Support for Residents on the BellarineSpeech
I want to speak about two fabulous caring organisations on the Bellarine Peninsula, in my seat of Corangamite. Both are great examples of the power of solidarity, when committed individuals contribute their time, skills and resources to the benefit of their community. There has been a lot of talk about grants in this House in recent weeks, and, shamefully, the selection processes around some of these grants—sports, water safety and congestion—have been woeful and unfair. However, some grants, like the Community Support Program and the Volunteer Grants Activity program, give local members of parliament a chance to recognise the enormous good that many organisations do. The two organisations I refer to are recent recipients of a grant, and deservedly so.
The first organisation is Compassionate Hearts on the Bellarine. Compassionate Hearts has been operating since April last year and provides support to people who have a life-limiting illness and their carers, supplementing their usual palliative care or other services. It provides practical support such as visits, meals, reading or a helping hand to get to services. In addition, it provides community education around grief, illness, dying and loss. The ethos of Compassionate Hearts is about better living and a good death. It was the idea of its chair, Pauline Nunan; palliative care physician Dr David Brumley; and Dr Kate Jackson. It has a committee of nine plus 12 trained volunteers, including volunteers coordinator Ann Mathison. Compassionate Hearts currently cares for about nine patients and takes referrals from Bellarine Health. I was pleased to be able to provide this amazing service with $2,500 from my electorate allowance last year and have recommended Compassionate Hearts for a volunteer grant this year. I urge anyone interested in doing this important work to get in touch with Compassionate Hearts through their website.
The second organisation is Feed Me Bellarine, an exciting community-driven food-sharing program based in Ocean Grove that is feeding vulnerable families across the Bellarine. While unemployment across Corangamite is relatively low, at three per cent, there are large pockets of underemployment, and I was shocked to find some very low household incomes in some areas of the Bellarine through a map provided to me by the Parliamentary Library last year.
Feed Me Bellarine has been operating for around two years and is the brainchild of Lana Purcell, owner of Belly Bowls and Bellarine Catering, and chef Anthony Woodbury. The pair are working on saving food waste from two commercial food stores and other commercial cafes, restaurants and food producers and sharing it with the community members who need it the most. They now have a team of over 80 dedicated volunteers. They have had some support from the Freemasons and other organisations, who kindly donated money to buy a food rescue truck to service the area. I know when I visited Lonsdale Hydroponics last year and mentioned Feed Me Bellarine they got involved, and have been supplying seconds tomatoes of a very high quality as part of the program. I thank them and many other food producers for playing their part. Many new links and referrals are happening as the service grows. Currently the program provides about 250 meals a day.
Many people in our community are concerned about waste. The Bellarine Times last year reported:
"I've been catering for about five years now and because we do bulk catering, we had a lot of food left over," Lana said.
"So what we were doing internally was packaging up and giving it to staff and anyone we knew who was struggling at the time.
"But when Anthony came on board, he pushed for us to feed more people."
Lana and Anthony, who have both experienced some hard times throughout their lives, stress that Feed Me Bellarine is not church-based or funded, and have created the concept "no questions and no agendas".
"We have no connection with anything and just want to help… everyone needs a hand up now and then …"
I urge any restaurant or food producer in the Bellarine or Surf Coast to contact Lana through the Feed Me Bellarine website if they can help. I certainly will be doing all I can to help this fantastic social enterprise to grow, including recommending them for a volunteer grant in the recent round.
These fantastic organisations are just two of the reasons that make living on the Bellarine so special. There are many more organisations like them, and I thank each and every one of them for the contribution they make.
I want to speak about two fabulous caring organisations on the Bellarine Peninsula, in my seat of Corangamite. Both are great examples of the power of solidarity, when committed individuals contribute their time, skills and resources to the benefit of their community.Share Tweet