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Update from Lisa Rowe

It’s a new year and it’s fair to say that, at Wishlist, we’re pretty happy and excited about it.

This year will see, among many other things, the growth of our accommodation options for families needing affordable options to be close to a local hospital.

In April we will open The House the Coast Built thanks to Wishlist Corporate Partner, Ausmar Homes and more than 80 local businesses who contributed to this, Ausmar’s third charity home for Wishlist. You won’t believe how impressive it is and you won’t believe the size of a home that can be built on a 450m2 block of land bought by Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. Ausmar Homes, you’ve done us proud and we couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who’s played a part in bringing this dream to fruition.

It’s a team effort here at Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast continues to make local health services the best they can possibly be for our families.

Some highlights in the last couple of months include:

  • Jetts Peregian raising $515.60 through their Wishlist Treadmill fundraiser for the Birth Centre, currently on our wish list. This generous organisation donated $5 for every kilometre walked on the treadmill on 9th December.
  • Sunshine Coast Social Bowls Club continuing their support of our cause with another donation of $1,500.
  • Our Griffith University Medical Students raising $340 for Wishlist at their recent cocktail function and we wish them the very best for the year ahead.
  • Armesto’s Transport at Beerwah donating $30,000 to the Children’s Ward, in appreciation of the wonderful care received by their family recently at SCUH.
  • Ted O’Brien MP, Member for Fairfax directing a $10,000 grant towards maintenance work needed at Reed House, our accommodation facility beside Nambour Hospital.
  • $6,201 being raised for Camp Diabetes, an initiative supported by Wishlist for more than fifteen years.
  • Burnside State School’s $130 donation to Wishlist.
  • Another $250 donation by Club Glasshouse who has supported paediatric services to the tune of $30,000 over the past ten years.

Wishlist’s Holiday Raffle raised $11,000 thanks to the generosity of Wild Spirit Adventures and Suncity Travel. We couldn’t be more grateful to Wayne Wetherall, who is a long-time supporter of Wishlist through his many years of donating a Kokoda Spirit adventure to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. Thanks Wayne and thanks to everyone who has directed a dollar our way for what ever local health cause is dear to your heart.

So, while you’re all generously raising the money we are, as usual, busy spending it on equipment and initiatives that make a difference to families in our local hospitals.

We continue to fund the local Clown Doctor visits at SCUH thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids last year, and we’re delighted to announce the arrival of the $130,000 inter-hospital transfer equipment for the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (pictured), also funded by the appeal.  

The $16,000 Music Room at Dove Palliative Care Unit at Caloundra is complete and our priceless Music Therapist, Tracie Wicks is thrilled to have space for patients to immerse themselves in the gift of music. We’re about to “launch” this space so if you’d like to see the finished product please let us know and you can come along to celebrate.

Wishlist funds Music Therapy at Dove Palliative Care entirely from donations to the service.  It’s one of the most amazing things we do for patients and we couldn’t be happier to set Tracie up with her own space in which to grow the service.

We also continue to fund Yoga Therapy in the Children’s Ward each week, and Pet Therapy across our hospitals in paediatric wards, dementia and intensive care wards.  More on that later.

We’ve just placed an order for a special camera for Nambour Oral Health to photograph lesions or conditions that require documentation and monitoring, for example mouth cancer. Wishlist funded the original camera years ago and it’s due for replacement years later. We consider it’s $3,923 well spent.

So too is $2,043 for Voice Amplification Devices and Expiratory Muscle Strength Trainers for Motor Neurone and Parkinsons Disease patients, contributing to quality of life by helping them communicate but also strengthening swallowing function.

We’ve also committed $10,400 to an edible and therapeutic garden, adjacent the Wishlist-funded Wellness Garden at Nambour Hospital, to encourage a sense of wellbeing in staff, patients and visitors. 

