How did MADOW start?
In 2008, the Pymble Congregation was surveyed and decided to investigate linking up with a remote community in western NSW.
With help from UC Rural Chaplains we visited Enngonia Public School, 100km north of Bourke, to meet the students and staff at their Christmas concert.
In the following years we began programs of supplying books and reading material to the community, assisting in the renovation of the school swimming pool, fund-raising for a school bus (along with a large contribution from Variety) and helping design and develop school gardens and play areas.
A program of bringing the children to visit city schools began, and likewise city school children loved visiting the remote western school, up until 2019.
Scholarships have been provided by schools in NSW and QLD to aid some children to complete their high school education. This program is currently suspended due to Covid, as is our ability to personally meet the new principal of the Enngonia School.
Through the efforts of Rural Chaplain Julie Greig we met members of the UC in Griffith and those who are part of Griffith’s “Helping Hands” group. This is a network of energetic locals who together cycle, play sport, attend gyms, support the schools in Griffith and participate in the charity HUB, which is subsidised by the RSL and other clubs in the region.
Helping Hands’ amazing network is very effective and has enabled us to provide aid to Ivanhoe, Wilcannia, Lake Cargelligo, Narrandera and Griffith environs; to women’s refuges; to new immigrants who have arrived penniless from Villawood; to single parents who have arrived from interstate and other countries; as well as to Islander seasonal fruit pickers.
Local schools and Foodbank are also integrated into the network, as is an organisation providing high quality housing and independence for people living with disabilities. We are grateful to be able to assist such wonderful, big-hearted locals.
Last year Griffith Local Hero Michelle Bordignon and her Helping Hands team allocated 95 lots of linen, 20 car loads of doonas and 345 care-packs/handbags of personal care products.
This translated to an astonishing schedule of deliveries: to Hay – 1 car & trailer load; to Leeton – 4 car loads; to Ivanhoe – 5 truckloads + 6 carloads; to Wilcannia – 60 care-packs +2 truckloads; to Lake Cargelligo – 13 carloads; to Narrandera – 2 car loads; and to Fiji – 14 car loads shipped.
All this, as well as providing assistance to Wellways, Flourish, Griffith Public School, Griffith Aged Care Support, Narrandera Aged Care Support, Dyrri Bang Gu, Dept of Housing and Griffith Maternity Ward’s Sister Theresa helping 22 new Mums doing it tough.
Pittari Transport in Griffith generously provides us free shipping from Chipping Norton (Sydney) to Griffith and also covers the cost of cling-wrapping the stacked bags and goods onto pallets.
Griffith forms a crucial hub for so many essential support services to isolated areas of western NSW and we are proud to play our part by contributing in a meaningful way to this vital network.
We welcome your interest and support, and we thank you very much for any assistance you can offer.