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Diamond Development Initiative

We have supported DDI financially for close to a decade. This global NGO has been improving poor artisanal miners lives in practical ways. Man-made diamonds are now commercially viable and less expensive than natural diamonds. ‘Lab grown diamonds’ (LGD) are marketed as protecting artisanal miners, but that’s a bad simplification. I believe in funding DDI  because the work they are doing is improving the livelihoods of millions of poor people faced with few other options.

Artisanal mined diamonds are a main livelihood for more than 1.5 million miners in 18 countries in Africa and South America and those miners support around 10 million family members. They earn very little and often work illegally and under terrible conditions; violence and child labour are common, and environmental damage is caused by stripping topsoil.

DDI’s 8 principles cover legality, consent and community engagement, human and worker’s rights, health and safety, violence-free operations, environmental management, interactions with large-scale mining and site closure and environmental restoration. Each of these principles is measurable and audited. The standards worked in a test in Sierra Leone, the basis for the Blood Diamond movie, and they’re now ready for implementation across the other African and South American countries.

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Black Rhinos Basket Ball team

Black Rhinos Basket Ball team

My most controversial donation was $5,000 in 2017 to the Sudanese youth basketball team (some of the players robbed my Canterbury store twice and attempted to rob the Brighton store).

 

AFTDA

I am a founding board member of the Australian Fronto-Temporal Dementia Association (and current chair). My second wife Drena was diagnosed with a younger onset dementia (FTD) in 2009 and has lived in an aged care home since 2012. I was an initial member of a carer support group and together with some other carers and a group of medical professionals we started AFTDA in 2012. In 2018 our chairman mentioned to the chair of Alzheimers Australia that the name should be changed to Dementia Australia. AA became DA in 2018 and AFTDA handed its responsibility and management of the then half a dozen carer groups around Australia. We continue to monitor the transition which so far has gone very well.

Local Donations

Mum worked on lots of street stalls and charity boards, shook tins for Red Cross etc. She took donation to delivery efficiency seriously. We have an open door for donations of jewelry for raffles and door prizes to local state schools, kindergartens, but not sports clubs or private schools.