2012 Valda Twaddle Awards : Presentation Dinner

By: Matt Weedon & Michael Lynch – Tobin Brothers Funerals
Saturday, April 13, 2013

“The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.”
– Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

This same philosophy is what the trust fund established in Valda Twaddle’s name is all about. In its fifth year running, the Valda Twaddle Awards continues to recognise and financially assist those smaller, lesser known, not for profit groups who have dedicated themselves to helping others.

Held at Bucatini Restaurant, Mitcham, proceedings were opened by Forest Hill Lions Club President, Karen Young.

James MacLeod, Managing Director of Tobin Brothers Funerals spoke of the inspiring community work Valda Twaddle and her family have been involved with and introduced  an audio visual presentation, featuring  each of the five award recipients who were:

[IMG 2279 300x238 2012 Valda Twaddle Awards – Presentation Dinner]

Karen Cox, an occupational therapist who works with those caring for Dementia patients and the enormous emotional and physical difficulties faced by them. A technique that could ease the burden on many Dementia suffers and carers alike, required specialized vibrating cushions to be purchased.


Anita Mumme, who also works in Occupational Therapy saw a need for her patients, Maria and Troy, to have a number of adaptations made to their living conditions to accommodate their physical disabilities.

Ann Eldridge, Executive Officer with Lions Visual Independence Foundation, requested assistance for one of her visually impaired clients to afford a device that would remarkably improve her independence.

Two battlers, Margaret and Andrew Ferrier, who have been married for 54 years, needed the plumbing in their home refitted, as not even their toilet was functioning correctly. Margaret has been Andrew’s primary carer for over 23 years, resulting in having little resources to make this repair. Margaret, as you can see in the video below is overwhelmingly grateful that as a result of the Valda Twaddle grant, the old plumbing has been replaced.

And finally, the youngest recipient of the Valda Twaddle Trust Award was 14 year old Ryan Jaffrey of Nunawading. In his application Ryan wrote of his strong desire to help save the Orangoutangs, an endangered species in Borneo and of the fundraising necessary to help him achieve this goal.

Special guest speaker Fr Ernie Smith spoke of his work in serving humanity through founding Sacred Heart Mission, St Kilda in 1982. He told very moving stories of the many young people on the street addicted to drugs and in prostitution that the Mission has helped, by  providing many of them with the “first act of generosity” – food, clothing, emergency relief, accommodation and companionship.

But it is this companionship that Fr Smith says is the most important. He describes his work as starting with one person, and helping that person by not focusing on their condition or problem, but on them as a person with a  condition or problem.

Today, the Mission, among many other things, provides breakfast and lunch every day of the year for hundreds of people in need.

The Valda Twaddle Trust will continue to provide help to those in need and recognise the great work of those people and organisations that truly serve humanity.




Written by Matt Weedon and Michael Lynch – Tobin Brothers Funerals
Video and Photography – Matt Weedon
Video Narration and Script – Michael Lynch


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