Having been established for two years, the Student Heart Project has raised sufficient funds to enable the placement of nine AED (Automated External Defibrillator) units throughout the community. And the SHP committee inform us that their hard work will be ongoing …
It’s been two years since you founded the Student Heart Project; how has it grown?
It’s been an exciting few years for the Student Heart Project. In 2016, we ran our annual ball, with brand new team members, Brandon and Carley, who were invaluable in the continued success of the SHP. We raised $5,000 on the night and were able to assist several community groups in the fundraising and purchase of AEDs. As of 2017, we have recruited a brand new team, who will be looking to take the SHP to amazing new places – and we’re looking forward to seeing what they’ll do.
How many AEDs are now placed throughout the Port Macquarie- Hastings area?
So far, we’ve been able to place nine units in the following locations: Hastings Secondary College, Rotary Lodge, Lorde Howe Island, Lake Cathie Public School, U3A, Hastings Men’s Shed, Players Theatre, Your Life Fitness Centre and Port Macquarie CBD Taxi Rank. We are currently working closely with members of the Wauchope community to install two AEDs similar to the one located in the CBD of Port Macquarie and are currently taking expressions of interest to place two other units with the local area. We have also just assisted Lord Howe Island with a second AED to cover the southern part of the island, which will be located in the airport.
This year marks your third Blue and Red Ball. Tell us about what is planned for this year’s event?
We’ve had a lot of success with keeping it simple! So this year you can expect some great live music by Dirty Coverz, a delicious dinner and dessert, with complimentary bottles of red and white wine on arrival. As usual, we’ll have a couple of little fundraising games throughout the night, a few short speeches and a photographer to catch all the fun!
Brandon and Daniel, this is your last year on the committee, as you’re graduating from uni. Introduce us to the new committee members and what roles they will be playing…
Brandon: First year students Emily, Terrie, Isabella, Charlotte and Adam have joined the Student Heart Project team. Emily is working with Brandon on the social media side of the project, and Terrie will be involved with ticket sales alongside Brandon. Isabella is the new secretary for the project, whilst Charlotte and Adam are both members who will be involved with community engagement, including liaising with businesses and community groups.
What have you both learnt from this experience?
Daniel: I think being a founder of the project and having been there from the beginning, I have been able to watch the project grow and mature. It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself and the people I worked closely with, as well as the greater Port Macquarie community – which has been incredibly humbling. I feel honoured to have been a part of the project.
Brandon: I have been very fortunate to be a part of the Project, which has allowed me to give something back to the community that has provided me with a place to live, work and study over the last five years that I have been here. Whilst looking forward to leaving Port Macquarie and beginning my career as a paramedic, I will always feel at home here – and I am proud to have contributed to this great community.
Where can our readers connect with you or buy tickets for the upcoming Red and Blue Ball?
We’re on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/studentheartproject and you can contact Brandon Robinson directly on 0450 701 098 for ticket sales.