The idea for Ride to the Other Side was born while Craig Alford – (Rotary District 9465 Assistant Governor at the time) – was touring Hustler’s US mower plant. (He sells the machines at his Armadale business.) Riding a mower around Australia was certainly a novel way to draw attention to some important causes and raise some money – the goal was $1 million. But it was a pretty serious undertaking.
It was clear the adventure would need to be attempted in stages, and it was decided to make the first a reasonably short one to give the machinery and the crew a try-out. So, in March 2012, the Ride set off from Armadale in Perth’s eastern suburbs to Kalgoorlie. Since then, further legs completed were: Kalgoorlie to Adelaide (2013); Adelaide to Sydney, via Melbourne and Tasmania (2014); Sydney to Katherine, NT (2015) and then Katherine to Perth (2016). Over the full journey, more than $350,000 has been raised for various charities, including the EJ Whitton Foundation, Rotary Health, End Polio Now, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Rotary Foundation
And the mower travelled all that way on one set of tyres until they got a blow-out about 200kms from Perth on the home stretch!. The mower averaged 24 k.p.h with a top speed being reached of 39.1 k.p.h.
It's a tremendous achievement that Craig's fellow Rotarians agree is worthy of the strongest accolades.
CRAIG HONOURED FOR SERVICE ABOVE SELF
President Craig Alford and his crew are getting ready to drive a ride-on lawnmower on the next leg across Australia.
This next section will cover 5300 kms through New South Wales to Darwin via Brisbane & Townsville, finishing up at the Beer Can Regatta. And it's all to raise much-needed funds for Charity. The ride, which commenced with the Armadale WA to Kalgoorlie leg in 2102, raises awareness and funds for Australian Rotary Health's mental health research and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. In 2013 the team rode 2200 kms over 11 days from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide, then 2300 Kms from Adelaide to Sydney in 2014 over 22 days.
The ultimate goal is to raise $1 million for these charities over the entire journey around Australia.
For more information, or to pledge your support, go to: www.ridetotheotherside.org.au
or see the Ride Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RidetotheOtherSide?fref=ts
Youth Crime Prevention Officers, Kaye Turner & Kim Bryce from Armadale Police, with Save the Children’s Karina Chicote and Steve Dyson (Photo: Community Newspaper Group)
Save the Children:
Building a Better Tomorrow for Armadale Youth
An international children’s charity and the WA Police are working together to reduce juvenile crime in the Armadale region, with a special emphasis on helping local aboriginal young people to turn their lives around. Our guest speaker this week gave a very articulate, informative and passionate talk about the “Strong Tomorrow” programme, which is making a real difference in our community.
Karina Chicote is the Youth Programme Coordinator (Perth Metropolitan) for Save The Children Australia and is a great advocate for the cause. She was accompanied at our meeting by Save the Children’s Business Development Consultant, Tony McManus.
“Strong Tomorrow” is a secondary intervention programme. Save the Children works in collaboration with local Youth Crime Prevention Officers (YCIOs) to support young offenders to reduce offending, through addressing the underlying social and environmental issues that lead to crime, marginalisation and victimisation, through mentoring and intensive support.
Juvenile crime is not only costly to the community but to young lives caught up in it. “Strong Tomorrow” helps the young people develop life skills and cultural values.
Sadly, there is a very strong over-representation of Aboriginal youth in Western Australia’s crime scene, with 75% of juvenile youth in detention being of Aboriginal background—and 20% of these are from the Armadale area. So programmes like “Strong Tomorrow” need to receive ongoing funding to turn the tide. The programme has a very impressive success rate. One example cited was that of a young boy who went from 22 offences prior to involvement in the programme to no offences following. Others had an 85% reduction in offences. 100% of participants say that the programme has helped them.
An initial Government grant of $25,000 has demonstratively saved the Government $140,000 that would have been incurred through crimes that are not being committed as a result of the intervention. Save the Children are digging into their own funds to maintain the programme. Members and friends of Rotary are encouraged to canvas politicians and people of influence with a view to a further grant being made to keep “Strong Tomorrow” up and running.
