Lions Club of Quilters Victoria stitches the world together


The Lions Club of Quilters Victoria in District V1-4 have undertaken their most ambitious project yet, the International Quilt Challenge.

As part of their principle project, the Australian Quilt & Textile Collection (AQTC), the Club is requesting quilters of all skill levels from across the world to get involved.

The ‘Our World – Coming Together’ International Quilt challenge is a celebration of the global community, with 40cm x 40cm entries to be based on aspects of its creator’s home country.

An entry by Brenda Gael Smith, representing a Norfolk Pine. Image: Supplied

The final product, which the Club expects to feature several-hundred entries, will be on exhibition at the Lions Clubs International Convention held in Melbourne in 2024.

The quilts will also be exhibited at Pour l’Amour du Fil in Nantes, France, in April 2025.

Australian quilt artist, Gloria Loughman, recognised across the world for her landscape quilts, has taken on the role of Ambassador for the International Quilt Challenge.

“There has never been a better time to come together, as one, through quilting,” she said.

Ambassador, Gloria Loughman
Image: Gloria Loughman

After exhibition, the quilts will be permanently acquired by the Lions Club of Quilters Victoria’s AQTC which aims to preserve the diversity of quilts and their stories.

Final quilt entries are due by November 2023.

You can learn more about the International Quilt Challenge, including how to get involved, here.

MD201’s Kindness Matters Service Award winner announced


Marion City Lions Club from District C2 have taken out this year’s Kindness Matters Service Awards in MD201.

The Club’s entry, ‘Sensory Mats – Soothing the Senses for Patients in Emergency Care’, involves the creation of sensory mats for a local hospital.

These bright and beautiful mats are handmade by Lions using a variety of materials and elements – including zips, Velcro and beads – and are used to soothe agitated patients.

1300 volunteer hours are required annually to meet the Club’s target of 80 sensory mats every three months (320 per year).

Members of Marion City Lions Club with their creations. Image: Supplied

The Social Work Services team at Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department approached Marion City Lions Club with the idea in January 2020.

Since beginning the project, the Club has handcrafted more than 430 sensory mats for the Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department.

Based on their success, the mats have now been adopted into the hospital’s best practice in caring for people with dementia or a disability.

A sensory mat in action. Image: Supplied

The Kindness Matters Service Award recognises outstanding Clubs who develop creative and impactful service projects relating to one of LCIF’s cause areas; diabetes, childhood cancer, environment, hunger, vision, youth, humanitarian and disaster relief.

“This year we had 14 quality District Nominations for these awards and it was pleasing to see the increased level of interest,” said GAT Leader and Council Chairperson, Steve Boyce.

“I thank all those Clubs and Districts who participated and submitted an entry.”

Marion City Lions Club’s entry has now been sent to LCI to be considered alongside the entries of other Multiple District winners for the international component of the program.

Global winners of the Kindness Matters Service Awards will be announced in February next year.

You can keep up to date with the Club here.

A trip down Lions Road


When setting off on a recent camping trip, Calamvale Lions Club’s Alex and Amanda Harrison made sure to visit Lions Road, a longstanding project of Kyogle and Beaudesert Lions Clubs.

Located in the Border Ranges, the stretch of road forms a link between New South Wales and Queensland, and has done so since the 70s.

Image: Alex and Amanda Harrison

Locals had been calling for a cross-border road to be built since the 1930s, when the North Coast Railway traversed the rugged countryside.

In 1969, when the NSW Government rejected plans to begin construction of a new road, Kyogle Lions Club took on the project as their own.

Although initially mocked and scoffed at for having such a bold idea, Lions put in the hard yards, laying 56 sets of pipes, 12 cattle grids, and built 3 bridges to get the job done.

As the idea developed and gained more traction, Beaudesert Lions Club jumped on board to help see Lions Road realised.

The donations box on the NSW border side

Jack Hurley during the construction Image: Coffs Collection

Officially opened in 1973, the unsealed road was welcomed by locals and tourists alike.

Jack Hurley, founder of Kyogle Lions Club, was instrumental in having the idea come to fruition, and went on to pen a book about it, Lions Road, in 2002.

Profits from the book were donated to Westpac Life Saving Rescue Helicopter, over $44,000.