We’ve just taken delivery of the long-awaited 3D printer for Radiation Therapy services (pictured below) thanks to a grant from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

We’re waiting on the start to works at Gympie Hospital on a rehabilitation garden for patients of the hospital, and completion of a paediatric room in the Emergency Department, funded by the Wishlist Jazz and Wine Festival and proceeds of our Wishlist Coffee House.

Speaking of which, if you have friends or family with time on their hands in Gympie we’re in desperate need of volunteers at the Wishlist Coffee House. This wonderful enterprise raises funds for Gympie Hospital and is getting busier and busier thanks to the culinary delights of new Wishlist Coffee House Manager, Jacques Martin. 

We welcome back Infectious Clothing company, McDermott Aviation and Quikcorp to the Wishlist family, who continue their support as a Wishlist Corporate Partner.

McDermott Aviation recently played a major part in the bushfire crisis and we salute the team for their courageous and generous support of our Australian community.

This month we embraced the new Mercure Kawana Waters, previously Best Western Plus in a welcoming hug and thank them for their continued support as Wishlist Corporate Partners, along with BOQ Buderim and Maroochydore, FTA Accountants and Get Wines Direct.

Wishlist Corporate Partner Quikcorp has launched Bioweed, an organic alternative to toxic weedkillers on the market and they’re generously donating proceeds of every sale to our work.   Check out 92.7Mix FM Caroline Hutchinson’s facebook post showing the amazing results of Bioweed in her garden!

We’re so proud to welcome Push Productions as a Corporate Partner, who have generously agreed to cover the printing cost of our Daisy Chain over the year ahead, and much more. Thanks Paul Morton and team for your generous support of our work. 

Also a warm welcome back to Telstra Business Technology Centre Sunshine Coast, Wishlist Alliance Partners who are working to keep Wishlist operational costs and that of our accommodation facilities to a minimum.

Thanks to our Alliance Partners Wealthmed for your continued support after so many years. Our partnership programme contributes more than $250,000 to our work each year and every partner is pivotal to the role we play on the Coast.

Sunshine Toyota has helped cancer patients, funded local research projects and countless new mums have opened their homes to a visit from a Child Health Nurse, who drove out to see them in a car generously donated every year by Sunshine Toyota. They also provide Wishlist with a splendid new vehicle every year, which helps keep our operational costs down. 

Darren Venning responded with concern, and a little humour, to my call earlier this month reporting my second “incident” in a matter of months involving their wonderful vehicle, and the team greeted me warmly when I brought it in to be repaired, handing me the keys to a fabulous new Camry to tide us over until the work was done.

We welcomed F45 Birtinya and Sippy Downs and Melly’s Home Cleaning Service to WishlistConnect. Check out their offers at

How lucky we are to have you all as part of the team. Thanks for all that you for Wishlist and for Coast families. 

To wrap it up I wanted to remind you that every cent counts when it comes to your support of the Coast’s local hospital foundation.

We see just as big a smile on the faces of our nurses when we deliver bubbles and colouring kits to help them calm our children, as we do on the faces of the doctors when we deliver a $32,000 3D printer for Radiation Therapy services.

Whether it’s the relief on the tired face of a lady being checked in to Reed House after a long day beside her husband in the Stroke Ward at SCUH, or a tearful smile from the recipient of a handmade quilt donated to the patients of the Adem Crosby Unit by LINUS or CWA, know that your thoughtful, generous donation to Wishlist makes a difference.

Prior to Christmas, our Delta Dog Norman was invited to the ICU to visit a patient who’d been there for some time. During the visit a nurse called him over to another patient who was missing his own little dog so much he’d bunched up his hospital blanket into a small mound and said he imagined it was his little dog sitting beside him on the bed. Those who witnessed what was to be one of two special bedside visits to this man will never forget that it’s often the smallest of gestures, the simple moments with a furry friend, that matter most. 

