Sometimes life surprises you in ways you can never imagine. I have found this post incredibly difficult to write because how can you ever thank those enough who have supported your dream with immense generosity and without even knowing you personally?
In July 2019, I received a phone call from Harvey Norman's sponsorship team in Sydney. I had NO idea what was in store for me. Harvey Norman and Sky News were doing a series on the Paul Murray Live Show called 'Our Town', visiting and filming live from 10 towns around Australia to help raise funds for the Country Women's Association (CWA). Broome was one of the towns chosen for the series. Unbeknown to me, Heather Allen, the CWA WA President recommended that Harvey Norman support my project in the Kimberley alongside the Soup Kitchen in Derby, the nearest town to Broome, some 220kms away. Serendipity was at play here, because in 2018 the CWA recognised my work with children and gifted me a scholarship to return to university and complete my Graduate Certificate in Suicide Prevention and Youth Harm Minimisation. Thankyou Heather, Sarah and the whole CWA Perth team for your unwavering support!
I thought I was going to Derby to help with a fund raising event for CWA. How I was wrong! I was invited as a guest on the Paul Murray Show in Broome. Jessica Mauboy was singing live from Broome. While being interviewed live Paul asked me, 'Sandra how much would $1000 allow you to do?'. I replied, 'I just drove up to a remote community 3 hours away to run a 3 hour workshop and that cost me over $200 in fuel. So 5 trips to that school to run workshops,' Paul then asked me, 'So what would 20K allow you to do? Because that's what we are giving you tonight'! As you can see in the photo I was completely speechless and just burst into tears. All I could think of was how much I could do for the children! After the show, I got to personally thank Gerry and Katie Harvey and the franchisees of Harvey Norman Broome. I will never forget that night as I am truly blessed on this journey. The whole Harvey Norman team continue to be my biggest cheerleaders, especially Sam and Antonia who made this all possible! A special thank you also to Paul Murray and the SKY News team for your support.
The funds have allowed me to undertake some extra training in Youth Mental Health First Aid and youth grief counselling. I have purchased Canon DSLR cameras and the funds will cover expenses for workshops to as many schools as possible in the Kimberley as dictated by COVID rules. There is a lot more planned that I will share in due time and a few surprise gifts to students I have organised. I can never express enough gratitude to those who have supported me, and I leave you with my favourite quote...With gratitude, Sandra...
'It is quite simple. When it comes to anything in life, if it does not create an avalanche in your chest, if it does not move you, and inspire you, if it does not come from the deepest part of who you are, it is not for you, it is not for you...'