Tasmania’s first fully dedicated wildlife veterinary clinic is one step closer to becoming a reality, after Network Gaming’s Amy Castle nominated Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for a Helping Hand.

Bonorong is working towards the creation of a clinic to care for the hundreds of animals they rescue each year. It will be free for the public to drop off wildlife for care and rehabilitation.

“Bonorong is a very special and important organisation for the survival and education of our native animals,” Amy said.

“Bonorong operates the largest rescue service in Tasmania for suffering animals, running entirely off their park entry fees.

“Not only are they rescuing animals at all times of the day and night, but they continue to run a breeding program to prevent the extinction of the Tasmanian tree frog, rehabilitate seabirds and are tirelessly helping to save our Tassie devils.”

Amy said most veterinary clinics are not equipped to deal with native animals and wildlife carers are paying for vet bills out of their own pockets.

Amy is a volunteer at Bonorong, working with the wildlife rescue program, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thank you Amy, for nominating Bonorong for a $1000 Helping Hand!

Pictured: Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary director Greg Irons with Maria the wombat.

When TSG Infrastructure Engineer Andrew Stott isn’t in the office you’ll find him at the Kingston Fire Brigade.

Andrew has been a volunteer member of the brigade for 20 years and recently nominated the group for a $1000 Helping Hand to help purchase a new chainsaw.

Andrew said the brigade’s 25-year-old chainsaw had finally lost its puff.

“This piece of equipment has the potential to save the lives of fire fighters and members of the public,” he said.

“We use it to remove fallen trees and debris, to clear roads and provide safe escape routes.”

Andrew is the brigade’s 2nd Officer and the crew is made up of 30 volunteers. They’re committed to educating the community about fire and emergency safety. Great job Andrew and thank you for nominating the Kingston Fire Brigade for a Helping Hand!

Pictured: TSG Infrastructure Engineer Andrew Stott and Kingston Fire Brigade Chief Faron Wall.

Ray Crowden, from Wrest Point’s cleaning team, nominated the Huonville Ambulance Volunteers for a $1000 Helping Hand to purchase of an ELK lifting device.

The specialist equipment contains its own inflator and power supply, assisting volunteer ambulance members to lift people who’ve fallen and need assistance to get up.

Huonville Ambulance Volunteers respond to about four of these call outs each week.

Ray has volunteered with Ambulance Tasmania for the past eight years and commits about 60 hours each month to shifts with Huonville Ambulance.

“The community as a whole is getting heavier and older,” he said.

“(Sometimes people) who’ve fallen and have difficulty getting up will call Ambulance Tasmania for help getting back on their feet and the Huonville Ambulance Volunteers are tasked with assisting.

“Our trained volunteers can assess the patient and use the ELK, which is placed under them and inflated, lifting them to chair height.

“It saves our backs and gets patients off the ground quickly and safely.”

Andrew Bone from Ambulance Tasmania thanked Federal Group for its support.

He said the ELK device meant emergency paramedic crews weren’t tied up by non-emergency situations.

COPE Office Administrator Jill Taylor, from the Luscombe, Queensland depot, took part in a fundraiser for the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation last year, to help fund a cure for paralysis.

“My stepson Paul sustained a spinal injury in the surf at Burleigh Heads (on the Gold Coast) on Christmas Day in 2003. He was only 17 years old,” Jill said.

“Living life as a quadriplegic is tough. None of us really know what it’s like unless of course we’ve experienced it ourselves.

“Spinal injuries can affect anyone, anywhere. They aren’t just caused through high risk activities, sporting and motor vehicle accidents, it can be as simple as slipping or tripping over.”

Researchers at the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University are working on taking a special type of cell from a patient’s olfactory (sense of smell) system, and transplanting it into the spinal cord injury site.

A world first clinical trial led by the Institute in 2002 demonstrated the therapy was safe for human use. The trail led to a recent human trial by British/ Polish researchers, demonstrating that restoration of function after severing of the human spinal cord is possible.

In this study, a mix of olfactory ensheathing cells and fibroblasts together with a nerve bridge were transplanted into the injured spinal cord. Within 6-12 months after transplantation, the patient (who had been paralysed for several years) regained some motor function of his legs, bladder control and sensation.

The team at the Eskitis Institute is planning to undertake a clinical trial in 201 to progress the journey and demonstrate how the therapy can further regenerate a patient’s sensory and motor function.

Maileen Silverstri, from the Country Club, excitedly shared a $1000 Helping Hand with Filo Play.

The organisation provides support to mothers and children in Tasmania’s Filipino community.

“It provides an opportunity for Filipino mothers to learn more about Australia’s way of life and still expose their children to the values and culture of Filipinos,” Maileen said.

Maileen, who works at the Watergarden restaurant, said Filo Play helped her overcome the struggles of settling into a new country when she first moved to Tasmania.

“I was an active member of this group before my children were ready for school,” she said.

“It helped me a lot in coping with so home sickness and facing the challenges of raising our children without the usual support of extended family.”

Filo Play will use the $1000 Helping Hand to go on a camping trip, providing families with an opportunity to explore Tasmania’s landscapes and establish a stronger support group.

In recognition of the many team members who took part in Movember, Federal Group provided a $1000 Helping Hand to the Movember Foundation.