I recall a gentleman walking into the Wishlist office last year to make a donation to the ward where he’d recently been a guest for quite a few months. He told me he’d been treated so well and how grateful he was to the doctors and the nurses who had cared for him. He told me through eyes willing with tears that at one point he was so frustrated with his slow progress back to recovery, and the loss of his ability to move and function that he almost gave up. It was then that a young nurse came into his room and, seeing his frustration at trying to get out of bed, simply touched his hand and told him it would all be OK. That, he said, was all he needed to keep going. A simple act of kindness “made me feel I mattered” and now fully recovered, he wanted to say thanks.

Be kind, be generous and know that we all very much matter in this crazy world.

Thank you for your support of Wishlist.

Lisa Rowe


Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) is set to become the first hospital in Australia to implement an innovative new medical equipment solution which will help in the transfer of critically ill children from one hospital to another.

The device, called a ‘stretcher bridge’, was designed and developed by Sunshine Coast aerospace technology company, HeliMods.

The stretcher bridge was originally designed for use in air ambulance helicopters but will now be used in the SCUH Paediatric Intensive Care Unit to attach medical equipment to a child’s hospital bed when being transferred to another facility.

Jeff MCColl (Wishlist) and Joshua Girardi, James Helsham, Alex Canhao, Lachlan Arundell from HeliMods.

HeliMods Managing Director Will Shrapnel said the stretcher bridge was the only solution capable of carrying all intensive care equipment on a single unit, which can travel together with the patient on a stretcher, allowing for faster and safer patient transfers between hospitals.

“We’ve carefully designed this technology to allow for critical medical equipment to be arranged in such a way that is easily accessible for nurses, paramedics and other critical care works in a patients transfer scenario,” Mr Shrapnel said.

“We’re very happy that securing this new innovation for our local hospital has been made possible by Wishlist, who have funded the solution for the Coast’s youngest patients.”

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said funds raised through last year’s 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids and a pop-up restaurant spearheaded by Ken Mills Toyota, allowed for a $500,644 boost to vital paediatric services and equipment.

The hospital foundation took delivery of the medical equipment bridge from HeliMods last week and expect the patient transfer stretcher to be operational within the coming months.

“Wishlist is proud to have invested $130,000 into Paediatric Critical Care Inter-Hospital Transport Equipment to provide safe and timely transport of critically unwell children from outlying and regional hospitals to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for specialised care,” Ms Rowe said.

“Currently, transport of children relies heavily on a team dispatched from Brisbane which can take up to eight hours on average. In an intensive care scenario, these critical hours and minutes, can make all the difference.

HeliMods innovative stretcher bridge supporting critical medical equipment on a patient’s bed.

“With the help of this stretcher bridge and associated equipment, a patient will soon be able to be put on a stretcher and intensive care staff can secure a ventilator, monitor and other life-saving equipment to provide the best care in transit.”

This will also avoid any hazards such as pulling lines or tubes while the patient and teams are mobile.

“This equipment purchase was only made possible by the generous supporters of 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids appeal, which runs for the month of June each year,” Ms Rowe added.

In its first year, the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit treated over 300 children. More than 40 children were from outside the Sunshine Coast region, including many from Central Queensland. Another 42 were treated from areas around Gympie, Noosa and Maleny.

HeliMods first developed the stretcher bridge for application in air ambulance helicopters, which has been implemented by major air ambulance operators globally, including Ornge in Canada. However, SCUH will be the first hospital to use the technology on the ground nationally.

“The SCUH team came to us looking for a solution and we were absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to apply our design to meet the needs of our local hospital,” Mr Shrapnel added.

Wishlist Fun Run launch

Wishlist has launched their third annual Wishlist Fun Run at Lake Kawana.

The event has raised almost $60,000 for the local foundation which directs 100% of all money raised to medical equipment, service support projects, staff scholarships and research.

The charity is hoping to attract more than 600 runners this year at Lake Kawana on March 22.

Register for the 10km, 5km, 2.5km or Kids Dash today at

A big thanks to our sponsors Stockland, QSuper, WIN News, 92.7 Mix Fm, Timing Wizards, East Coast Traffic Services, Sunshine Coast Council, Sunshine Coast Daily, Party Bins and NightQuarter.

