Appin Hall Mid-Year Newsletter 2015


Young Carers Camp participants on-site at Appin Hall

Throughout each year, Appin Hall’s primary focus is always on children and their families including a diverse range of difficult circumstances associated with disadvantage and serious illness. Within our yearly calendar, we invite a number of large Camps, which have included Family Based Care Young Carers Camp, CanTeen, Centacare, Carers Tasmania, Teenage Parents Camp, Community Based Care (south), Grandpower, Haig St Primary School Camps, Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres in Tasmania and special Youth Justice skills program.

Young Carers Camp participants on-site at Appin Hall
Young Carers Camp participants on-site at Appin Hall

The Young Carers Camps have been choosing our facility for the past seven years and during that period of time something amazing and magical has unfolded. Young carers are not always known or recognised within our communities because of the nature of the work they do in looking after siblings or parents who require constant support. Many of these young people, aged 8 to 18, spend a great deal of their personal time caring for a family member whilst at the same time going to school and even holding down a part-time job to help out financially.

Because we have had the opportunity and the privilege of getting to know these young folk very well during their visits, we have not only become good friends and expanded an essential reach into the community, but inadvertently seen enormous change in these kids – especially when they tell us that coming to Appin Hall is like coming Home!

Monopoly Game appin-hall15-pic3 Food preparation
Monopoly Game Birthday girl Food preparation

Family Based Care (Burnie, Tasmania) carefully select a small group of coordinators, who are trained professionals in their field, and who are extremely aware and sensitive to the requirements these young people need to benefit from respite, rest, timeout and a chance to experience their childhood once again. Due to the number of Family Based Care Camps to Appin Hall (7 in six years) the regular participants have come to know one another well and have formed meaningful relationships that support each other. For Appin Hall’s staff, it is an absolute joy to see them unwinding and re-connecting as a result of an ongoing opportunity to enjoy a 1-week holiday without the customary caring roles. However, their constant responsibility is not far from their mind.

Appin Hall’s role is to ensure participants have a good time, are safe, entertained, enjoy the delicious meals and benefit from timeout as a result of the support from Family Based Care. 

Appin Hall would like to thank all the dedicated team of professional chefs and volunteer kitchen hands that have provided yummy, imaginative and lovingly prepared food. Our gratitude to all our Workshop facilitators: Belly Dancing with Robyn Flude, Taikwondo -Lauren Burns, Taiko Drummers, Archery - Douglass Doherty, Animal Archetypes with Scott Alexander King, Afrikan Warrior acrobats, Slip Stream Circus, Michael Thow’s Snake Handling, Dog obedience with Rita, Kellie’s body art session, Mandy Alexander face painting + body art, mask making and Young Celebrity Chefs. The participants also enjoyed excursions to Cradle Mt, Mole Creek Caves, ‘Splash’ Aquatic Centre, C-Max Cinema, Tasmazia and more.

Every Camp has a different energy and dynamic and getting this mix right, is, essentially, the way the magic is encouraged to unfold. For these young carers, the relaxation and rapport creates its own level of participation and sharing, bringing a sense of friendship and trust, to the point where light-hearted activity becomes the norm.

"When we are awake, we see what we need to see. When we dream, we see what's really there"


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Dress ups Mates Camp fire – roasting chickens



 Day of departure

Visiting Families

Families have continued to enjoy the healing, serenity, peace and beauty Appin Hall provides in the face of sometimes devastating circumstances. A recent family has a child undergoing serious surgery to reset her hip. We wish little Veronika a powerful recovery.

Re-connect Program

‘Reconnect’ (skills) program has been an enormous success as we welcome marginalized young people (at risk) who require a focus that encourages them to remain at school and understand a variety of life skills to see them through to adulthood. We engage professional trades people to conduct construction workshops, after which, the participants enjoy a fresh lunch provided by Wes Moule along with making their own meals from healthy ingredients. The afternoon consists of partaking in educational and entertaining clinics to widen their connections to Nature.

