The future of Lions Australia

Lions Australia’s youth programs were front and centre at the recent MD201 Convention on the Gold Coast.

Finals of the Youth of the Year and Leo of the Year competitions took place, providing great entertainment and food for thought for Conventioneers and judges alike.

With Lions Australia’s recent announcement of the Big Audacious Mission (BAM) to build membership to 30,000 by 2030 and 50,000 by 2050, the Leos and Youth of the Year programs have never been more important.


The Leo of the Year program offers young people the opportunity to share and celebrate their passion and commitment to community service, and a platform to voice their opinions on topics close to their heart. 


Leo Committee Chairperson Pam Bennett with the 2023 Leo of the Year Finalists.

Leo Committee Chairperson Pam Bennett says Leos are important pieces in the Lions Australia puzzle.

“Leos are our partners in service. They have chosen to join our organisation and have the same ethics and purposes as Lions and fulfil a real need in the communities in which they serve,” she said.

The final of the 2023 Leo of the Year competition took place on Saturday, April 29th.

The 4 finalists each presented a five-minute speech on topics ranging from community service to outfits.

NSW’s Georgia Bailey, QLD’s Molly Gysberts, VIC’s Clarissa Wong, and WA’s Luke Tammen all presented wonderful speeches.

Luke Tammen won the Public Speaking Award while Georgia Bailey was announced as the 2023 Leo of the Year.

Council Chairperson Steve Boyce presents Leo of the Year 2023 Georgia Bailey with a plaque.

Council Chairperson Steve Boyce presents the 2023 Leo of the Year, Georgia Bailey with a plaque.

Georgia reminded Lions of the value of Leos, particularly when it comes to technology and social media use.

“Leos understand all of this, make use of us,” she said in her speech.

Over the next twelve months, Georgia will visit Lions Clubs across the country with hopes of opening more Leo Clubs.


Youth of the Year

On the other hand, the Youth of the Program encourages and fosters leadership skills in students nearing the end of their schooling years, hoping to bring forth the next generation of outstanding young Australians.

2023 Youth of the Year Finalists.

National Youth of the Year Chairperson PDG Ken Bradford says the program is a great opportunity.

“The experiences and life skills gained by achieving this level of the challenge will, very often, give encouragement to take on projects which may have been considered unattainable,” he said.

The final of the 2023 Youth of the Year competition took place on Monday, May 1st.

The competition looks at competitors’ leadership, sporting and cultural awareness, personality and general knowledge, as well as public speaking.

The six finalists: W1’s Jonah Hanikeri, T1’s Kulani Somarathna, Q1’s Lindsey White, N1’s Frederick Kearney, C2’s Zach Pope, and V2’s Sienna Gladstone, went head to head in the final round of the competition on stage.

Lions Youth of the Year Winner, Fred Kearney delivers his outstanding speech.

Sienna Gladstone, who spoke about domestic violence, was the winner of the public speaking competition

Frederick Kearney from the Armidale School who spoke about how “tough times create tough people” was the overall winner.

Both Fred and Sienna will receive cash prizes when they turn 18 years old.


As Lions begin work towards the first goal of BAM, these youth programs are proving invaluable to the future of the organisation.

You can learn more about Leos here and Youth of the Year here – and watch all the finalist speeches on our YouTube channel.

Many Lions Club Sunsquirt Project

Manly Lions Club Wins Top Club Service Project Award for Sunsquirt Station

At our recent National Convention on the Gold Coast, the Lions Club of Manly was awarded the Top Club Service Project for their innovative idea that’s protecting members of the community from harmful UV exposure.

Working with a local manufacturer, the Club came up with a plan to produce a free sunscreen dispenser known as the ‘Sunsquirt Station’,  that can be placed along local beaches and parks.

Manly Lions Sunsquirt Station

This light and versatile unit offers the community free SPF 50+ Cancer Council sunscreen with just the wave of their hand.

To date, the Sunsquirt Station has proven to be very popular. It is a novelty to the children and a great convenience to the adults – especially on hot beach days when they leave the sunscreen in the car!

Manly Lions Sunsquirt Station - Top Service Club Project

The Manly Lions Club would love to see more of these units in other areas including low decile schools who cannot afford the units to purchase.

They also encourage other Lions Clubs who are interested in doing a similar project to consider helping out their local preschool and junior sports teams – or bring the Sunsquirt Station along to your Lions BBQ!

Manly Lions Club Sunsquirt Station

Congratulations to all involved in this innovative and practical project. Yet again proving that where there’s a need, there is always a Lion.