Doctors turning to radiation-free scans

Young patients may soon be able to skip the x-ray queue and instead opt for an ultrasound when presenting to a Sunshine Coast emergency department this year.

Fractures are one of the most common reasons a child will visit an emergency department on the Coast, but with the help of a Wishlist research grant worth almost $20,000, patients may receive a quicker path to treatment.

Pic: Emergency Specialists at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Dr Ruaraidh McRitchie and Dr Michelle Davison.

Emergency Specialists at Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) Paediatric Emergency Doctor Michelle Davison and Dr Ruaraidh McRitchie (pictured) will be studying the use of a specialised ultrasound to diagnose wrist fractures in those aged between five and 15, which will be the first trial to demonstrate an x-ray is not required for that type of fracture.

“We are investigating whether or not we can reduce the number of x-rays we do on children who present with injuries to their arms in particular,” Dr Davison said.

“Children who have an injury to their arm often have a different type of break to an adult patient. That’s because the bones are more bendy so they tend to bend rather than break – often called a buckle facture.

“We can often see a small bend in the bone on an ultrasound scan, rather than having to send them for an x-ray. This will speed up their treatment but it will also reduce radiation for kids.”  

The study will be undertaken at Sunshine Coast hospitals, Gympie Hospital, Gold Coast University Hospital, Ipswich Hospital and Queensland Children’s Hospital.

After one and four weeks, a research nurse then follows up with patients to ask about pain management and any complications.

“This is to make sure that in our process of avoiding that x-ray we haven’t in fact missed something that we should have picked up.”

Dr Ruaraidh McRitchie said medical staff in the SCUH Emergency Department currently treat between five and 10 buckle fractures a week.

“If this study shows that this is a safe and effective way of identifying children with buckle fractures then we will stop doing x-rays in those kids that we can just see a buckle fracture and manage them in that way,” Dr McRitchie said.

Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Study, Education, Research Trust fund (SERTF) funded $360,000 worth of medical research in 2019. 

A word of thanks from Lisa Rowe

With the festive season underway it’s easy to get lost in the list of things to get through before a well- deserved break.

But just for a moment I invite you to reflect on some of the things that your support of the Coast’s local hospital foundation has helped us achieve this past year.

With the help of our dedicated team of volunteers we’ve provided more than 836 nights of home-away-from-home care at Reed House – for families as far away as Rockhampton and western Queensland.

Reed House received a facelift this year, thanks to the help of the Ausmar Homes team!

We’ve worked with Ausmar Homes and their contractors and suppliers to build another home for families who need to be closer to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH). The House the Coast Built is almost complete and will be open for families by March next year.

The Supaloc team – one of the many local businesses who have generously donated their time and resources to help build The House The Coast Built.

We celebrated the power of a truly exceptional community when 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids again surpassed all expectations in raising $500,644 for local paediatric needs – in just one month!

The 92.7 Mix Fm Give Me 5 For Kids launch at Australian Zoo.

We’ve spent $747,353 on extra medical equipment and therapy services, the education of local health staff and local research projects that make a real difference in our local hospitals and Health Centres.

Thanks to the 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids appeal, we were able to fund vital equipment for an Inter-hospital Paediatric Critical Care Transport Team – providing safe and timely transport to critically unwell children from outlying and regional hospitals to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for specialised care.

We’ve committed another $768,779 to projects yet to roll out across our Health Service including a Rehabilitation Garden and Paediatric Emergency Room at Gympie Hospital, and a sensory distraction room for dementia patients at Nambour Hospital’s Acute Restorative Care Unit (ARC).

Norman the Delta Therapy Dog always knows who needs a special visit.

We’ve received countless letters from grateful families whose sick little ones have laughed for the first time in a long while at the antics of a Clown Doctor, or whose loved one found a moment of joy in a memory evoked by a visit from Tracie Wicks, our Music Therapist at the Dove Palliative Care Unit at Caloundra Hospital.

Dr Nincompoop and Dr Loopy visiting young Cruz during recent visits to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH).