"The sky isn’t the limit; the mind that sees the sky is the limit" – Byron Katie


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 Belly Dance – Robyn Flude

 Boys in Belly Dancing class

We would like to thank and acknowledge all the Camps who choose Appin Hall each year as a destination for respite and fun for their valued clientele. We take a great deal of pride preparing our facility for these organisations to tender and maximise the support offered to many young people at community level. We have never heard the young carers complain about the work they must do to attend to siblings and family members, however, we maintain the utmost admiration and respect in regard to their ability to perform such duties with a loving heart. As much as humanly possible, we will always be there for them – even in a future probability where they might consider coming to join us at Appin Hall. Keep up the great work guys - Maggie & Ronnie


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 Judy, Amy Damien + Ronnie

 Super Heroes

 Mandy Alexander


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 Guy’s Taiko Drummers

 New friendships

 James Maddock Burger Co

Program Coordinator Comments

North West Young Carers have been enjoying their school holiday camps at Appin Hall Respite Centre for the past seven years. The camps have been arranged by the North Western Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre in Burnie and funded by the Commonwealth Government’s FaHCSIA Program for Young Carers. Young Carers are young people of school age who are in a caring role for a family member or a friend with an illness or a disability. The aim of the Young Carer Program is to enable these young carers to have a complete break from their caring role, enjoy the company of, and make friendships with other young people in the same or a similarsituation as themselves.

Appin Hall is an ideal, safe setting for Young Carers to relax, unwind and have a much needed stress free break from their caring roles. Appin Hall is situated in a peaceful, serene location at Erriba with Mount Roland in the background and provides a warm, family friendly environment for us to enjoy. Our camp this Easter, as with all previous camps, was very successful with all participants enjoying each other’s company and with strong friendships made and kept. This year our Young Carers participated in activities that included swimming at the local Splash Aquatic Centre, Taiko Drummers, face painting, camp fire, High Shangrila Dog Training School with performing dogs, bike riding, tennis, cricket, basketball, computer games, board games, card games and music. A campfire was built by staff with the assistance of Young Carers and prepared for the cooking of chickens on a spit over the coals. The chicken was served for dinner with baked vegetables from the kitchen. The campfire was then available after dinner when spotlight games were enjoyed by the children.

Judy Sturzaker- Program Coordinator, Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.

‘Celebrate the Child’ concert

Each year Appin Hall stages a quality 3-hour variety concert (fundraiser) in Burnie and the headline acts this year are Normie Rowe, Karen Knowles (ex- Young Talent Time), Ben Price comedian from ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, Burnie Youth Choir, Peter Shurley, Jacob Boote and the LCC Band and special guest James Maddock. The show to be hosted by Lauren Burns (Sydney 200 Olympic Gold Medalist) and her father Ronnie Burns. To keep this event running, we rely on the generosity of Tasmanian businesses, community groups and individuals to support our cause. For the past 5 years MMG Rosebery has been our major sponsor, donating vital funding to assist with production (sound/lighting, venue hire) and transport costs for interstate artists donating their time.

Aurora Energy has been a wonderful secondary sponsor for the past 3 years. Other invaluable supporters of the event (now in its 7th year) incl. Southern Cross Television, Burnie Arts and Function Centre, Direct Design, Wellers Inn, House of Anvers, Lion Co, Dayzee Chain Florist, The Advocate newspaper, 7AD/7BU and Coast FM radio stations and, this year, we welcome TT-Lines to our growing list of sponsors. We are also extremely grateful to the many individuals who volunteer their time on the night and all the musicians and entertainers who donate their time and talents to this popular event. We couldn’t do it without you! This year’s concert is scheduled for Saturday August 8th (Burnie Town Hall) and promises to be another wonderful show. Come along and enjoy some fantastic entertainment and help us to help Tassie kids. For tickets phone 6430 5850 or online

The release of new children’s books

Appin Hall’s Sylvia Berger has pulled another two rabbits out of the hat by writing the storylines for our latest publications ‘Koko’s Sea Adventure’, set on board the Spirit of Tasmania and featuring the antics of Koko the Clown and his sidekick KooKoo – a must for young children to be enthralled by this sea escapade. And secondly, ‘Wes, the Wild Life Adventurer’, an animated story about real-life Cradle Mt guide Wes Moule and his message for young people about Nature and our respect for the land. Both books are available on our website (below) or by mail order via  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it A big hit with parents and grandparents, the titles are $20 each plus $7 postage + handling: total mail order $27.00 payable to Appin Hall Children’s Foundation.

After payment, all we require, is your name, address and the name of the child you might like Ronnie to ‘sign’ it to.

My heart is full of gratitude, appreciation and love for the wonderful dedicated volunteers who roll up their sleeves on a regular basis to cook, clean, wash, iron huge amounts of bed linen, remove cobwebs, weed garden beds, stack wood – and ultimately make our special Respite Centre shine! It is a labour of love and support and exceptional teamwork. Their tireless work ensures that all who visit Appin Hall are amazed with the results - Maggie Burns

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