The NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey MP gave a further boost to our Roadshow program by presenting a $50,000 cheque to us recently. As you may recall the Minister gave us a $100,000 cheque in mid 2017 and this was used for the replacement of one Roadshow van as well as replacement of 2/3 of the Roadshow wheelchairs. With the recent grant the other 1/3 of the chairs will be replaced. A reminder that besides these Ministerial grants, Transport for NSW sponsor our Roadshow Program.
There has been a few staff changes at Wheelchair Sports NSW (WS NSW) Helen O’Connor our Fundraising Manager has left after 3 ½ years of conscientious and committed service. Also leaving us was Gerardine Grace from the fundraising team. For the time being a temporary replacement for Helen is in place. Also leaving is Stadium Manager at Kevin Betts – Matthew Wilkinson. Matthew has been replaced by Co-Managers Julleen Saville and Cathy Watson.
On behalf of WS NSW could I congratulate Kurt Fearnley AO on being awarded the NSW Australian of the Year for 2019. He goes up against winners from the other States and Territories for the prestigious Australian of the Year. This presents a problem for Kurt. The Australian of the Year award is on the evening of the 25th January in Canberra. Early next day is the Oz Day 10K Race in Sydney’s Rocks, an event which Kurt has raced for the past consecutive 24 years and won 11 times. Let’s hope Kurt can make his own sprint to the starting line.
Could I congratulate and thank some of our community fundraisers of late. Wayne Costin has been conducting a fundraiser golf day for WS NSW for the past 9 years with clients from his engineering business. As well WS NSW ambassadors Belinda Green OAM, Steve Mason, and Bev and John Kable, for the first time conducted a Melbourne Cup Day fundraiser for us in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney. Between the 2 events almost $10,000 was raised and we are very appreciative of the work of these true believers of WS NSW.
This will be my last Pushers Post report as I will be retiring at the end of January 2019. May I take this opportunity of thanking all those individuals I have had contact with at WS NSW for the past 20 years. I feel myself very fortunate to have come across a “dream job” that has given me so much satisfaction and rewards. I hope to say farewell to a number of you over the summer. I will not be lost to WS NSW as I will take on the role of a proud ambassador.
Jim O’Brien CEO