Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Number of kids in out of home care as of June 30th 2009

I've been doing a bit of surfing (internet only, I'm still waiting for the bikini fairies to come and transform me), and I finally found this page at the Office of Child Safety -

It gives actual real data on the number of kids in out of home care in Qld from 2005 to June 30th 2009. I've been trying to get this information for a while now, and someone I was talking to last night asked if I knew how many kids there were in care in Queensland. 

I told him that at a guess, I would say about 10,000 for the state, taking into account the fluctuations and lengths of placements at any one time.

Unfortunately, I wasn't far off the mark, with about 7,500 kids being cared for by foster, kinship or residential care in Queensland alone. And this only reflects the kids in care on the day the survey was done!

The very next thing I searched for were the numbers of kids leaving care or returning to their families. This number is a lot lower at approximately 1,700 exiting care as of the 30th June 2009.

On top of these figures I discovered that there are only about 4000 families/individuals in the whole of Queensland who are identified as being able to care for kids in their home. When you think about the fact that there are over 7,500 kids needing a home (if only temporarily), I'm sure you can see why the system is over stretched and carers are over loaded.

In total there are over 32,000 kids in Australia who needed out of home care last year. The numbers are rising each year.

What can we do? Stay tuned for the next blog, when I will discuss a few ideas I have about getting kids back into a safe family environment. Some of it may be a little controversial, so I'm going to run it past a few of the project team members first.

This table was take directly from the website mentioned above and I have not altered it at all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The gift of giving . . .

Yes, I am going to talk about a business in this post, but it's not so much the business, but the woman behind it that I want to share with you.

It's truly amazing to me the people I have met through social networking sites.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on my FaceBook status  that I was looking for a pendant or badge with the soon to be sainted Mary MacKillop. I wanted to give it to a dear friend of mine who is battling cancer because when I ran into her at K-mart (during the amazing $5 backpacks sale), she insisted on giving a donation to B4AK right then and there. We got to chatting and my friend showed me the picture of MM she carries with her and said that she was going to be the next miracle!

I assured my friend I thought she would be as well. This woman is one of those amazing women who is able to find an inner strength to fight for her life. I know that she cries and fears and dreads, but I can also see her joy of life, her willingness to go through what ever she has to, so she can life her life to the full.

Personally, I've known this woman for over 10 years. She was there for me when we discovered my mother's cancer had returned, (this time to her breast). She listened and supported and gave me a kick up the bum when needed!  Not even six months after my mother's diagnosis, my friend was also diagnosed with the same monster.

My mother passed that same year, but my friend battles on. I find her inspirational and am blessed to know her.

This is where Marthese Borg comes in. When I mentioned I was looking for and couldn't find any Mary MacKillop pendants, Marthese went out of her way to track several down for me. I bought them all!

I grew up learning about Mary MacKillop as I went to a Catholic School, (I am not Catholic by choice, my mum was and she was a teacher there). MM's story has always fascinated me. How could this one woman gain the support of so many and do so much good in the world? Just amazing.

So now I have the pendants, I'll be asking for them to be blessed before giving them to my friend.

A little about Marthese . . .

Marthese has been presenting treasures and very special items to her clients for over 15 years. The items she stocks and creates are quality and are things that can and should be passed on through the family.

Her online store is called Romantic Flair Original, and it is truly just that!

Take a look at some of the links below to see the kinds of things that are stocked -

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Aussie Talent

All information here taken directly from
I know this has nothing to do with the project, but I had to share this talented young artist with you, go to the link above and enjoy her song.

artist pic

Alisha Frittmann
Genre: Roots, Pop
Region: Sydney, NSW
Members: Alisha Frittmann - Vocals and Guitar
Sounds Like: Five Times August, Katie Noonan, Lior
Influences: Katie Noonan, Norah Jones, Lior

Alisha has been writing songs since she was a young girl, but only in the last few years has started taking it seriously. She has collaborated with artists such as Pixilated Pirates and Michael & Nick. She is now also in a band The Plateau.

Filling backpacks and nappy bags with essential and personal items for children going into foster and kinship care.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Words from the Heart

This year, I would like to put together a little book of poetry and advice to be sold as a fundraiser for

Each week for the next few week, there will be a theme for the poetry or advice. Anyone can submit work, kids are welcomed and encouraged to participate as much as the adults.

The following poem was written by a 9 year old girl -

Who We Care About

The people we care about are the ones lost in thought
They are the children who need love & support
God is looking over them
Helping them live
With all the challenges that the world gives.
Love, support & happiness is all that they need
To help them live and to help them succeed
So this is all I have to say
Is Backpack for Aussie Kids makes their day.

Written by Chelsea Z

During week one, the theme was -  'Love' of a pet, person, thing, place but had to convey a happy and positive feeling of love and not the heartache we all know that can come with love.

To encourage submissions, there will be a random prize draw each week. Last week Nicole Grant won a cool Spongebob Squarepants beach towel for her kids (or maybe she'll keep it for herself!).

A half-chewed orange peel spat into my hand,
A leaky nappy, broken beads, a car seat full of sand.
A pasta shape squashed between my toes,
Pen on the leather couch, tangled hair, a runny nose.
Dora Dora over and over, Twinkle Twinkle sung off key.
All these things mean LOVE to me.