We’ve helped thousands of local doctors, nurses, administrative and allied health workers provide exceptional care to local families (including mine) at a time when they’re at their most vulnerable.

On that note I’d like to say that I couldn’t be more grateful for the care my family received from our Health Service this year. From the care we received from clinicians, nursing and administrative staff, to the help of the dedicated volunteers who helped us every step of the way – we feel so lucky to live where we do. Ironically, my family relied on similar equipment to that which had initially been provided by Wishlist many years ago through our “Give Us a Buck for an EBUS” campaign, used the gym equipment donated by Wishlist to the Exercise Physiology gym in the Adem Crosby Centre, and received a beautiful handmade quilt donated by Sunshine Coast Linus that is treasured to this day.

We’re so grateful to you, our generous supporters, because all of this is only possible because individuals like you choose to support your local hospital foundation.

We hope you take great pride in what you’ve done for countless families, and individuals this year through your support of Wishlist.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones and may the year ahead be one of good health and happiness for you all.

Lisa Rowe
Wishlist CEO

Wrapping up our year

Pic: Norman our Delta Therapy Dog has been busy this holiday season visiting local patients.

What a year 2019 was, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the Sunshine Coast community.

Wishlist kicked some serious goals this year, including building a home away from home for families with loved ones receiving treatment at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. We are excited to announce The House The Coast Built, with thanks to Ausmar Homes and their dedicated tradies, is expected to open to its first guests in March 2020.

Through 92.7 Mix FM’s Give Me 5 For Kids we were also able to purchase inter-hospital transport equipment for critically ill children, worth $130,000, and continue children’s yoga, music therapy and the popular Clown Doctors program. Another highlight was raising a staggering $214,743 at the Wishlist Spring Carnival for Sepsis research. This sold-out event was attended by more than 800 of the Coast’s biggest hearts and personalities. A further $360,000 was invested into medical research projects to be undertaken right here on the Coast so our local health teams can deliver world-class care.

We have reached so many milestones this year and we are already working to bring more services to Sunshine Coast patients and families than ever before. To do this, we are running a fundraising raffle with your chance to WIN a luxury trip-for-two to Nusa Lembongan or an adventure-packed stay in Queenstown, thanks to Wild Spirit Adventures.

We’ll also be lacing up our joggers on March 22 for the annual Wishlist Fun Run at Lake Kawana. Make sure you register here to be in the draw to win an early bird prize. It’s a great morning out for the whole family!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, Wishlist donors and business supporters for a fantastic year and to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Make sure you hope over to our website fo our latest Daisy Chain newsletter and upcoming events.

I’ll also leave you with this festive photo our furry friend, Norman the Delta Therapy Dog (above), who likes to moonlight as Rudolph at this time year. (He does have a smile under there, we promise!) Norman has been busy visiting sick patients in the Children’s Ward and he even lends a floppy ear to long-stay patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

Home-delivered telerehabilitation to benefit local stroke patients

Wishlist’s investment into research is set to benefit local stroke patients from Caloundra to Gympie thanks to funding of $19,538 for a home-delivered telerehabilitation research program.

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability, accounting for 133,000 bed days in Queensland Health in 2016/17. Many stroke survivors are still experiencing disabilities after returning home with 29% continuing rehabilitation in the community.

The first three months after a stroke is a crucial time for brain repair processes, however, a recent study found stroke survivors received alarmingly low levels of community rehabilitation in Queensland.

Working from the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH), Physiotherapist Dr Ingrid Rosbergen, said that patients on average only received four hours of community rehabilitation in the critical three-month window.

“A lot of that is due to limited access in certain geographical areas or people have difficulties actually getting to the rehabilitation centres.

“People who have had a stroke have driving restrictions for a certain amount of time, and it’s a big strain on the caregivers,” she said.

This can limit functional recovery, as clients need to practice activities to get the brain changes to support recovery.