Many of our colleagues grew moustaches during November, to raise funds for men’s health projects. Their fantastic efforts have contributed greatly to the Movember Foundation, which tackles some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention.

Federal Group’s donation will support urgent Movember causes, helping men to live happier, healthier, longer lives.

Thank you to everyone who took part in this initiative! Special mentions go to the COPE team who coordinated a nation-wide fundraising effort, and the guys at Wrest Point who participated in Movember in memory of their colleague and friend Ed Cranwell.

For most people simply conquering the Point to Pinnacle is feat enough. But for Sandy Bay man Peter Wheatley, the “world’s toughest half marathon” was the final leg in a gruelling month of marathons.

Peter ran a marathon each day for 31 days to raise money for Water for a Village, a charity set up by his wife Catherine to establish water wells in Ethiopian communities.

Federal Group was proud to present Peter with a $1000 Helping Hand when he crossed the finish line of the Point to Pinnacle, at Wrest Point, at the end of his final marathon.

“I’m a bit of a nutter I suppose, but it’s to support Catherine’s charity, which raises the plight of people who don’t have access to water,” Peter said.

“A marathon is the distance from a well to the nearest town and the women walk eight hours a day to carry 75kg of water on their backs, just for their families.

“The mountain where Catherine builds the wells is twice the height of the (Mount Wellington) pinnacle.

“Point to Pinnacle is an iconic event and it was about building opportunities for conversations with people about the work of the charity.”

Catherine fell in love with Ethopia walking through the Simien Mountain National Park and wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people who live there in complete poverty and challenging conditions.

Catherine started Water for a Village, which builds wells to provide improved access to water.  Peter raised more than $20,000 in total, which will create five new wells.

“I’ve actually done it quite easily,” Peter said of his month-long effort. “It comes down to motivation and I had a great reason to do this.”

In saying that, Peter will spend the next month on crutches after suffering a stress fracture in his hip, upon finishing the Point to Pinnacle.

And while he jokingly blamed it on a mistimed hug from Catherine at the finish line, Peter concedes it was probably built up over the month.

“It’s not exactly how I wanted to end, but it was a tremendous month,” he said.

“Apart from this, I’m actually feeling really good.”

Federal Group Executive General Manager of Corporate Finance and Company Secretary Colin Dewhurst nominated Peter for a Helping Hand.

Country Club Conference and Events Supervisor Hayley Chugg didn’t think twice about deciding who to nominate for a Federal Group $1000 Helping Hand, suggesting the Rebecca and Daniel Tavner Foundation.

Rebecca is Hayley’s co-worker; a highly valued member of the Country Club Conference and Events team. She was diagnosed with Stage 2A breast cancer last year and has since had surgery to remove the cancer, followed by chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and reconstruction, and is in the final stages of radiation treatment.

Prior to starting chemotherapy, Bec harvested her eggs, to give her and husband Daniel (who also works in C&E) the best chance of starting a family in the future, but will have to go through IVF screening to prevent passing the BRCA-1 gene on to future generations.

“It has been a really tough year and this could really help them to provide their family with a cancer-free future,” Hayley said.

The Helping Hand will contribute to IVF screening and ongoing treatment for Bec, and the entire Federal Group team wishes Bec and Daniel the very best in the future.

COPE’s Victorian Revenue Controller Dee Bonello was thrilled to share a Helping Hand with the Hayden Butler Foundation.

The foundation advocates suicide prevention and awareness, aimed predominantly at young sportspeople, particularly in rugby league.

The foundation was set up in memory of Dee’s cousin, aspiring league player Hayden Butler.

“The organisation demonstrates, communicates and educates people about the clear message that there are better choices available than suicide,” Hayden Butler Foundation vice president Mei Hall said.

Mei said the $1000 Helping Hand would assist the foundation to provide professional development workshops that educate young people, families, coaches, mentors and communities about suicide ideation and effective coping mechanisms to help young people striving to achieve their ultimate goals.

It will also help the organisation provide a referral directory of reputable and established support groups, assist in developing an ongoing partnership with the NRL Association, and help Hayden’s mum Roberta Butler continue to share her story at schools, businesses and sports clubs.

Federal Group proudly sent a Helping Hand to Nepal, for our very own team member Arbindra (Bindy) Bogati to assist his family in rebuilding their home. In April 2015, Bindy’s family lost their home in a devastating earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000.

Several of Bindy’s co-workers in the Corporate Finance team nominated him for a Helping Hand. He is travelling to Nepal in November, to spend six weeks re-build his family home.

“The house partially collapsed (during the earthquake) posing a threat to our neighbours on either side, (so) the remaining bit had to be knocked down bits by bits,” Bindy said.

“We are renting three rooms at the school nearby where my sisters, uncles and their family along with my grandma live. However mom and dad have been living in a carport next to our old home since the earthquake (which is now done up with bricks around).

“There were 14 people living in our family home which was built by my grandpa in three different floors. The floors were each assigned to one family (between three brothers).

“$1000 AUD will be equivalent to around 80,000 Rupees when converted into Nepalese currency. This could buy us around 67.5 bag of cements or 8,526 units of bricks, which will be an addition to the construction material required to rebuild the house.”

We wish Bindy and his family the very best.

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