On the same day that news broke of the tragic untimely death of actor and comedian, Robin Williams, who suffered from depression, our guest speaker this week, Antonia Bordoni gave an inspiring and passionate presentation about the organisation that specializes in helping young people facing the pressures of life. Headspace is a community-based organisation providing a comprehensive range of help for young people facing mental health and other health issues, online, by phone and face-to-face. Headspace centres across Australia provide information, support and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their families.
· One in four people will experience a mental health issue within any one year
· 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25
Up to 50% of substance abuse problems are preceded by mental health
· High suicide rates in early to mid adulthood are related to untreated mental health problems in the late teenage and early adulthood years
· Currently, one in four young people experiencing mental health problems actually receives professional help
Headspace Centres are scattered across Australia with 55 of them open to young people. Antonia represents the Fremantle branch of Headspace and is a wonderful advocate for this much-needed community service. She regularly gives talks in schools , sometimes five times a week, and loves sharing about Headspace at service clubs and community groups. She was a guest speaker at the Rotary District 9465 conference in Mandurah earlier this year and is happy to be guest speaker at any Rotary Club. Headspace are hoping to open a branch in Armadale in the near future, subject to funding and other criteria. There’s no doubt that our community would greatly benefit from such a service.
Issues faced by young people, for which they can receive counselling and referrals to appropriate professional help, include mental health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, sexual health issues, contraception advice, bullying, relationship problems, problems at school or tertiary education centres, physical & sexual abuse, financial or budgeting problems—and more.
What to expect at a Headspace Centre:
· Help for any type of health issue
· Free services
· A welcoming environment that is youth friendly
· A range of medical professionals: doctors, psychologists, counsellors, social workers, youth workers and drug & alcohol workers
eheadspace is a confidential free and secure service for young people 12-25 yrs of age and their families and friends. It offers online chat, email or phone services 9:00am to 1:00am, 7 days a week with qualified youth mental health professionals. Callback is available for those using a mobile phone.
If you know a young person who might need help:
Families, carers and friends can make an appointment for a young person with their consent. To do so phone (08) 9 335 6333 with them to arrange an appointment.
If you are working with a young person who might need help:
Workers from schools, health or community organisations can refer to headspace Fremantle can make an appointment for a young person with their consent.
To do so phone (08) 9 335 6333 with them to arrange an appointment. Young People under the age of 16 must have parental consent. The young person MUST consent to the referral.
(Photo: Past President Peter Warren presents Headspace's Antonia Bordoni with a Rotary mug as President Craig Alford photo-bombs!)
Past District Governor, Phil Cordery made a special visit to our club meeting on 12 August to to present the Annual District Australian Rotary Health Trophy , which President Craig Alford received on behalf of the club. The award is presented to the club that has made the highest donation per capita to Australian Rotary Health. Our Annual Golf Day and the Ride to the Other Side, have been major contributors to this effort, as well as the generosity of individual members.
Australian Rotary Health provides funding into four focus areas and promotes findings to the community. These are Mental Health Research, General Health Research, Indigenous Health Scholarships and Rural Medical & Nursing Scholarships.
PDG Phil has been a Director of Australian Rotary Health since 2011. He is Chairman of two district programmes and has a Paul Harris Fellow with three sapphires.
(Photo:President Craig proudly shows the trophy with PDG Phil Cordery)
PLENTY TO CELEBRATE AT CHANGEOVER NIGHT
As the Rotary Club of Armadale closed out the 2013-14 Rotary year and welcomed in the 2014-15 year, there were plenty of great achievements to celebrate. District Governor, Erwin Biemel and Assistant Governor, Roy Philbin were delighted to hand a number of prestigious awards to outgoing President Graham Sampson and some awesome Rotarians and guests.
DG Erwin took great delight in presenting President Graham with a Presidential citation for the club's many achievements over the past year. Past District Governor, Terry Barritt and Mrs Joan Barritt were presented with some very prestigious awards from the Rotary Foundation for outstanding achievement and contributions to the Foundation. Incoming President, Craig Alford, was recognised for his amazing contribution to the Foundation and other very worthy charities as leader of the Ride-To-The-Other-Side team. Rotarian Ray Heather, our club's International Director, received a Paul Harris Fellow award for his tireless work on various international humanitarian projects and Honorary Rotarian, Margaret Heather received a Paul Harris Fellow award for her work on training teachers of English as a second language in West Timor. The Secretary of the Armadale Men's Shed, Ian Stevenson also received a Paul Harris Fellow award for his dedicated commitment to the Men's Shed and his wonderful support to our club on various community outreach programmes. And Rotarian Eileen Alford was President Graham's choice to receive the annual Warwick Savage-Keith Marsh Award for her outstanding contribution to so many of our club programmes. Mrs Nancy Marsh was delighted to be asked to present this award in honour of the late Past President Keith Marsh.