Kyogle Lions Club continues to contribute funds towards the upkeep of the road, much of the money coming from motorists donating into the moneybox on the NSW border side.

Nowadays, the sealed Lions Road sees over 100,000 cars each year and is recognised as being one of the most scenic drives on Australia’s east coast.

The road will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, you can watch a short video the ABC made about Lions Road here.

Lion Maria Turns 101

A Life Well Lived for 101 Year Old Lion Maria

It was a feeling of pride when Lion Maria van den Boogaard was presented with a Melvin Jones Fellowship at a 75th Anniversary event for Lions Australia last month.

The 101-year-old has been a member of the Lions Club of Hornsby since 2000, using her many crafty skills to help those in the community and beyond.

Maria makes shopping bags and beautiful crocheted doilies that have been admired around the world, helping to fundraise for women’s community shelters and education charities.

She has also worked closely with the Lions Stamp project which raises funds for the Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation.

Beautiful shopping bags hand-made by Lion Maria.

Not only is Maria a wonderful Lion, but also a wonderful woman who has led an extraordinary life – full of ups and downs, heartache and euphoria.

Born Maria Apolonia Francisca Broekhoven, on the 15th July 1921 in the Netherlands city of Rotterdam, she was the second child of 10 children, seven girls and three boys.

Her mother encouraged education, and it was at night school that Maria learned how to crochet.

She eventually graduated from high school (the H.B.S.b) and worked as a telephonist in the main Rotterdam Post Office, on the Coolsingel and took night classes in typing and shorthand in Dutch, English, French and German.

She subsequently became a teacher at night.

During this time, the Post Office Maria worked at was bombed. She walked to her grandmother’s home with bleeding feet through burning streets.

In 1948, she married Jan Hillege. As there was no housing after the war, they lived in an attic above her grandmother’s house in Rotterdam for three years.

Her husband, who had been living in hiding during the war to avoid being taken by the Germans, decided to search for new horizons.

Maria and Jan’s wedding day – 1948.

He got a job as printer in South Africa meaning the couple needed to emigrate.

He went by plane in September 1953; the journey taking three days. Maria and their four small children followed in December by ship. Everyone was seasick! They finally arrived in Cape Town where Jan was waiting.

They travelled to Johannesburg by train where Jan had rented a house and had furnished it sparsely. Their son Andre had been sick for a few days with the measles. On Christmas morning there was a knock on the door from a local doctor who had heard of their situation and who offered medical care. Could there have been a greater Christmas present?

Maria has not forgotten his kindness and care to this day.

Happily settled in South Africa, three more children were born. They were well educated in different schools that suited their personalities and interests, including music, sport and dance.

There were ups and downs – difficult times through illness, starting a printing business and the children’s years of hard study, broken hearts, happy weddings and their first grandchildren.

South Africa was by now a changed country, and when Maria’s daughter Pauline met an Australian boy who was travelling the world, there was much talk of Australia, a place sounding so peaceful and generous.

Some of the children moved there and wrote saying how happy they were. At first Jan refused to contemplate emigrating again but eventually he agreed.

They said goodbye to remaining family and friends and flew to Sydney, where they arrived in 1985 and were received with open arms – again it was a new beginning, a whole new adventure.

Eventually all came to live in Australia and the family was reunited in this wonderful, far away country.

Life goes on with its joys and sorrows. Jan died of a heart attack in November 1986.

Years later when Maria was remarried to a Dutch family friend, Cor, he tragically had a car accident and became quadriplegic while visiting South Africa for his son’s 50th birthday.

Maria went to South Africa to bring him back. Cor was admitted to hospital in Sydney, and then to many other care centres. It was terrible seeing a man as large as life, successful in business, independent and always impeccably dressed, become totally dependent on others for his care.

All avenues for cure or hope were exhausted and in 1992, he deteriorated and died with Maria at his side.

She went on to study the art of framing to precision, and took lessons in calligraphy. Maria was now 86, living independently in a unit and enjoying Tai Chi, joining in the Chinese feast days, and teaching English.

Maria 101 Years Young

Maria with Chinese friends.