Huddy Glubb World Dwarf Games with Lions Australia donation

Lions help 10-year-old Huddy Glubb get to World Dwarf Games in Germany

Lions have surprised Gold Coast local athletics star Huddy Glubb with a $5,000 donation at this year’s Lions National Convention held at The Star on the Gold Coast.

Huddy has achondroplasia, a genetic condition which impacts bone growth. Despite doctor’s early warnings that he probably wouldn’t be able to participate in sport, he has developed into an inspiring young athlete and recently qualified for the World Dwarf Games junior team competing this July in Germany.

Huddy Glubb World Dwarf Games with Lions Australia donation

Lions support Huddy Glubb as he takes aim at the World Dwarf Games in Germany.

Along with the donation from Lions Australia, Huddy’s local Oremeau Lions Club hosted a BBQ early on to help kickstart his fundraising to get him and his team to the games.

Huddy’s mother Kerry Glubb is incredibly proud of her son’s achievements so far, and of his determination that has motivated him to excel in the activities of track and field, basketball and soccer.

“When Huddy was born we were told that he probably wouldn’t be able to participate in sport. The day that he got his first gold medal, that was just — there were so many tears — it was such a special moment,” she said.

Kerry says they are so grateful for all the support received to date from the community.

“I’d like to thank everybody in the community for their support for Huddy so far, we’re already over halfway to reaching our fundraising goal!”

Huddy Glubb with Lions Australia

Huddy and his family joined Council Chair Steve Boyce and Lion Sari-Elle Kraemer on stage at the Lions Australia National Convention on the Gold Coast.

Huddy shared his heartwarming story with volunteers from right across the country at the Lions National Convention on the 29th of April, which you can watch here.

For more information on how you can support Huddy’s fundraising campaign to attend the World Dwarf Games, visit his GoFundMe page.

Adamstown Lions auctioning artworks for hope


Adamstown Lions Club is hosting an online art auction as a fundraiser to support Ukrainian refugees.

68 artworks created by artists from Newcastle and the Central Coast are up for grabs, with all money raised going towards LCIF’s Ukraine appeal.

Artwork by Eugenia Dunlevie.

Dr Carol Gano approached Adamstown Lions Club, amazed at their good work in the community, to ask if the Club would be interested in helping her run this auction. Carol has since become a member of the Club.

Artwork by Lesley Duffin.

Secretary Judy Mulhearn and Treasurer John Mulhearn have worked hard alongside Carol to get the auction up and running.

All artworks were generously donated by the artists, some more established than others, after the Club contacted art societies and individuals in the Newcastle area.

Artwork by Geoffrey Breen

State Leo of the Year, Georgia Bailey, also contributed a piece of art to the auction.

Since war broke out in Ukraine 14 months ago, LCIF has awarded more than $6.2 million to support refugees in Ukraine.

You can check out the artwork up for auction and start bidding here.

Australian Lions Hearing Dogs

Lions to celebrate special four-legged friends this month

Lions around the country will celebrate National Hearing Dog Day on the 19th of April 2023.

National Hearing Dog Day is an annual celebration of the very first Hearing Assistance Dog delivered in Australia in 1982. Over 40 years ago on this day, Hearing Dog ‘Amber’ was provided free of charge to a Deaf recipient living in metropolitan South Australia.

Since then, Australian Lions Hearing Dogs (ALHD) have provided over 670 Hearing Assistance Dogs to Australians who are deaf or hard of hearing, reaching from Albany in WA over to Far North Queensland.

National Hearing Dog Day is an opportunity to share stories of the Hearing Dogs that have changed and saved lives, the puppies that have received love and encouragement from ALHD volunteers, the Lions Clubs that make the logistics of each placement a reality, and the community of generous supporters that give with their heart and help ALHD provide Assistance Dogs to people in need.

One in six Australians are suffering from some form of hearing loss and this number is on the rise.

The work of Australian Lions Hearing Dogs is not only helping many Australians live a safer, more secure and confident lifestyle but it’s also giving the animals a new home and purpose. An Australian Lions Hearing Dog can be any shape or size and the majority of dogs are actually sourced from pounds, rescue organisations and shelters.

The cost of fully training a Lions Hearing Dog is just under $40,000.

ALHD National Hearing Dog Day

Australian Lions Hearing Dogs CEO David Horne says there is growing demand for hearing dogs in the community.

“Since the 1980s, Australian Lions Hearing Dogs has been training and placing Hearing Assistance Dogs with deaf or hard of hearing people all around Australia. We are the only Australian organisation accredited by Assistance Dogs International to carry out such work. There is currently a very high demand for our dogs with one in six Australians now suffering from some form of hearing loss. Unfortunately, this number is on the rise,” says David.

