Home » Rotary Club raising a toast – and funds – to help transform lives

Rotary Club raising a toast – and funds – to help transform lives

Daniel Bouwmeester    August 11, 2022    3 min read   

EDIT: Monday 15 August. This event is once again going ahead! The Rotary Club corrected the error on the Facebook event page. For any enquiries, please call 0417 097 803.

Christian community groups are teaming up to help establish a local facility for drug addiction recovery, with a special fundraising event in Springfield Lakes on Sunday, August 21.

The Rotary Club of Greater Springfield is holding a high tea in partnership with Westside Community Care to raise funds for the launch of a new Transformations rehabilitation centre in Camira.

The fundraiser event, held at the Springlake Hotel, includes raffles and a silent auction, and will feature a keynote speech by international life coach and author Diane McKendrick.

“Diane has become a game-changer in the industry,” the Club says on its Facebook page for the event, highlighting McKendrick’s contagious personality.

Deahana Ross, a Transformations program graduate, will also be sharing her inspirational story during the luncheon.

Image: The Rotary Club of Greater Springfield.

Pastor Phil Cutcliffe, director of Westside Community Care – the charitable services arm of the Springfield Christian Family church – said that with the support of the greater Springfield community through events like the High Tea, he hopes to have the site up and running by the start of next year.

He explained that programs like Transformations are sorely needed in the region.

“Homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction, and domestic violence… They’re all big problems, and addressing all three issues together is what will break that circuit.”

Addiction is an ongoing epidemic in Australia, particularly in non-metropolitan areas due to fewer treatment options, according to the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA).

The Bayside Transformations recovery residences, located in Torquay, Hervey Bay. Image: Transformations Program Australia.

Founded in 1999, Transformations currently runs faith-based peer-to-peer residential recovery programs at two regional Queensland locations – Surfers Paradise and Hervey Bay – as well as in Melbourne, Hobart, and Cowra in rural New South Wales.

Those programs have already helped hundreds of Queenslanders whose lives have been disrupted by addiction to illicit substances, including Olympic freestyle relay swimmer Daniel Smith, who competed in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 after completing a successful stint at the Hervey Bay lodgings.

Transformations adopts a ‘therapeutic community model’ to address the root causes of addiction in participants.

“We take individuals from active addiction and place them by the side of those in recovery,” the organisation says on its website.

A recent get-together among Transformations founders and friends. Image: Transformations Program Australia.

Phil said that people suffering from serious addiction tend to burn bridges with their support networks, meaning their families often no longer trust them.

“Transformations helps give these people somewhere to stay, and someone to help them battle through to the other side of the addictions.”

“You have to make a big difference in these people’s lives – and their families’ lives – and in turn it’ll make a big difference in the community as well.”

For urgent support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (Adis) on 1800 177 833. Both numbers are 24/7.

The High Tea with Diane McKendrick event runs 12:00 noon to 3:00pm on Sunday, 21 August, at Springlake Hotel, located at 1 Spring Lakes Boulevard, Springfield Lakes.

Tickets are $65 on Eventbrite. For enquiries, contact The Rotary Club of Greater Springfield at greaterspringfieldrotary@gmail.com or call 0417 097 803.

Image: The Rotary Club of Greater Springfield.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.