What could your community do with $10,000?
The inaugural St George Community Awards will give Queenslanders who are working to improve their local communities their due.
Six winners will each receive a $2000 St George bank account, with the overall Community Group of the Year organisation receiving a $10,000 grant for their efforts.
If you know an individual or group that you believe should be acknowledged and rewarded, now’s the time to act — head to stgeorgecommunityawards.com.au and nominate them!
We’ll be profiling one nominee every week until the winners are announced. This week, the spotlight falls on Eight Mile Plains resident Sarah Richards, who has been nominated by her mother, Raechel, in the Outstanding Youth Achiever category for her involvement with the Oesteogenesis Imperfecta Society of Australia.
“My daughter Sarah has brittle bones,” Raechel explains. “We have an awareness day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), Wishbone Day, in May. Sarah made posters, talked on assembly and answered questions about her condition. She showed teachers a YouTube video and all classes in the school watched it. The junior leaders and teachers wore yellow on the special day. Kids went home and told their parents about the condition, and teachers told their families.”
Sarah’s work in her school community has helped to raise awareness for a condition that is little known and often misunderstood in the general community, but affects one in every 20,000 babies who are born.
“The more people know about the condition, the more they can be educated,” Rachael says. “Especially medical staff. Some babies are presented at the hospital with broken bones, and doctors instantly think of child abuse. Some rare cases are brittle bones. Families go through so much trauma. The medical profession, police and social workers need to be aware of this condition.”
The OI Society is a volunteer-run organisation that provides support for the families of OI sufferers and hosts a conference every two years. “They help connect people with medical staff and other families,” Rachael says. “The organisation runs on donations.
“There is a conference in Brisbane next July,” she continues. “There are kids out there with this condition who have never met other kids with the same condition. We would like to connect families to meet other people going through what they are going through. We would like medical staff to attend and be educated. We would like social workers to attend. We would love to get as many Queensland families as possible to come and learn and connect.”
For more information about the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Society of Australia, visit oiaustralia.org.au. To nominate a local group for a $10,000 grant, visit stgeorgecommunityawards.com.au today! Don’t delay — nominations close on Sunday 21 September.