Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 30-06-2015 Contents 15 - Tuesday, June 30, 2015
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VARIETY BASH 2015
Fundraiser drives feel-good factor
The Navy team, including Graeme Wong, far right, on the road during last year's Variety Bash.
Kimberley Le Lievre
For Bungendore-based Navy
lieutenant commander Graeme Wong
participating in the Variety Bash
started off as just a bit of work fun.
It was on his second Variety Bash
about 10 years ago that he really learnt
why the event was so important.
"We had just donated a wheelchair
swing, a special swing that costs a
considerable amount, to a special
school in Wagga."
"It gives a kid that has never swung
in their life, that feeling of amazement
Mr Wong recalls the bashers
standing around in tears after the
donation, as about 10 children from
the school sung, "We are the
champions", to about 400 of the
"It really brought it home to me
what the event was all about and why
we did it."
As a regular basher, having been in
all but one Variety Bash's for the past
12 years, Mr Wong said he loved
driving the roads you wouldn't
normally drive on.
"The best part is probably the
people. The first one I enjoyed
meeting new people, and going to
places you just wouldn't normally go.
"You work with a whole bunch of
people who are like-minded, everyone
is generous and friendly, and they're
all there to help the kids."
As well as helping the charity raise
money, Mr Wong said there were
unique and special moments on every
bash that make it all worthwhile.
Country musician John Williamson,
now a regular on the trips, often does
a few impromptu concerts. One year,
Ian Moss from Cold Chisel performed
to the bashers surrounded by
Katherine Gorge in the Northern
The Navy team of six people will
travel from Bass Hill to Bunbury on
the 2015 Variety Bash in August, and
then all the way up to Broome on the
mini-bash that follows. All up, it's
about 15 days of driving. The Navy car
is an old HR Toyota wagon, made up
to look like a submarine.
"We've had this car for a while,'' Mr
Wong said. This will be its sixth
bash. We've hit a cow and done all
sorts of stuff, there has been various
amounts of work on it.
It's kept going but we've had to do
some bush mechanics to make it go to
To donate to the Navy team, see
com/au/navy-team or see
variety.org.au/nswBASH to find out
New screws to
Behind the blue line
ACT Policing officers, Volunteers in
Policing and AFP graduates fitted 361
vehicle number plates with tamper-
proof screws at the Regatta Point Car
This was the first of two Project
Safe Plate events to be held this year;
the goal is to reduce vehicle
registration plate thefts by providing
free tamper-proof screws for plates.
Officer-in-charge of Gungahlin
Station, Sergeant Rod Anderson said
the day's effort was impressive and
thanked the public for their support.
"Every number plate theft we can
prevent has the potential to further
reduce crime in the community."
"We know that stolen number plates
are often used to commit other crimes,
such as petrol drive-offs, burglaries
and traffic offences,'' he said.
"By reducing the opportunity for
criminals to source one of their tools,
we hope to contribute to a wider
reduction in property and volume
Some 858 registration plates were
reported stolen to police in 2014.
Community initiatives such as
Project Safe Plate are important in
making it tough for thieves.
Last year 1778 vehicles were fitted
with tamper-proof screws.
If your registration plates are stolen,
report it to ACT Policing on 131 444.
Behind The Blue Line is supplied
by ACT Policing.
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