However, telerehabilitation delivered at home via the internet, could be the solution to these limiting factors. Instead of meeting with patients face to face, therapists can deliver rehabilitation virtually through the patient’s smartphone, tablet or computer anywhere, anytime.  

Dr Rosbergen said research shows about 80% of people now have the required technology.

“We will deliver the exercises through that platform. While I see you, I will explain to you how to do it and we will give you exercises to continue to do yourself.

“We’re able to provide that ability at home in the hope that we can increase the intensity. Because four hours overall is very little. You can’t expect recovery or brain changes if you have that little support,” she said.

Wishlist’s funding will allow Dr Rosbergen and a team of rehabilitation therapists and researchers to compare home-delivered telerehabilitation with face to face centre-based community rehabilitation, to see if it improves the time stroke survivors spend being physically active, and subsequent recovery outcomes.

Dr Rosbergen said the study will work with occupational therapists, physiotherapists and allied health assistants.

“We want to know, when we deliver telerehabilitation through computers or tablets to the people at home, are we just as effective? Are we more effective? Sometimes people are more inclined to do more when they’re at home, than when they go to a rehab centre.

“The plan is to have thirty people in each section. Thirty in the telerehabilitation arm and thirty in the community centre arm. There is already a fair bit of evidence that telerehabilitation works, but we’re really trying to look at it from a physical activity perspective.

“Research is really needed to get these innovations established, to prove the concept and to get clinicians to accept the concept and make practice changes so our stroke patients get the best care. That’s why Wishlist is doing such a great job.”

Eleven other projects have been given the green light as part of a $363,352 commitment to local research—a collaboration between Wishlist and the Sunshine Coast Hospital & Health Service’s Study, Education, Research Trust fund (SERTF).

Other projects include research into the effectiveness of mindfulness-based group interventions for mental health concerns in expectant mothers, continued investment into antimicrobial resistance due to antibiotic over-subscription, a study of emergency department presentations and treatment of falls among the elderly.

Wishlist has directed more than $1.5 million towards local research projects to support the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

As part of its mission, Wishlist recognises the need to support and encourage research activity hat contributes to improved healthcare outcomes for the Sunshine Coast and wider community and adds to the body of research knowledge.

Therapeutic suites to change breast screening on the Coast

BreastScreen Sunshine Coast and Wishlist are on a mission to increase the number of local ladies getting regular checks, by creating a much more pleasant environment at the Nambour BreastScreen clinic.

Grant Cunning from Spire Law, Shane Judd from BreastScreen QLD, Ros Bull from the Buderim Foundation, Kelly Hart from BreastScreen Qld, Emma Larson from BreastScreen Qld, Alison Roper from BreastScreen Qld and Lisa Rowe – Wishlist.

In a Queensland first, Sunshine Coast women will soon have access to state-of-the-art Lighting and Sensory Distraction Suites for their regular and follow-up breast screens. The innovative approach is set to significantly improve what has historically been an uncomfortable experience.

It is hoped that the therapeutic suites will lift the Sunshine Coast’s breast screening rates in women aged 50-75 from 56% to meet the national accreditation standard of 70%.

Improving participation in regular breast screens will also help to reduce rates of illness and death as a result of Breast Cancer.

Research by the University of Wollongong for Queensland Health in 2015, found pain, discomfort, self-consciousness and embarrassment are major barriers to women getting regular breast cancer screenings.

BreastScreen Sunshine Coast’s Kelly Hart said it can be an unpleasant experience.

“Women who attend the Nambour Assessment clinic know that there is a chance that either themselves or one of the other women at the clinic will be told they have breast cancer.

“As a result, many women who attend the clinics experience high levels of stress,” she said.

Kelly said the Lighting and Sensory Distraction Suites will be a huge benefit to women on the Sunshine Coast and will greatly reduce anxiety and perceived pain for those undergoing screening mammography and mammography guided biopsies.

“Sensory distraction is a commonly used and endorsed strategy for controlling or reducing the perception of pain, which in turn can reduce the amount of stress experienced by women. 

