Appin Hall Children’s Foundation - End of Year Newsletter 2012


'Celebrate the Child', our annual end of year fundraising concert in Burnie, was a huge success. The calibre of interstate and local performers was exceptional and provided a diverse variety of acts for theatregoers along the north coast. Major sponsor MMG, defined the way we could engage top talent and fly them in from all over Australia. Local performers certainly shone, in particular young Leah Woodberry who took her performance to a new level on the night. Leah supports Appin Hall on many events annually – and we are thrilled she is embracing the opportunity to work in front of large audiences. The concert began with the haunting sound of a lone piper Marjon Peisker followed by the dynamic percussion of Burnie's Taiko Drummers. Both excelled by creating a wonderful opening to the evening.

 Johnny Young & Jo Palmer on 'Celebrate the Child' event 2012
- Photograph by Steven French

The other performers incl. Johnny Young, David de Vito, Ronnie Burns, The Old Fella, Cody Bell, and Daniel Lebkowski lifted the 750 strong audience with an array of talent that treated Burnie to a memorable musical event. The gem in the crown was indeed SC-TV personality Jo Palmer (who was absolutely lovable) and local anchorman Brett Whiteley – whom gave the night a stroke of magic that held everyone captivated for three hours. Our fantastic band, led by virtuoso violinist Peter Shurley, were a dream come true and so supportive of the Foundation's vision to assist disadvantage children. The Shurlette's contribution deserves a special Thank You because their component in the show required a lot of organization and many nights of rehearsal – and we are again so grateful for their professional support. Peter Shurley's solo and montage of images was inspirational and also reflected Appin Hall's vision.

A BIG Thank You to Greg Leong, Director of the 'Burnie Arts & Function Centre', and his mighty team for their professional and generous support in staging this quality variety show – and for the fabulous concert photographs provided by Steven French and Danah Gillam

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Operatic singer David de Vito  Director, Greg Leong and Team


'Celebrate the Child' 2012

 In many ways, surpassed last year's show. This year's concert boasted a huge array of talent and offered performances that traversed the globe. The show incl. everything from Scottish bagpipes (a tribute to Ronnie and Maggie's Celtic roots), to Japanese (Taiko) drumming, some great 'true blue' Aussie acts, and culminated with Italian opera. There was a stirring violin solo, top class performances from our youngest vocalists, a nostalgic trip with iconic pop legends, and a cheeky 'Old Fella' who pushed the comedic boundaries. Add to the mix a stellar band, incl. a gifted saxophonist (also a kitchen whiz), and a superb hosting duo and it's easy to see why our 2012 was such an outstanding success. Plans have begun for CTC 2013 - Oct 26th. Sylvia Berger – event coordinator

"The purpose of life is the exploration and expansion of joy and happiness
- and can be shared with others who are willing to aspire to greater knowledge
and a service to humanity"

Throughout the second half of the year, we experienced some very grave situations for visiting families who were undergoing extremely harsh emotions of sexual abuse, severe illness, physical violence – and the deeply distressing effects of prolonged court cases whereby families are fighting for support for their children or family.

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Veronica & mum Kylee  Hannah, Maggie & Josiah


Little Veronika

During the past 8.5 years since opening our doors, we have witnessed the amazing courage and compassion that visiting children and their parents show in the face of serious illness and abuse. They have the guts to stick it out to get their kids through when often they are against the odds because of lack of treatment and a need for counseling and support. Having a sick child can be a very expensive business, especially when the father has to give up work to care for siblings whilst a determined mother moves to the mainland to wait for specialized treatment. Often illness affects the entire family and close friends.

The Davie family (of 5) from Hobart ventured the long 4-hour trip to spend a week at Appin Hall. This allowed them all to enjoy some respite focused around their 5-year old daughter Veronika. This tenacious little girl, who was recommended through a social worker from St.Giles, has Cerebral Palsy and Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and her parents were told she would never talk or walk, however, this diagnosis was to be proved incorrect – and so with the permission of Veronika's parents you can watch this heart moving story: family is booked to visit Appin Hall [again] early in 2013.


Appin Hall can only meet its enormous yearly commitments because of the wonderful group of supporters, donors, volunteers, community organizations and business people who continue to step up to help our cause. Many community groups (Rotary, Lions, church etc) book in for Working Bees, and, in the process, invite young people (10 to 21 yr old) to participate in essential garden chores and site safety. Having young folk take a keen interest enables them to understand the shared vision – along with giving of themselves to help children/families less fortunate in our communities. It is a delight to see them working along side adults and expanding their social awareness within society.

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Art and Free time T-shirt Painting


"Wisdom is a very specific thing. It's not about brains.
It's not about the accumulation of knowledge. It is about being decent.
And let me explain what I mean by being decent:
If you can be generous and nice, rather than a son-of-a-bitch,
it works better for you in the end." - Bryce Courtney

Acknowledgment Awards

2012 was certainly a year of recognition for Appin Hall and its achievements on the national stage. Tasmania's 'Community Achievement Award' allocated their Outstanding Achievement Award to Appin Hall in Hobart, and, in addition to Maggie Burns winning the coveted News Ltd 'Pride of Australia' Award in Sydney, she was a Finalist in the distinguished Financial Review/Westpac '100 Most Influential Woman' Awards. Ronnie Burns picked up an entertainment industry 'Mo Award' in Sydney. He received the John Campbell 'Fellowship Award' on behalf of his work for Appin Hall. Through continued public speaking, award nights and many community events, Ronnie and Maggie continue to raise the Foundation's profile – thus making the community more aware that Appin Hall can provide much needed respite to families.

