren, Connor and Ben’s experience in Australia and great to know that we’ve been able to assist the GCTPDRL,” said Lloyd.
“The Nerang RSL is ecstatic both parties came along to our Big Talk night, which is always held in support of a great cause. The Nerang RSL has donated around $30,000 to the Men of League Foundation to date and our relationship only continues to move from strength to strength.
“I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for our next event and come along. It’s always a fantastic night and everyone is welcome whether Nerang RSL members, footy fanatics, families or kids!”
For further information on the Men of League Foundation, visit www.menofleague.com
Locals supporting locals has long been engrained in the culture at Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and last month the support was RAMPED UP with over $20K donated by the Nerang RSL to a number of locals and community groups as part of the Club’s Community Fund Donation Initiative in July.
An impressive $20,750 was donated by the Nerang RSL in the recent round of Community Fund Donation presentations held at the Club and Nerang RSL and Memorial Club Vice President, Mr Jim Poland presented cheques to each recipient.
Since the inception of its Community Fund Donation initiative in 1996, the Nerang RSL has assisted over 200 groups and individuals from all areas of the community. The initiative aims to support those who would benefit from the additional funds, to assist with costs associated with running and maintaining respective groups and to put individuals in closer stead to reaching their goals.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club General Manager, Andrew McInnes, said it was particularly humbling to watch on as the Nerang RSL presented over $20,000 at the quarterly donation ceremony in July.
“Showing support to the local community is very important to the Nerang RSL and Memorial Club and it’s very exciting that we’ve been able to donate over $20,000 in this grant period, to numerous groups and individuals,” said Andrew.
A total of six individuals and groups received donations in Round 25 of the Community Fund Donation presentations including the mighty Nerang Cardinals Baseball Club, which received a cheque of $7500 from the Nerang RSL.
The family-oriented Baseball Club has over 300 members ranging in age from four years old to 84 years old, and has a team to suit everyone. The relationship between the Nerang RSL and the Baseball Club spans over ten years and President of the Cardinals Baseball Club Mark Flood said the Club is extremely thankful for the donation and is ecstatic to continue to strengthen its ties with the Nerang RSL.
“Nerang RSL has long been recognised as one of the Nerang Cardinals’ major sponsors and being a non-for-profit organisation, the support of the Nerang RSL goes a long way. We’re very humbled to receive this donation and look forward to continuing to strengthen our ten year relationship with the Nerang RSL,” said Mark.
“Without the support of the Nerang RSL it would be very hard to provide the facilities and equipment necessary to run our Club. Baseball equipment expires quickly, meaning we are frequently upgrading our equipment, so this donation will assist immensely in the purchase of new equipment and helps to ensure we are able to provide the best facilities to our players.
“We have a great relationship with the Nerang RSL and we’re proud to promote the RSL as a major sponsor at events like the Pan Pacific Baseball Games. We have the Nerang RSL logo on the back of our jerseys and regularly hold our Gala Presentations at the Club, which is always a lot of fun.”
The Nerang Cardinals hosts the Pan Pacific Baseball Games every two years as well as international baseball games which help to attract business to the local area. The Baseball Club also opens up its clubhouse on a regular basis for use by community groups such as Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Watch, and, is currently working toward introducing a Nerang Cardinals Ladies Baseball Team.
“The Nerang Cardinals Baseball Club prides itself on being a family-oriented club and we understand the importance of community supporting community,” said Mark.
“It’s fantastic to be able to have a relationship with groups which foster exactly that, and, it was great to see the community come together at the Nerang RSL’s Community Fund Presentation night.”
Among the list of recipients was the Nerang RSL Netball Club Junior Reps, with four of the club’s representative players each receiving a donation to assist with numerous fees. The Gold Coast Rugby League Referees Association received its second-year sponsorship donation as part of a three-year sponsorship by the Nerang RSL. The Nerang Branch of the Australian Red Cross Society also received a donation to assist in the purchase of two new wheelchairs.
The Nerang BMX Club received a sponsorship to assist with the planning and execution of the 2020 Nerang Nationals, a BMX event the club is set to host which is expected to attract more than 5000 people across four days. Aaron Mullenger also received a donation from the Nerang RSL and for numerous years has been a competitor in the TREC FOR REC race, a 7.5km foot race helping to raise funds for Gold Coast Sports and Recreation for the Disabled. The race helps instill confidence and self-esteem whilst encouraging many young people to reach their best potential and in previous years, Aaron has been the top fundraiser.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club would like to thank and congratulate all recipients. For more information on the Community Fund Donation initiative, please contact the Nerang RSL or download a community funding application from our home page.
A helping hand never goes astray and over eight years ago, Nerang RSL and Memorial Club had the vision to provide exactly that, a helping hand no matter how big or small.
Recognising the need for additional support for community-based groups and their endeavors to raise funds for varying projects, Nerang RSL established its Helping Hands initiative which to date has provided assistance to over 100 groups and organisations within the local community.
The initiative sees members of community groups involved in Helping Hands, and their friends, family, and neighbors (to name a few!), sit back, relax and enjoy a bite to eat at Nerang RSL. To say ‘thank you’ for dining in and providing a helping hand in return, Nerang RSL provides a donation to the community group.
Nerang RSL and Memorial Club General Manager, Andrew McInnes, said the Helping Hands initiative has become engrained in the Club’s culture and he is humbled to see it thriving years later.