“It is expected that the sensory suite virtual window and skylight installations will assist in distracting women from the procedures they undergo as part of the assessment clinic and thereby improve their experience,” said Kelly.

The screening and assessment suits will include indigenous artwork, aromatherapy, mood lighting, a wall wrap and a virtual window and skylight which will contain images of some of the relaxing and beautiful environments on the Coast.

Women attending the clinic will be able to choose which music and landscape they’d like during their assessment.

Buderim Foundation has partnered with Wishlist to help make this important project become a reality, by donating $4,000. The remainder of the $21,000 needed for the suites will be funded by Wishlist with proceeds for the foundation’s annual Melbourne Cup Event at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, thanks to Spire Law.

Music soothes the soul

Music has the power to soothe the soul. It’s a therapy that’s used in all areas of the health service to distract, reduce stress and create a sense of familiarity in an otherwise clinical environment.

Staff at the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH

Determined to spread the joy of music far and wide, Wishlist has helped to fund music therapy for palliative care patients at Dove Cottage, a piano for the people at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and most recently, music equipment for mental health units across the Coast.

Mp3 players, headphones and music vouchers have been purchased to provide valuable music therapy funding for Adolescent, Adult and Acute Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospitals as part of the ‘Music Soothes the Soul’ project.

The project allows patients to bring a little piece of home with them to hospital, by listening to their own music.

In wards with constant noise from the opening and closing of doors and the beeping of access cards, music serves as a form of distraction and entertainment for the clients.

According to staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH, the power of music is evident in the way it can minimise the impact of auditory hallucinations and decrease boredom and frustration, therefore, creating a more peaceful environment.

Not only can it improve a client’s experience within a ward, it can also help them resume their personal life quicker – with the distraction and entertainment proven to decrease stress and, in turn, improve recovery rates.

Used as a calming resource, the music can also reduce the need for sedating medications, which can have significant side effects.

With Queensland Mental Health Week upon us, there has never been a better time to highlight the profound benefits of musical equipment.

Staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit said the headphones have been extremely well received among patients. Patients particularly appreciated the headphones’ ability block out background noise as well provide a welcomed distraction with music.

Patients with their own music on hand have enjoyed having the familiarity of their favourite tunes.

In 2018, Wishlist, thanks to the Honda Foundation grants program also provided $1483 in funding for a therapeutic drumming program in Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospital. 

Wishlist Wrap – October

September’s Wishlist Spring Carnival was spectacularly successful, having raised $214,743 for local research projects.

Not only was it a record fundraising success but we also played host to our largest audience yet, with 800 guests joining us for lunch and the legendary ‘after party’ at Novotel Twin Waters. 

Sarah Coureas, her gorgeous son Finn Smith and his Dad Jason.

To say I’m proud of this community is an understatement.  I lay claim to being part of the most generous community in the world, and I spruik about it at every given opportunity.  I’m also part of an incredible team and on days like the Wishlist Spring Carnival I simply burst at the impressive caliber of individuals that make up Team Wishlist. 

This includes the outstanding organising committee of the event, who each year give their time so generously to making it happen – Wendy Faithful of Walter Iezzi Property Group, Craig McPherson of Pacific Jaguar Land Rover, Kelly Phelps of Travis Schultz Law, Kerri Walsh of Poole Group, Phillipa Harcourt of EyeOnIt, April Ford of April Ford Agency, Paul Nogueira of Worrells Accountants, Cassy Small of Hot91, Steve Hirst of the Sunshine Coast Daily and Andrew Duff of Sports & Spinal.  Chairman Dan Sowden of Ray White Maroochydore leads this incredible team that, together, produce more than 120 auction items and raffle prizes, and undoubtedly the Coast’s feature event on the charity calendar every year.

Thanks to each of you, and sponsors Iezzi Property Group, Pacific Jaguar and Land Rover, Poole Group, EyeOnIt, April Ford, the Daily, Hot91, Seven Local News and Travis Schultz Law.