These days Maria focuses on beautiful beaded doilies making up her own pattern as she goes, especially through Covid-19, with wonderful calligraphy additions. These truly are unique. They are sold every Christmas with Lions Cakes in Hornsby Westfield and Hornsby Mall. Her work is admired by many.

Love surrounds Maria with her 7 children, 17 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren living in Australia.

Sometimes they visit their old countries, but they are all now proud Australian citizens.

101 Years Young.

Maria loves the environment, loves to see plants and vegetables grow, making compost holes in the garden.

She is an avid recycler of everything possible. She loves books, poetry and music. There were many occasions of family gathered around the piano, from which most have developed wonderful skills on different instruments, excelling in pipe organ, trumpet, guitar, bugle, flute…

Gracious and elegant, always an inspiration, strongly independent, and happy to learn new technology, Maria is 101 years young and has certainly led an extraordinary life.

Gubbi Gubbi Land

Lions Restore Indigenous Cultural Site

It was National Aboriginal and Islander Observance Day Committee (NAIDOC) Week 2022 when the Sandstone Point Lions Club approved an innovative project to support local elements of the Traditional Owners, the Gubbi Gubbi people.

The Club falls within the boundaries of the cultural heartland of the Gubbi Gubbi whose Traditional Country extends from the north of Brisbane up into the Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Gympie region.

Within this large area are several cultural heritage sites held by the Gubbi Gubbi, that are listed on the Queensland Indigenous Cultural Heritage Register.

The group reached out to the Sandstone Point Lions for assistance to help maintain one of them, an area of land not far from the Club’s meeting place.

The one-hectare site is culturally very important, as it has been used ceremonially for possibly thousands of years.

The site needed some specialised care as it had become overgrown and needed fallen timber cleared, mowing and slashing, all to be carried out in a way that respected the cultural values of the site and met heritage protocols.

After several meetings with the Gubbi Gubbi management team, Letters of Agreement were exchanged and the Sandstone Point Lions swung into action.

Whipper snippers, lawnmowers, rakes, chainsaws and ride on mowers hit the site in a flurry under the watchful eye of the site’s Traditional custodians.

Sensitive parts of the site were hand-cleared, boundary grass whipper snipped and fallen timber sawed and collected to go to Camp Duckadang as firewood, and as much light grass as possible cleared to allow the balance to be slashed.

The Club then contracted the slashing to be carried out under supervision of the Club’s project manager, Immediate Past President David.

Phase Two of the project is now in the planning stages in which clearing around trees, raking of cut grass for removal and closer mowing will turn the site into a park-like state enabling visits by school groups and others, and cultural events to happen in comfort and safety.

The Club has undertaken a debrief on the project and were delighted with the feedback from the Traditional Owners.

“Gubbi Gubbi Dyungungoo Group Inc. work very hard to preserve our Gubbi Gubbi cultural values and history and it is great to have some assistance from Lions. They have done a great job and handled the cultural sensitivities around the site very well. I hope we can build a longer-term relationship to help us keep the place in good condition for the future.”

This project celebrates a piece of history for our Indigenous residents, one which gives life again to an important cultural icon.

‘Made with Love’ by Tamborine Mountain Lions


For 10 years, Tamborine Mountain Lions Club has been helping those suffering from breast cancer by supplying handmade breast cushions to major Queensland hospitals.

The cushions, made with love by a group of Lions and non-Lions, improve the comfort of both men and women recovering from surgery by providing much-needed support.

In Australia, breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, with approximately 57 people diagnosed each day in Australia.

A working bee to make breast cushions. Image: Facebook

Gail Molson, Treasurer of the Club, is coordinator of the project and recognises the importance of the work the team is doing.

“Many women who help me have been touched by breast cancer, including myself who has survived it three times, so we can relate,” she said.

Last Lions year, the Club made and distributed 933 cushions to breast cancer sufferers.

The final product. Image: Facebook

Most of the fabric used to make the cushions is donated to the Club. Additional materials are purchased using funds raised from selling engraved pens and left over fabric, as well as monetary donations.

The Club delivers breast cushions monthly to Gold Coast University Hospital, Robina Public and Private Hospitals, Gold Coast Private Hospital and Greenslopes Hospital, as well as fulfilling individuals’ requests.


You can keep up to date with Tamborine Mountain Lions Club here.