“Australian Lions Hearing Dog is 100% funded by donations, accepting support from many Lions Clubs and individuals around Australia. The more funds raised, the more Assistance Dogs we can provide to Australians in need,” adds David.

To support the continuation and success of the Australian Lions Hearing Dogs, you can find a resource pack or purchase the National Hearing Dog Day shoelace pack online here or make a donation here.

Lions Club Supports NSW Nurses with Scholarship

At their recent March dinner meeting, the Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook presented a Lions Nurses Scholarship for $1,500 to Nurse Anne Hoolahan on behalf of the NSW/ACT Lions Nurses Scholarship Foundation.

The grant will assist Anne’s attendance at the 2023 Psychogeriatic Association’s (IPA) international Congress being held in Lisbon. Portugal in June this year.

The mission of the NSW/ACT Lions Nurses Scholarship Foundation is to provide financial assistance for nurses to continue their professional development.

Clinical Nurse Consultant – Health & Wellbeing Specialist, Anne Hoolahan, being presented with her scholarship funds by NSF Director Graham Estreich and Lions Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Past President, Geoff Harrison.

Anne is a worthy recipient. She holds the position of Clinical Nurse Consultant – Health & Wellbeing Specialist working for Older Peoples Mental Health Services (OPMHS) team at Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital. Her clinical role is to provide in-home health and wellbeing reviews and support the GP and Case Manager in facilitating client focused health management.

She has been involved in the NSW state-wide project aimed at improving the physical health for older mental health consumers and has submitted an abstract for consideration for presentation at the forthcoming Lisbon conference.

Anne spoke to Lions members about her nursing career and where she has specialised and took the time to thank the Lions Nurses Scholarship Foundation for supporting her Congress attendance and all that will be learnt through this upcoming opportunity.

The Lions Nurses Scholarship Foundation was represented on the evening by NSF Director, Graham Estreich.

Wooroloo bushfire

Lions go above and beyond to help communities impacted by Wooroloo bushfire

When disaster strikes, Lions volunteers roll up their sleeves and take action – often sticking around long after the disaster to assist those left behind.

That’s exactly what has happened in Western Australia off the back of the devastating 2021 Wooroloo Bushfire.

Volunteers across the Lions’ W1 and W2 districts have now dispersed over $82,000 worth of support back to the community.

Wooroloo bushfire

Fire fighters combat the Wooroloo Bushfire. Credit: DFES/DFES / Incident Photographer Evan Collis

“In times of disaster Lions are focused on doing whatever we can to support the community and help it rebuild,” says Lions Past District Governor Mick Wainwright.

“It’s been a big couple of years for our members. The Wooroloo Bushfire in 2021 caused extensive damage to residential properties within the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring. Over the six days it burned an area of more than 10,500 hectares inside a perimeter of 154km, with 86 properties lost and more than 100 damaged.”

“Local Lions Clubs, with the support of their communities and the Australian Lions Foundation, have been busy supporting those impacted and helping the community rebuild.”
“Most of those we have assisted could not applied for help under the normal disaster relief funding or insurance.”

“Support has ranged from replacing water tanks and providing welding equipment for the fence repair team to providing Christmas hampers and funding for 26 year six students to attend school camp.”

“The community has been so grateful for the support and highlights the importance of community service organisations like Lions. We are always there for the community and can get support quickly to those who need it most.”

With volunteers celebrating Lions Awareness Day this month, Mick says it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in volunteering to get more information on how you can get involved or support Lions.

“If you are interested in making a difference, ask your local Lions how you can get involved. We know there are many people out there looking to make a difference in the community right now, and it’s a great time to join us,” adds Mick.

Since the first club was formed in Australia 75 years ago, Lions has grown dramatically in size and impact with over 1300 clubs and 25,000 members now giving back through an array of community-based programs and initiatives.

Some Lions are on a mission to cure childhood cancer and diabetes, others are committed to assisting those impacted by drought and floods and many are simply working together to help people in need in their local community. One thing all Lions have in common is together they are making an incredible difference.

Lions come together to help Elmore Village

Original story by Lee Walkington

When the floods tore through Rochester late last year, 90% of houses were affected.

In the nearby town of Elmore, temporary housing was set up to shelter the hundreds of displaced families.

Lion Lee from District V6’s Disaster Recovery Support Team and PDG Norm visited the make-shift village in Elmore to find out how the District could help.

Lion Lee said seeing the bare paddocks with rows of caravans and cabins for the first time was confronting.

Elmore Village’s new BBQ area. Image: Supplied.

“The people moving into this accommodation had their immediate needs met – food, shelter and clothing; it was their mental well-being that was our first concern,” she said.

