Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, I speak today about Foundation 33inc. and in particular the work they are doing raising funds for, and awareness of, health issues in the Tasmanian community.
Since its inception in 2004 by St.LukesHealth, Foundation 33inc. - or F33 as it is also referred to - has raised more than $200 000 for charity, including organisations that receive little to no support by government funding, sponsorships or other substantial financial assistance.
Some of the varied causes F33 has supported over the years include the Time Out House for young people at risk; Karinya Young Women's Service, which provides short-term crisis accommodation for women aged from 13 to 20 years; and the RADAR program for disengaged students.
In 2008, F33 partnered with a private donor in order to create Zone 33 at the Waverley Primary School, a learning support room and calm space where students can take a break and refocus for their school day. Over the years, F33 has supported the Holiday Hampers Program, providing Tasmanian families with basic food hampers over the school holidays. They have assisted schools with breakfast clubs, including funds for kitchen equipment and healthy breakfast foods. In 2014, the foundation agreed to support Variety: the Children's Charity Tasmania. With many people requesting assistance and having a cap on how much Variety can donate to an individual, Foundation 33 agreed to provide top-up donations that cover as much of the remaining costs as possible. Between 2015 and 2016, they donated over $6700 towards items for Variety.
The foundation supports other individuals directly. For example, funds were provided for an autism assistance dog for a local family via Righteous Pups, an organisation whose mission is to raise and train assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
The Long family has also been assisted. F33 recently hosted a fundraising cocktail party for young meningococcal survivor Arthur Long. The cocktail party aimed to raise $10 000 for the three-year-old Launceston boy, but instead the foundation presented a cheque for $12 000 to Arthur and his family for ongoing medical costs. The major auction item of the evening, a painting by Arthur, sold for $1700. Arthur contracted meningococcal W disease in 2017 and was left fighting for his life in Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. While he has recovered from the illness and returned home, he had both feet amputated and part of his right hand and spleen removed.
Meningococcal W is the same strain that has been experienced in Tasmania over recent months, with a new case recorded in September, the fifth case of the W strain. Arthur's family was quoted in the Examinerin relation to this new case as saying that they hope no-one will have to experience what they have in recent years. It is good to note that more than 50 000 doses of meningococcal vaccine have been delivered to general practitioners, pharmacists and clinics across Tasmania as part of a mass immunisation program funded by the state Government after the July outbreak. The expanded immunisation program is believed to be the largest of this type in Tasmanian history.
In conclusion, I acknowledge the work of the foundation. Their aim is to be a leader in helping those in need and a recognised group within the Tasmanian community with a strong and engaged supporter base. The number '33' in its name represents the membership number of the longest serving member with St.LukesHealth, a demonstration of loyalty and respect to values they hold dear. I wish them well as they continue their good work within the community supporting our fellow Tasmanians.