WA Lions Celebrate 60 Years at Parliament House

WA Lions Celebrate 60 Years at Parliament House

Lions volunteers across Western Australia celebrated the 60th anniversary of Lions Clubs in the state with a special event held at Parliament House earlier this month.

Lions W2 District Governor Ted Watts says the event was a wonderful way to recognise the impact Lions have had and will continue to have in the community.

“Lions in Western Australia are commemorating two significant anniversaries this year. The 75 Year anniversary of Lions Australia and the 60th anniversary of Lions Clubs in Western Australia are both very exciting milestones for our organisation.”

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate at Parliament House. This was a wonderful opportunity to recognise the incredible impact our volunteers have made and will continue to make in the community.”

The City of Perth Lions Club also marked the anniversary by organising the Perth Council House to light up in Lions blue and gold colours.

City of Perth Lions Club Light up Council House

Photo from W1 Cabinet Treasurer Gregor Bressor who arranged for Council House to be illuminated in Lions colours for their 60th Anniversary.

It was quite a sight.

Congratulations to all Lions in Western Australia for 60 years of service!

Free Trade Day

Hundreds of tradies give up their time to help people in need

Hundreds of tradies donated a day of their time on the 26th of August 2022 to help people in need in the community who can’t afford essential repairs and maintenance for their homes.

Free Trade Day is an annual event run by Lions volunteers which brings together trades people and suppliers to deliver services to people who have fallen on hard times in the community.

Free Trade Day Founder and Lions volunteer Ryan Wilson says since launching the initiative in 2017, there is growing demand for support in the community and a strong appetite from tradies to make a difference.

“As tradespeople, we see some terrible situations. Families struggling to make ends meet, the elderly alone in their homes with limited financial resources, our neighbours struggling to complete essential maintenance repairs to their homes.”

Free Trade Day 2022

“Free Trade Day is a great opportunity for the trade community to come together and lend a helping hand and tool to those who unfortunately cannot afford to have important repairs and maintenance done on their homes.”

“We have a website where tradies can register their services and people needing help can self register or be nominated by someone else. We then connect tradies with people who need a helping hand.”

“We launched Free Trade Day in the Central Coast in 2017. Since then our country has had some truly challenging times from fires, floods and a health pandemic. With thanks to the many tradies who have signed up, suppliers who have provided materials and also members of the public who have made donations, over 60 jobs are being done across the Central Coast on Friday.

Free trade Day 2022

Over $48,000 worth of labour, materials and donations have been raised for the Central Coast jobs.”

The event is coordinated by Terrigal Wamberal Lions Club who have been working hard behind the scenes organising and fundraising for the event.

Lions volunteers were out and about in the community on the day helping out with projects, keeping some of the nominees company whilst the work was being done and hosting a BBQ for the tradies and nominees.

Free Trade Day 2022

“We are hoping to have Lions Clubs all over the country participating next year and giving tradies and more people in the community an opportunity to benefit from the Free Trade Day initiative,” adds Ryan.

For more information on Free Trade Day, click here.

Diabetes Care Packs for Ukraine

Lions send Care Packs to Ukrainian Refugees with Diabetes

To date, the Lions Australia Diabetes Foundation has donated $5,000 to assist the delivery of donated care packages to Ukrainian refugees with diabetes.

The grassroots community project has produced and delivered 740 care packages to the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and Polish Diabetes Association in Warsaw, Poland.

A community of 200+ Australians with type 1 diabetes have also been tirelessly bundling up these care packages for shipment since the war began in Ukraine.

Lions Australia’s National Diabetes Coordinator, Pat Mills provides insight into how the Diabetes Foundation has navigated through an international war to help some of our most vulnerable diabetics: 

Diabetes Care Packs for Ukraine

Care packages ready for sea transport to Warsaw for Ukrainian refugees with Diabetes.

“On 28th February 2022, I first connected with Dominika Antoniszczak, a Polish doctor with type 1 diabetes herself, in Warsaw.

Then we spoke with credentialed Diabetes Educator, Belinda Moore to discuss how our Australian diabetes community could assist Ukrainians with type 1 diabetes who suddenly found themselves with no diabetes supplies due to the war.

We were aware that international organisations like Insulin For Life were providing immediate relief by supplying insulin for people with diabetes directly in Ukraine.

