Meeting November 9 2016 Little Dreamers


Lots and lots of visitors came to the club last week making the atmosphere very warm and exciting. Robert Layfield returned after last week’s visit, Gabrielle Evans also returned after having been to previous meetings as did Mike Brooks who has been a Rotary Exchange student twice. It was Helen Nodrum’s first visit and our Guest Speaker was Madeleine (Maddy) who came with her Father Simon Buchner. Our most efficient and eloquent Chair Person was Linda O’Brien. Pres. Greg welcomed our guests and talked of the “fun” day at the Nicholson St Railway Car Park on Saturday November 12th. Richard later informed the volunteers of the 3 hour shifts. He also informed us that the Strategic plan are doing well and that there is a Board Meeting on Tuesday 15th. Maddy is the Founder and CEO of Little Dreamers. Maddy is an amazing and courageous person and when you learn about her you will agree. When she was 9 years old she complained to her friend that “how come there are so many people supporting my (very sick) brother and my parents but no one seems to care for me. This feeling is common to all young carers and the thought is followed by guilt as the sibling is very very ill and always much loved, while the carer is well and realizes that the sick child deserves all the attention. In Australia there are 490,000 young carers making the statistic 1 in 10 under 25 looking after a family member with chronic illness, mental illness or a disability or drug/ alcohol dependency. This is a huge problem and in caring for their families many of these young people do not finish high school, some develop mental illnesses themselves and many are unemployed. Young carers watch their sick ones for changes in breathing and colour, know how to administer medicines and stay home so that the sick member is never left alone. After that discussion Maddy with a friend decided to raise money for Carenet that was like a Big Brother Big Sister mentoring program for siblings of sick children. Carenet does not exist anymore but while the events changed the cause always stayed the same that was to raise money and awareness for the often forgotten brother or sister in the family with an unwell child. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer Maddie that she could either lie down and let all the bad stuff happen or fight. This is exactly what she did. She chose to fight and make Australia aware of the large numbers of carers so at the tender age of 16 years Maddy founded her charity, LITTLE DREAMERS together with her friend she had complained to when 9 years old.  Little Dreamers has turned 7 years old and during that time has positively impacted the lives of over 1000 carers, they run programs such as a Dream Coaching Platform, an annual Young Carers Festival, a Young Carer School Holiday Program in Ronald McDonald Houses and a Dream Training Education Program in Schools. They have raised $150,000 and worked with some famous personalities. Maddy showed us a videos to further show what Little Dreamers have done. Maddy is now 23 years old and her charity has published a children’s’ story called “My Brother is Sick again” and an adult colouring book what should relax-de-stress and create. This is called “Colour It With Happiness”. All proceeds go to Little Dreamers. As a result of questions we learnt that there is an International Young Carers conference in Sweden to which Maddie will attend and that Europe recognizes Young Carers much better and is very supportive.  We would have to agree that Madeleine Buchner is an amazing inspirational person! Thank you Maddie for sharing your program with us! Sergeant Tim had his merry way with us fining us all in a discriminating manner. It was a very happy and busy meeting and we also remember that ROTARY SERVING HUMANITY is our mission statement for the year 2016-17

Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)

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