Last week I met up with Central West Animal Rescue's founder and president Jasmine Smart along with a few of her volunteer foster carers.
The team has been running for over four years and their foster home network has expanded across the Central West to include Orange, Dubbo, Mudgee, Lithgow and surrounds.
CWAR has successfully rehomed over 400 animals last year alone, connecting families with these loving pets.
The costs of running CWAR is significant, with Jasmine and her team pouring tens-of-thousands of dollars of their own money into veterinary and other operational costs.
CWAR has DGR status, which means that all donations over $2 are tax deductible. I've donated to this great organisation and cause, and I'd invite you to do the same.
CWAR are also seeking corporate sponsors, and this is a great opportunity for a community partnership.
If you'd like to adopt a pet, volunteer or donate to this great local organisation, call them on 0474 950 272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BOYS TO THE BUSH CAMP
I'm a huge supporter of Boys to the Bush, ever since meeting Jared DeMamiel in Forbes a few years ago. Jared and his Central West team are passionate about positively influencing boys and young men who have become disengaged.
They're continuously running their mentor programs for boys from across the broader region through their Forbes and Bathurst offices.
Boys to the Bush also run regular camps throughout school holiday periods. I had arranged to attend a camp last year, however COVID foiled our plans. I finally managed to join Jared, his team and a group of boys on their recent camp at Wirrinya.
I had a fantastic time on camp, and for the two days I was there the boys were occupied doing what adventurous and energetic boys love doing.
We kicked things off with a spot of cod fishing on the Lachlan River at Forbes.
Most of the boys managed to land a cod or two, which was a highlight for many of them.
Water activities were a strong feature of the camp, as the boys were treated to riding wakeboards behind a ski boat at the Forbes Aquatic Centre, which brought a smile to the lads.
Kayaking and catching yabbies continued the water theme, while other boys made the most of riding mountain bikes.
Lots of engagement occurred around the campfire and at meal time, where the boys gathered and had some laughs. It was great to chat with the boys and talk with them as a role model.
Local support for Boys to the Bush has been fantastic and evident with many locals coming on board in a number of ways, such as allowing access to private property for fishing and other activities, use of ski boats and other sporting and recreational equipment, providing of food and cooking for the camp and volunteering of time to help the boys enjoy their stay and re-engage.
Thanks to Jared, Tim, Cassandra, Matt, Warwick and Chris for having me on camp; a huge thank you for what you're doing for the boys in your program.
Last week I joined with many concerned local residents at one of the community consultation sessions held by Land and Housing Corporation, regarding their proposed housing development in East Orange.
The LAHC really messed up, failing to adhere to its publicised policy on partnering with the council and community.
LAHC's own website states, "We partner with councils and communities to help plan for housing in their local government areas and support delivery of their local housing strategies".
Well, I personally read the letter LAHC sent to residents in East Orange which advised them they would require to be relocated because of a housing redevelopment.
The mailing of those letters, along with site visits by surveyors and arborists, occurred long before the council and community were consulted about any proposed redevelopment.
The plans were even drawn up before the council and community were aware of any redevelopment, indicating they were proceeding without any consultation or partnership.
- READ ALSO: East Orange residents hold their breath
The message to Land and Housing Corporation from the floor of the meeting was unambiguous; they now know that the community are overwhelmingly against demolishing these lovely homes and displacing families who've lived in the neighbourhood for many decades.
By their own admission, they say they don't know where the displaced residents would go as they have a shortage of housing.
LAHC have vacant land and derelict housing they can direct their funding to, which will provide housing to the people who are already on a waiting list for affordable housing.
That makes a lot more sense to me.
I stand with the affected residents, resolute in our opposition to the unnecessary demolition of these lovingly cared-for family homes and dismantlement of a peaceful neighbourhood.
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