We wanted our care packages to include not just diabetes supplies, but comforting treats like entertainment packs for kids and warm essentials like beanies for adults. We also knew that as a community group, we wouldn’t have the resources to send supplies directly into Ukraine due to the war.

Knowing that other organisations were already assisting, we didn’t want our care packages to arrive to Poland too soon after the war began as we knew that it wouldn’t be long before the media decreased their focus on the war in Ukraine and moved their attention to other global events.

We wanted our care packages to arrive to Poland at a staggered rate over months to come…we knew that Ukrainians with diabetes would be needing support for a long time to come as they learn to rebuild their lives.

Diabetes Care Packs for Ukraine

CDE Belinda Moore & MD201 Diabetes Coordinator Pat Mills with workers who will deliver the packages to the docks for shipment to Warsaw

Our care packages were sent to Poland for those who would need a boost in their own diabetes services infrastructure as they found themselves having to support Ukrainian refugees with type 1 diabetes in addition to supporting their own type 1 diabetes community.

Between March and August, we have had an incredibly dedicated diabetes community receiving donations to their own homes and diabetes clinics across Australia followed by families and individuals bundling these donations into care packages. Care packages have been created for children and adults who manage their diabetes on MDI and pumps.

There have also been care packages created for new mothers who had diabetes in pregnancy.

Examples of what went into care packages included BGL meters, strips, prickers, lancets, batteries, needle tips, alcohol wipes, CGM sensors, pump consumables, non-perishable hypo food, toiletries, new baby items, children’s colouring in packs, soft toys, beanies and socks and heartwarming written notes sending courage and strength.

Although the main objective of this project was to send diabetes supplies, daily essentials and comforting treats; the outcomes for our Australian diabetes community who volunteered in this project was so healing. Australians felt so helpless as they watched the war unfold. They just needed to help.

Becoming involved in this project created an inspiring level of capacity and capability building amongst our own diabetes community in Australia resulting in the development of individual and community resilience”.

Anyone wishing to help support the project can contact the Lions Australia Diabetes Foundation.

To see the original story, click here.

Lions Medical Research Scholarship Recipient

Her Excellency Congratulates Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarship Recipient

Lions Medical Research Foundation Scholarships have been offered since year 2000, with $35,000 awarded to recipients.In 2022, the Foundation received 28 scholarship applications, with Emma Cheney the final 2022 recipient. Emma’s area of study under this scholarship will be in Myeloma Research at the University of Adelaide.Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. Emma is passionate about developing new treatment strategies that improve patient survival and quality of life.

Lions Medical Research Scholarship Recipient

Lions Medical Research Scholarship recipient Emma Cheney with her parents.

A reception was held at Government House to mark the special occasion at the invitation of Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC and Mr Rod Bunten.In welcoming guests, Her Excellency said, ‘South Australia has long had a tradition of world-leading medical research.“We need look no further than the garden outside Government House to see the bust honouring eminent medical scientist Howard Florey who played a vital role in the discovery of penicillin.“His bust stands amongst those of other eminent scientists such as Sir Lawrence and Sir William Bragg, after whom the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy under construction further down North Terrace as part of the Adelaide bio-medical precinct, is named.”“By supporting our best and brightest young medical scientists we are investing in healthy futures not only for our own community, but around the world where needs are pressing.”“Rod and I congratulate the Lions Medical Research Foundation for backing our “home grown” medical researchers through the scholarship program.”Indeed, the work of the Lions Medical Research Foundation, in supporting and assisting the development of ‘home grown’ medical researchers, can not be underestimated.Supporting South Australian academics by offering financial assistance to gain their PhD’s, while remaining in this state, is a large part of the foundations drive to support the health and wellbeing of our community.Emma Cheney completed a Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences (majoring in Medical Science) at the University of Adelaide in 2019. Emma’s research work, under the support of this scholarship, will focus on novel immunotherapies targeting a protein called Gremlin1 and tumour supportive macrophages.From Her Excellency,  “I am sure I speak for everyone here in wishing you (Emma) the best for your research and your future career. We look forward to hearing of your progress.”

To find our more about the Lions Medical Research Foundation and its scholarship opportunities, click here.