During one visit, Lion Lee and PDG Norm raised concerns about the mental health of the residents. Soon after, a plan was put together which included ideas for a community garden, playground and BBQ area. The Disaster Recovery Support Team then needed to raise funds to bring the ideas to life.

Lions Clubs from across the District stepped up to help. The Cohuna Leo Club donated $500 worth of goods for children, including outdoor games, and library bags, as well as setting up a library area in the village; Echuca Lions Club purchased a large piece of play equipment for children; Elmore Lions Club donated a BBQ lunch; and Yarrawonga Lions Club are building ‘buddy benches’ to be placed by the playground.

Twelve Bunnings Warehouse staff members assembled the play equipment. Image: Supplied

Bunnings has also come to the party, donating and assembling BBQs, outdoor furniture, and equipment for a community garden area. And Cowra Men’s Shed is building two large outdoor BBQ tables and benches to complete the BBQ area.

These areas have been embraced by the residents of the village, with many getting involved in the community garden already.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Lion Lee.

You can donate to the Australian Lions Foundation’s Emergency Disaster Appeal here.

Nicholas Tadros

Lions to support the 10-year-old Gold Coast helicopter crash victim

Ten-year-old Nicholas Tadros suffered extensive injuries in the recent helicopter crash on the Gold Coast which tragically killed his mother Vanessa.

The heartbreaking story has captivated the nation and now there’s a way for people to make a difference.

Nicholas Tadros Appeal

In an update on the family’s tragic situation, Channel 9’s A Current Affair is joining forces with Australian Lions Foundation to launch an appeal to raise funds to help support Nicholas and his father Simon who now finds himself a single parent.

Donations to the Australian Lions Foundation Appeal can be made online and 100% of the funds raised will be used to support Nicholas and his father Simon during this difficult time.

Australian Lions Foundation Chairperson Tony Benbow OAM says:

“Nicholas broke almost every bone in his body in the mid-air helicopter crash in January. When we recently saw his father confirm to A Current Affair that Nicholas’ right leg needed to be amputated due to infection, we knew we needed to do something.”

“Nicholas’ father Simon can no longer work as a truck driver and won’t for the foreseeable future as he needs to be by his son’s side for the long road ahead. Nicholas will spend months in hospital and will likely need medical care for the rest of his life.”

“We know many people are looking for a way to support Nicholas and his father through this difficult time and we are pleased to facilitate this through an appeal.”

The Australian Lions Foundation has been providing grants for compassionate support and community initiatives since the 1980’s.  Every year the Foundation distributes more than $1 million for projects through local Lions Clubs.

“Nicholas and Simon are from Western Sydney and we will be working closely with their local Lions Club of Parramatta to manage the support,” says Tony Benbow.

To make a donation, click here.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Corporate donations to be made via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to the Foundation’s Compassionate Grant Fund’s Westpac bank account (BSB: 036-157, Account#: 535251) with an email to be sent to confirming their donation.

Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation

One step closer to Zero Childhood Cancer thanks to Lions

We are one step closer to Zero Cancer thanks to Lions!

Any Australian child diagnosed with cancer will now be able to benefit from life changing DNA sequencing.

This follows the successful $4million Lions project with Australia’s Garvan Institute which mapped the genome of over 400 Children with cancer, to advance research and to guide personalised treatment.

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program will expand to all Australians aged 0 to 18 years with cancer by the end of this year.

Childhood cancer advocate and Founding Chairman of the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF) Dr Joe Collins AM says:

“Childhood Cancer is a silent pandemic. Every year in Australia, almost 800 kids are diagnosed with cancers, many of them aggressive, hard to treat and with a high risk of mortality. Although the survival rates have improved greatly for some cancers, others still take a heavy toll on our young peoples’ lives.”

“In 2015 Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation with Australia’s Garvan Institute mapped out a plan to map the genome of over 400 Children with cancer and provide personalised treatment. The program exceeded expectations, saving and changing the lives of young Australians.”

“The Zero Childhood Cancer precision medicine program expanding to include all young Australians is an exciting step in eliminating childhood cancer.”

Over the past decade, the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation, with the help of our Lions volunteers and their communities, has raised over $12 million to fund vital research into Childhood Cancer.

“Lions volunteers across Australia are so proud that the successful $4million Lions project ‘Zero Childhood Cancer’ Program will expand to all Australian’s aged 0 to 18 years with cancer, by the end of this year,” says Lions Australia CEO Rob Oerlemans.

“A big thank you to our Lions volunteers for your vision, commitment and financial wizardry! So many children and families have a better outcome because of you!”

For more information on the Zero Childhood Cancer precision medicine program expanding to include all young Australians with cancer, click here.