‘Connecting Up’ is a national conference – the only one – dedicated to bringing the NonProfit sector up to speed with information technology. This year, the fifth conference, will be held at the Brisbane Hilton, May 19-20. There will be speakers and info from around the world – US, UK, India, Hong Kong, NZ – as well as from around Oz.
SA’s CISA (Communities Information Services Australia) runs:
The Humour Foundation is a charity that promotes the health benefits of humour, relieving much fear and stress and helping recovery.
This idea was the vision of Jean-Paul Bell, a performer who wanted to use his talents to give back to the community, and General Practitioner Dr Peter Spitzer…both spoke often about the ‘art of medicine.’
They were inspired by meeting Patch Adams, through research on the benefits of humour, the work of Swiss-based Theodora Foundation and the Big Apple Clown Care Unit in New York. Six founding members began the work of setting up the Humour Foundation in 1996, with the aim of promoting the health benefits of humour, primarily through the Clown Doctor project.
A short pilot project was undertaken in 1996 at Royal Hobart Hospital, not long after the Port Arthur massacre. In January 1997, Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick became the first hospital to host Clown Doctors. The major goal was to establish Clown Doctors at all major children’s hospitals in Australia, and increase the days Clown Doctors were in each hospital to at least three days a week.
The Humour Foundation’s core project is the provision of Clown Doctors, who dose sick children with fun and laughter, and touch the lives of over 85,000 people every year.
Clown Doctors are now part of hospital life in all major children’s hospitals around Australia. In September 2007, through the DonorTec program, the foundation received six Microsoft® software and licensing packages.
“It’s made a huge difference to our operations,” said Melinda Farrell, General Manager of the Humour Foundation. “At that time, we were upgrading from a peer to peer system to a server. We had to upgrade all of the operating systems for over seven workstations,” she explained.
“The Microsoft® equipment we received through DonorTec saved us a substantial amount of money. I would say that DonorTec is invaluable for a charity or not-for-profit organisation,” she said.
“When you are a charity, you have to consider every dollar you spend.
It is great to have a service like DonorTec to ease some of the financial burden, helping us to channel more funds where they are needed most, helping children in hospital smile.” said Ms Farrell. “We simply would never have been able to upgrade our systems to this extent, if it had not been for DonorTec.”
Having made PWF presentations at Connecting Up ’06 and ’07 I can highly recommend this conference for its warmth and depth of information. Check it out, especially if you’re from up north!