Saturday, 31 October 2015

Celebrating supporters of ROMAC NZ

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Richard Wong She who is Clinical Leader for Burns at the National Burn Centre of NZ, receiving a PHF certificate for the Burns Unit Team at Middlemore Hospital, Auckland from DG Peter Garnett
More than 70 people attended a special Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC) function on October 9, in West Auckland, NZ to recognize some non-Rotarians who have made special contributions to the work of ROMAC in NZ.  Doctors John Stirling and Kirsten Finucane spoke about the work they do in the Pacific Islands, particularly in Vanuatu and Fiji.
ROMAC also presented PDG Trish O’Reilly with a special plaque recognising her role in bringing ROMAC to NZ over a decade ago.  She was the first NZ ROMAC Director and battled bureaucracy to enable ROMAC to bring children to NZ for surgery.  It was no mean fete as initially the Ministry of Health was very resistant, but with her persistence she succeeded, so much is owed to Trish for her effort and dogged determination.
Also present was past ROMAC Chairman in Australia PDG Terry Grant who convinced Trish to bring ROMAC to NZ.  Trish handed over the reins to PDG Geoff Dainty and of course the rest is history.  From very humble beginnings where only a few children received surgery through ROMAC’s efforts, the numbers have grown to over 20 in the past year. This has only occurred through the help of Rotary clubs, Rotarians, Rotary International grants and of course all the numerous volunteers.
ROMAC is indebted to these people who so willingly donate their time and expertise, allowing ROMAC to allocate almost 100 per cent of the money raised to ROMAC’s work, restoring dignity and prospects of a full life to so many children from the Pacific.

First Chair of ROMAC NZ PDG Trish O’Reilly (centre) receiving a plaque, with past ROMAC Australia Chairman PDG Terry Grant who encouraged Trish to bring ROMAC to NZ with current ROMAC NZ Chair Angela Bowey

Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon Kirsten Finucane after speaking on her work was presented with PHF recognition from DG Peter Garnett
Paediatric Cardiologist John Stirling receiving PHF recognition from DG Peter Garnett