Lots more information about changeover night to come in the weekly bulletin.
INTERACT MAY START UP IN
The youth division of Rotary International known as Interact has good prospects of being started up at one our local high schools according to Rotarian Ron Mildenhall, who is District Chair of Interact. Ron was our guest speaker this week and he gave a very enthusiastic & informative talk about the aims and purposes of Interact clubs.
Ron was certainly a great speaker to have when the PA system decided not to work, as he has a great ability to project his voice and keep everyone’s attention. And he certainly did that. His talk was complimented by a PowerPoint presentation as he led us through what might be involved if we as a club decide to sponsor an Interact club.
We also were delighted to have two special guests who have a keen interest in getting a local Interact club up and running. They were Claudia Jacob, Head of English Department at Kelmscott Senior High School and Elizabeth Singe, an ESL* teacher and member of the Rotary Club of Willetton. (*ESL = English as a second language).
Ron’s presentation included some very interesting examples of Interact Clubs around the world and how they often take on amazing community projects. Clubs are encouraged to take on one local project and one international project each year.
Each Interact Club needs to be sponsored by a local Rotary Club and that takes a fair commitment from at least one but ideally two Rotarians to attend Interact meetings and act as mentors. Interact Clubs are encouraged to develop their own style within certain guidelines. There is certainly an emphasis on having fun whilst developing good communication and service skills.
Ideally, a new Interact Club needs a minimum of 12 students to make it viable and as it grows, a core group of 8 to 10 to get things done - much like a Rotary Club. A collaborative approach with more than one Rotary Club involved is worth considering to minimise set-up costs and maximise opportunities. As District Chair of Interact, Ron is available to assist at any time and answer questions.
Programme Chair for the evening was Rotarian Eileen Alford and the vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Gail Sampson.
On a mission to mow down the miles
WITH every idea come a few challenges.
Deciding to ride 15,000 kilometres around Australia on a ride-on-mower was a big idea with big challenges and bigger rewards.
In 2010 Rotarian and co-owner of Armadale Mower World Craig Alford had this outrageous idea to ride a Hustler Super Z mower around Australia to raise much needed awareness and funds for mental health research through Australian Rotary health and a second charity of choice each year.
When we say we're riding to get to the other side, we're not just talking about geography. We're riding this lawn mower to make a difference and help people get to where the grass is greener.
In March of 2012 after much planning, his dream came to life when he and his team set off on stage one, 661km from Armadale to Kalgoorlie.
With few changes - mainly bigger wheels and a roof - the Hustler Super Z performed well, averaging 23km/h a day in temperatures as high as 44.5C. That journey was a huge success finically but most of all raising awareness of two very worth charities.
In February this year he and his business partner Andrew Fox set off on stage two from Kalgoorlie to cross the Nullarbor in the hottest part of the year on route to Adelaide and the Clipsal 500, again raising awareness and funds for mental health research through Australian Rotary health and prostate cancer research with the EJ Whitten Foundation. This time they had temperatures high as 49.5C and covered more than 300km in one day.
The Hustler Super Z had a top speed of 36.3km/h and averaged about 25km/h for the 2190km trip.
For the almost 3000km covered so far they have raised about $130,000.00 and the mower has not missed a beat and apart from regular servicing they haven’t put a spanner on to it.
The most common remark heard this year was “Pimp My Ride” this may have something to do with the eighteen inch Ford Chromes, front chrome hubs and the front spoiler.
A big thanks goes to all the supporters big and small but in particular Powerup Lawn Care Products-PLP, importers of the Hustler Super Z, they are a major partner in Ride to the Other Side. It is without doubt that if not for this support Ride to the Other Side would not be the success it is.
Stage three in May 2014 will see some very different weather conditions as the ride heads off from Adelaide on route to Rotary International World Convention in Sydney through Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra some 2500km.
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