“In the spirit of being a pillar of support within the community, Nerang RSL and Memorial Club had the vision to extend its support even wider to groups that might benefit from some extra support,” said Andrew.
“Helping Hands is now a thriving community initiative which sees community groups involved in the initiative, receive $5.00 for every voucher presented with a main meal purchased to the value of $16.90 or more at our renowned Gallipoli Bistro & Bar on any given Monday night.
“The Helping Hands Initiative has become engrained in the Nerang RSL’s culture and has helped to strengthen relationships within the local community as well as develop new ones. To not only receive support from local community groups, but also know Helping Hands has helped, and continues to help, numerous groups within our local community is humbling.”
One of the many community groups that have been involved with Helping Hands is Ashmore Scout Group. The group has over 100 kids across its Joey, Cub, Scouts and Venturer Scouts sections and sets out to promote and enhance the physical, intellectual, social, spiritual and emotional development of youth members so they can take a constructive place in society as responsible citizens, and as members of their local, national and international communities.
Ashmore Scouts first became involved with Helping Hands in 2013 and current adult member Robyn Buglar, or Possum as she’s more commonly known around the Scouts Den!, said it’s fantastic to see locals helping locals within the community.
“Initiatives like Helping Hands truly brings people together, strengthens ties within the community and is a nice way of showing support for one another,” said Robyn.
“The funds Ashmore Scouts has received from involvement with the Helping Hands initiative has assisted with the tasks and responsibilities that come with running a community group…it all helps one way or another.”
Robyn has been involved in all things camping, hiking and rock climbing to orienteering, open Fire cooking and guiding youth as a leader at Ashmore Scouts for over 18 years and said it’s a fantastic opportunity for youth to get involved in the community, develop new skills and overcome challenges all whilst having lots of fun.
“Scouts is youth-led and adult-supervised so it’s great to get involved in programs like Scouts because it’s an opportunity to learn and develop across numerous facets and as youth move through the program, they become more reliable and self-sufficient,” said Robyn.
“The kids get involved in many community aspects and just last year, some of our Scouts put together parcels to send to the men and women fighting overseas. There are also opportunities to get involved in fundraising and events like Cuborees for the Cub section, Venturer for the Venture section and World Jamborees which each other the opportunity to come together for a range of exciting activities and to meet new friends alike.
“It’s great to have initiatives within our community that bring people together and also to have places like the Nerang RSL and Scouts that foster that sense of community.”
The sacrifice and selflessness of our Anzacs isn’t forgotten amongst the local younger generation with students from Nerang State High School gearing up for another theatrical performance, telling the story of the Spirit of the Anzac, to be shown at this year’s dawn service.
Preparations for this year’s video are ‘bigger and better’ than ever before with student participation and efforts at a record high. The captivating visuals and performance have become well and truly entrenched in Nerang’s service and the students’ respect and acknowledgement deepens each year.
The Nerang RSL Sub Branch and Nerang RSL Memorial Club prides itself on honouring tradition while also incorporating engaging technology to connect, educate and inspire the younger generation.
With 2018 having marked the Final year of the Anzac Centenary, veteran and Nerang RSL and Memorial Club Sub Branch committee member, Mark Swain, said the production is a special way of highlighting the centennial anniversary of World War One (WW1) and ensuing battles and conflicts, to the declaration of the Second World War (WW11) in 1939.
“Students from Nerang State High School have been involved in Nerang RSL Sub Branch and Nerang RSL Memorial Club’s Anzac Day commemorations for the past few years and it’s heartening to see the students continue to be a part of sharing the stories behind the events that have shaped our nation and people,” he said.
“The students led the lights, camera, and action on the production which begins with a small group of veterans of the war, played by students, sitting in a cafe and sharing their experiences as veterans and how they navigated the war and survived.
“The story will not only provide insight into Australia’s involvement in WW1 but also aspects including the partition of soldiers, the homecoming, the Great Depression, Hitler coming into power and all the major battles, conflicts and campaigns of the Western Front as well as events of the Middle East.
“A nurse narrates the story and provides a raw insight of facts and statistics before the film concludes with the declaration of WW11 and a nod to the generational turnover leading into the Second World War.”
The production, which was filmed in March, has provided an opportunity for more students to be involved in Nerang RSL and Memorial Club’s Anzac Day commemorations.
“Students were able to get involved not only in front of the cameras but also behind the scenes with filming and audio, to all-things editing,” said Mark.
“It’s great to see students, alongside veterans, cadets and volunteers across the region actively involved in sharing the Anzac legacy each year.”
President of Nerang RSL Sub Branch, Stewart McGettigan, says it is humbling to see the community gather each year to pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“The Nerang RSL Sub Branch and Nerang RSL Memorial Club’s Anzac Day Service is renowned as one of our largest and most respected events of the year, and attracts people from as far as South-East Queensland,” he said.
“It is a significant morning of remembrance and the peaceful moments of dawn allows locals to unite and reflect upon the mateship, courage, and sacrifice of not only the original Anzacs, but those servicemen and women involved in all wars, conicts and peacekeeping operations.”
Nerang RSL Sub Branch and Nerang RSL Memorial Club’s Dawn Service will commence at 4.45am followed by an Anzac Day March at 9.40am and the main service at 10am.