Nicole Grant

 This week's theme is 'Lonely' or loneliness. Maybe a strange thing to include, but I think it's a very strong feeling and can lead us to create positive as well as negative moments in our lives.

Also this week, people can express advice they would give to boys in 50 words or less and can be on any topic. For example - 'Skateboards don't have brakes, that's why you where the helmet!' or maybe your parents had some stella advice you have found valuable and would like to share.

Not all submissions can be included in the final draft, but everyone goes into the weekly draw to win.

You can send your submission directly to me at
Post on the wall for  
Or join the group  
(you will need to be a member or join C2M for this particular group)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mick McHugh donates original song and lyrics to B4AK

A wonderful and dear friend of mine, Mick McHugh has kindly donated his original song and lyrics 'A million stars' to Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids'. I didn't even have to nag or beg! Thank you Mick, you are a true generous soul.

Irish born Mick is married to a true blue Aussie sheila and as such has achieved honourary Aussie status by his friends and Australian family.  He has been in Australia since 2006, just in time for the Category 5 cyclone, (Larry) that hit our small town of Innisfail. He now lives in Byron Bay with his beautiful wife, 6 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

Take a moment to listen to the MP3 and you'll see why I wanted it for the theme for B4AK . . .

Music CD by up and coming songwriter and singer Mick McHugh.

The CDs feature Mick's original mix of Irish and Australian folk music.
The melody in the music is captivating and the lyrics are full of love and power.

Includes the song 'A Million Stars' which was short listed in the "Australian Songwriters Association" (ASA), in the Lyrics section.

This magical song is soon to be the theme of Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids and is available for download from for a donation amount of your choosing.
The song is of special significance to me, because it was written in Innisfail (HQ of B4AK).

You can listen to Mick here at

'DAD sees Mick sing tribute to the role of men in the family unit, of his father and of being a father using the emotive instrumentation of guitars, cello and piano.
Issues of love, heartache and modern manhood are all dealt with with sincerity as Mick wears his heart on his sleeve.'
Jungle Jim, Byron Shire News

"...the Irish Cat Stevens..." - The Northern Star


Mick's Debut EP "A Long Way From Home"  was short listed in the 2008 Australian Songwriters Association Contest

Music CD by up and coming songwriter and singer Mick McHugh.
You can listen to Mick here at

"Mick’s brand of folk is steeped in the Irish tradition of emotive story-telling, atop music filled with gentle vocals, lilting flutes and melancholic violins.”
Jungle Jim, Byron Shire News.

Mick McHugh now available on iTunes
CD's available online at:

CD releases - A Long Way From Home (2008), Dad (2008)
International Award - 2009 100% Music Songwriting, A Long Way From Home (World)
NationalAwards - 2009 & 2008 Australian Songwriters Association, A Long Way From Home (Acoustic Folk & Ballad), A Million Stars (Lyrics)
Regional Awards - A Long Way From Home (Song of the Year & Folk), Blind (Protest), A Million Stars ( Lyrics)
Festivals - The Fatherhood Fest, Green Fest
Supported - Pete Murray, Tex Perkins & Jeff Lang, Damien Leith (Oz Idol Winner)

Filling backpacks and nappy bags with essential and personal items for children going into foster and kinship care.

A Million Stars by Mick Mchugh  
Download now or listen on posterous
fav version-A Million Stars.mp3 (2870 KB)

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 brings good things!

What a great start to the year! Spent most of the day sorting through the donations with my friend Jaala and her son Jamie.  We had to stop because I ran out of storage containers. Turns out that we have heaps and heaps of sizes 000, 00, 0 and 2! The tubs were overflowing and we still had bags to sort through!
Jamie and I had a bit of a relax on the floor, (my back was 'killing' me from moving all the tubs etc.) and a bit of a chat in that special language only 2 year olds can understand fully.

I got those cappuccino sachet thingys to keep us going (cuppa tea for the bub), and had Coles cooked chook on multigrain bread rolls for lunch. Kind of healthy . . . except for the 3 sugars I had in my coffee, but don't tell my Weight Watchers leader, shhhhh.

After we sorted and sneezed our way through the day, I went home for a well deserved cat nap, with my cat, only to be woken by a phone call at 3pm. I was in two minds about answering it, normally only get telemarketers at that time of day. I took the call and discovered that the $5 backpacks I saw advertised on TV last night were in fact in Kmart in our town!

I'd gone to Kmart at the crack of opening this morning to buy 20 bags, but when I asked about them, no one had heard of them. In fact, it was insinuated that I was a tiny bit delusional! Anyway, the nice young man (are they getting younger or what?), took my number, (pretty sure he fancied me too, who wouldn't, my hot pink crocs are irresistible to the opposite sex . . .), and said he would call if he had any news about the bags!

I was so excited about the backpacks, I got 20 of them. Such great value and nice colours too. Red/grey, dark blue/grey and pink/purple, and ONLY $5!
Thank you Kmart

Filling backpacks and nappy bags with essential and personal items for children going into foster and kinship care.

Posted via email from backpacks4aussiekids's posterous

Sunday, January 3, 2010


this is a first post test

Filling backpacks and nappy bags with essential and personal items for children going into foster and kinship care.

Download now or preview on posterous
Calander.pdf (687 KB)

Download now or listen on posterous

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