We would like to thank the community of Campbell Town for their fundraising initiative at the National Carers Week event at the Town Hall 17th October. Maggie and Ronnie were delighted to meet local carers and patients from Campbell Town hospital and to be entertained with their old time dancing and good cheer. It is wonderful to see community groups take the initiative to hold fundraising events that support the Appin Hall vision. Thirlstane Golf Club's Trevor Browne organized a Golf Day on the north coast with members hitting off a daylight saving 'drive' to host its inaugural Appin Hall fundraiser. And the combined Rotary and Lions Clubs of Smithton put on an amazing Quiz Night to end up raising $4,000. It was a memorable evening and a good time had by all.

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 Carers Michelle & Ron with Maggie Tony and Trevor – Golf Day fundraiser


Forth Primary School

Ronnie's conversation regarding "secret doorways and passageways" was such that it greatly inspired the year 6 students from Forth Primary School when they came on-site for a forest/nature adventure with Cradle Mountain tour guide Wes Moule. The students brought lunch in order to stay one whole day with Wes and his two assistants Phil Dickinson and Dan the Wombat Man. The group was very excited to go into our forest, to stand beneath our waterfall - and to discover two wombats in a clearing. However, they really latched on to what Ronnie is planning within the building plan for the proposed 46 buildings of this French provincial village and self-sustainable model. And so, when they returned to school the next day, they came up with the idea of making their own versions of secret doorways and passageways in a bid to help Ronnie with his vision. Maggie and Ronnie were then invited to come to school and see and hear about how the students went about this unusual project. Teacher Julie Wells, supported and guided the children through their efforts to present something valuable that would be enjoyed and experienced by families coming to Appin Hall in the future. In addition, the students made the most delicious morning tea for Maggie and Ronnie – and of course helped them to polish off the cupcakes and home-made slices. Thanks guys for such an inspirational outcome!

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Forth Primary School students  Boys model with teacher Julie Wells


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Forth students with Maggie  Mysteriousness!


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 Bathroom with secret passage  3-story model with passageways


Fundraising Auction

Our 'Rock 'n Roll Heaven' fundraising night at Wynyard RSL has been scheduled again for Saturday 16th February 2013 – so please come ready to dance and rock 'n roll! This year's event was a BIG success raising $10,000 with great auction items being snapped up. There will be a heap of 'signed' memorabilia from singers, sporting personalities + one of Ronnie's prized acoustic guitars. North-coast band 'Kool Daddy's' will provide entertainment with Daniel Lebkowski as guest artist - plus Coast-FM's colorful Mel Metcalf as MC and event organizer. Come along and join in the fun – tickets ($20) go on sale in January at Wynyard RSL: 6442 2552. Or Sylvia on: 0448.050 267

Keep an eye on our website for details for our 'Koko the Clown' show in April 2013.

two-girls ronnie-young-kid

Launceston Parade

The St.Kilda Football Club Supporters of Launceston again invited Ronnie and Maggie to walk with their float in this year's Christmas Parade that takes in the city's major streets for the enjoyment of children and their families. Over the years the Saints Supporters have contributed to a number of vital items needed for our Respite Centre and for outdoor activities. Wonderful and thoughtful people who take great pride in providing generous support for the children.

Chook House

The addition of our new Chook House has been an absolute hit with visiting children. We are aware that many children do not know of the experience of gathering fresh warm farm eggs from the straw boxes in a chook enclosure. Our girls (chickens) do a fantastic job producing 12 eggs per day for the kids to gather plus they happily run in between the visitors legs when the egg collection is underway. Needless to say our eggs are orange [inside] and the children get to enjoy the most beautiful cakes, omelets and quiches!

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Bad Egg!  Appin Hall chooks


"The reason television shows are called 'programs' is because people are in fact being programmed to conform to regular 'program' forming habits. These 'programs' appear entertaining, however, nothing is as it seems as these 'luxury' items are causing problems for children's central nervous systems. People do not understand that televisions are transceivers (2-way) and that within the business of persuasion –is where the truth Lies" -Ronnie Burns

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Having fun  Community Achievement Award

"It is better to make changes for oneself than try tomend holes
torn by the decisions and choices of others"

Hothouse project

In 2013, Appin Hall will be on a mission to complete our 55met x 12met commercial Hothouse so that we can begin using this structure for the production of foods mentioned above. In order to procure the $215,000 required to build and install all components (incl. a polycarbonate roof with opening sashes) we need to ask the community to help us raise the funds. Private individuals and community groups might consider attempting to raise an amount that is comfortable, that, when combined, can make up what is needed. Once this building is finished and operational then Appin Hall can enter a process to become Organically Certified so that our veggies can become part of a cottage industry that will generate ongoing income. Included in this project will be an enclosure to contain our orchard so that possums do not destroy the trees and plants we so lovingly attempt to preserve. 

Snow White and two poison apples
(Appin Hall exhibit) Launceston Christmas Parade

Appin Hall would like to wish everyone a joyful and festive Christmas season – and may love and goodwill be with you all throughout the coming year - MAGGIE BURNS 

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