Spring Carnival organising committee

Our next fundraising event is the Wishlist Melbourne Cup Day lunch at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, thanks to Spire Law.  A few tickets remain if you’re yet to make plans for the Melbourne Cup, so give us a call if you’d like to know more.  A big thanks to BDO and Telstra T-Shop for their support with this high-caliber event.

Now to the impact of your generous support of the Coast’s local hospital foundation.

Thanks to the recent Woolworths Wall Token appeal we’re about to place an order for 300 backpacks for children taken into Child Protection, often in the middle of the night with nothing to their name.  The backpacks will include pyjamas, a toothbrush and comb, teddy bears/books relevant to the age and sex of the child, and hopefully provide a little comfort during a stressful time of fear and uncertainty.

The Buderim Foundation donated $4,000 towards our project to provide sensory distraction suites at BreastScreen at Nambour Hospital.  Our partners Sunshine Toyota and the Sunshine Coast Daily play a vital part in this community and their support of the Buderim Foundation further helped our work this month.

During Mental Health Week this week we ordered MP3 players and resources for the Adolescent Mental Health unit at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.  We also supported a staff member in the Child and Youth Mental Health Service attending a state-wide mental health initiative aimed at ensuring young people and their families have access to quality mental health extended treatment options and rehabilitation services close to home.

We also recently agreed to fund more communication resources for patients with disabilities or English as their second language, a music room for our Music Therapist at Dove Palliative Care, memory boxes for children who have lost a parent or sibling, new televisions for the Renal Unit at Gympie Hospital and some sensory modulation equipment for eating disorder patients at the Maroochydore Health Hub.

We’ve included a $10,000 blanket warmer for Ward 5D at SCUH, and a $15,000 accessory for breast biopsies at Medical Imaging at SCUH on our wish list.  This means we’re working to find the funds for this equipment as quickly as possible.

With your continued support we will find those dollars a little more quickly.

Our research grant recipients are all thrilled at the opportunity to explore their field of expertise a little further, and perhaps even influence a that field of expertise across the globe.

An interesting side note to the Wishlist Spring Carnival is that, through the bravery and sheer grace of our guest speaker Sarah Coureas and her gorgeous son Finn Smith, our 800 guests left a lot more informed about the warning signs and danger of Sepsis.

We’re also producing a video that will be rolled out to clinicians across our Health Service, of interviews with families who have been impacted by Sepsis.  The clear message from all is to follow your instincts and ask the question of your doctor – could this be Sepsis?

The House the Coast Built will be welcoming families by Christmas and we couldn’t be more grateful to Ausmar Homes and their team of contractors and suppliers.  Thanks to everyone, but those most recently onsite include Dulux, Gecko Painting Services and Preferred Plasterers.

Our painting heroes!

We farewelled our Events and Marketing Coordinator, Ashlea Heisner last month and wish her the very best in her new role at Stockland.  We warmly welcomed Jackie Bryan, Rebecca Croft and Emily Wilkinson to the team.  

There’s a lot coming up including the announcement of a major project that will benefit this community and beyond for many years to come, so stay tuned for more later this month.

The past few months have been filled with moments that remind me why I’m so passionate about the work of Wishlist after almost nineteen years. 

Our team climbed Mt Coolum in honour of young Maddy Jones, who lost her life to Sepsis at the age of 18.  Maddy’s dad Damian is a keen ambassador for the fight against Sepsis and started the Maddy Jones Foundation in her memory.  Our team tribute to Maddy was important to us all.

Lastly, I visited my friend Bill, whom I met nine years ago when he visited the Wishlist “donger” at the back of Nambour Hospital to give a donation in memory of his beloved wife.  Bill lives a happily frugal existence so he’s able to donate $1,000 to Wishlist every year in her memory.  Visiting Bill is always a special experience. 

Both Damian and Bill are beautiful reminders to me of enduring love and how we’re each able to impact the world around us despite anything life throws at us.

Thanks for doing your bit, through your support of Wishlist.

Lisa Rowe – Wishlist CEO