LOCAL HEROES OF 2016
Endangered species around the world are fighting for survival as they teeter on the edge of extinction. Back in January, we commended North Shore artist and environmentalist Nafisa (above and right) in her mission to save these threatened species. Her passion for animals sparked her call for action against the destruction of wildlife. The animal warrior founded a not-for-profit organisation called Animal Works, which teams up with conservation projects around the world to save these treasured creatures. Utilising her creative skills for the greater good, the profits from Nafisa's award-winning paintings go to support her charity and its goal to save, protect and preserve wild and domestic animals.
When her son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Jas Tamana (right) says she felt like her "whole world was falling apart". After eight years of highs and lows discovering ways to manage the illness, the North Shore mum developed a hands-on guided learning system to help children and families with everyday tasks. There are about 30 different options for parents and kids to follow including a morning routine, bedtime routine, bathroom routine, packing my bag routine and going out routine. "The beauty of the system for children with autism is that it is very interactive and flexible and it's tactile," Ms Tamana told North Shore Living. "It promotes a great sense of independence and makes for a much happier environment for everyone in the family."
Despite the challenges involved with the disorder, the local hero has developed a passion for helping families care for their special needs child and her devotion to the cause shines through in the therapist-embraced program. For further information, visit www.guidedlearning.com.au
In our April 2016 edition we highlighted the work of Tamar Krebs (right), the founder and CEO of Group Homes Australia. After witnessing the quality care and devotion provided to her dementia-afflicted grandfather as his health deteriorated, Ms Krebs was inspired to advocate for aged care. Group Homes Australia alms to deinstitutionalise dementia care and improve the quality of life for the sufferers of the disorder.”'I thought,’ What do people in their situation want?’ It became clear they want autonomy, choice, and to be treated respectfully and with dignity,” she told North Shore Living. The organisation's aged-care facilities aim to change the industry for the better both locally and nationally.
In March, Mosman gardening coordinator Gillian Lee (left) welcomed us into the Mackie Lane community garden. The vegetable garden was created by volunteers in 2011 using discarded and donated equipment. As a clinical psychologist, Ms Lee was interested in activities that connect people with their community.
The garden seems to typify what members are looking for - they want to feel welcome and to be given something positive to do with Reminded people.”
Community gardens are now common on the North Shore, as they transform industrial spaces and unwanted venues into beautiful and practical greenery. These gardens offer a myriad of benefits to the public including exercise opportunities, shaded spaces, social activities, and a place for children to play outside.
North Shore hero Annabelle Chauncy (right) has been helping people in need for over a decade. In August we praised her life-changing organisation, the School for Life African Foundation. The community project provides school instruction, uniform, three healthy meals per day, and trained teachers to disadvantaged children in numerous African countries. The Mosman local has earned numerous accolades for her amazing work including a Medal for the Order of Australia, being named in the Top 100 Women of Influence in Australia, and many more. Her commitment stems from an immense desire to support societies and create positive changes in struggling communities with an emphasis on promoting educational services.
In our July issue, Mosman local Bec Burrows told North Shore Living all about the charity movement she started called Max Ailey. The online clothing store raises funds that go toward survivors of the sex slave trade and the creation of safe houses. She revealed that Australia is a main destination for girls and women being forced into human trafficking practices and slavery, in addition to their subjection to arranged marriages and domestic servitude. Max Ailey is partnered with anti-human trafficking organisation Project Future and the two organisations hope to raise awareness, connect leaders of change, and eventually eliminate modern day slavery. Ms Burrows is motivated to see the changes that can be made when justice prevails and women are rescued.
Just three months ago, we spoke with former actor, North Shore resident and dedicated animal activist Lynda Stoner. After she learned of the suffering inflicted on animals by humans. Ms Stoner became a committed advocate for animals rights and liberation. She also recently ran for senate with the Animal Justice Party and became CEO of the Animal Liberation charity. The organisation exposes human caused animal cruelty and calls for a social shift toward the humane treatment of our non-human friends. To see how you can join the cause for animal rights, visit www.anlmal-lib.org.au
In April we shone a light on the work of Lucy Perry, the charity leader at Sunrise Cambodia. The organisation raises money to teach Cambodians strategies for sustainable development and provides health and educational services to struggling families in some of the most poverty-siricken provinces of the country. In the wake of a violent and politically devastating recent history, citizens of Cambodia have seen their country become disheartened and communities plagued with inadequate living conditions. “Women are so poor that they are actually having to contemplate selling a child,” Ms Perry revealed.
As the CEO of the organization, the North Shore local aims to raise $5 million in a year to support those in need.
Back in January last year, we spoke with Pymble's Annie Crawford, the founder of Can Too, a non-profit organisation that hosts exercise events to help fund Australian cancer research. The praiseworthy organisation offers half-marathons, triathlons and ocean swims which aim to raise awareness about the importance of exercise in preventing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and obesity. Participants receive quality training to help them achieve their mission and 100 per cent of the funds raised go to cancer research. Starting out with the goal of recruiting 20 people to run in a marathon, the fundraising venture has grown to hundreds of participants seeking to achieve their goals and make a positive impact in their community.
Last month, we applauded the work of North Shore local Danielle Begg who co-founded the Refugee Yoga Project together with the Vasudhara Foundation. “The pilot program was run in conjunction with the Asylum Seeker Centre at Newtown and at Villawocd Detention Centre. After this, I really started to see how beneficial yoga practices are for people suffering PTSD and trauma, “she tells North Shore Living. Just 12 months on, the program is helping about 100 women and children navigate their way through depression, anxiety, pain, trauma and grief at many Western Sydney locations, including Liverpool, Blacktown and Toongable. These include women from the Bhutanese, Iraqi Mandaen and Christian communities, together with Sri Lankan Tamil, Iraqi Muslim and a Bhutanese men's group.”What we have done is created a space where they can feel positive and connected, sale and happy - even for a short time,” says Ms Begg.