Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
On Green & Gold Day, 14 October 2011, the Mary MacKillop Foundation is inviting all Australians to wear our national colours and celebrate the Aussie helping spirit by making history and beating the Guinness World Record for the most people participating in Zumba® Fitness Parties in multiple venues at one time.

Green & Gold Day is all about supporting Aussies who make a difference, and celebrating the Australian helping spirit that unites us all. Ambassadors of Green & Gold Day 2011 include Dr Fiona Wood (former Australian of the Year), Sandra Sully, Janice Peterson and Peter Goers.

On 14 October, workplaces, schools and community groups will be wearing green and yellow and participating in the Zumba® Fitness Parties which will be held at lunchtime in main cities across Australia including overlooking Darling Harbour and the Opera House in Sydney, Victoria Square in Adelaide, ACU in Melbourne, University of Notre Dame in Perth and ACU in Queensland.

Green & Gold Day will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people participating in Zumba® Fitness Parties in Australia at once. It’s all part of the celebration of being Australian. The previous record of 1,223 people was set in June 2011.

“Green & Gold Day is part of our mission to continue the legacy of Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop. Her philosophy was to ‘never see a need without doing something about it’. As a nation we all have an appreciation for the small, unknown heroes who are making a difference to the needs around them, without an expectation of receiving anything in return. Green & Gold Day will be raising funds to support their work,” said Mr Hardjono.

Every year the Mary MacKillop Foundation gives grants of up to $10,000 each to community-based ‘small life changing projects’ across Australia that help people to overcome destitution, isolation, and the effects of misfortune. To date the Foundation has funded over 350 ‘small life changing projects’.

Sandra Sully, Green & Gold Day Ambassador said, “I’m proud to be an Ambassador of Green & Gold Day 2011 for the Mary MacKillop Foundation. By supporting Green & Gold Day we are helping fund the grants that the Foundation gives to Aussies making a difference across Australia.”

These small life changing projects include a group that helps reconnect elderly Australians in Queensland who evacuated their homes during the recent floods, a sports camp for young Sudanese refugees, volunteers who give free English lessons or organise community dinners for new Australians and those in need and not-for-profits that offer transport for Indigenous Australians who were stranded by Cyclone Yasi.

Recipients of the Foundation’s 2011-2012 project grants will be announced in the week of Green & Gold Day, also the week of the Anniversary of the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop.

The Foundation also provides tertiary scholarship funding for Indigenous Australians to attend Australian universities to receive vital skills that they can use to help their communities, with 40 students graduating by the end of 2011.

“All donations made on Green & Gold Day will help the Mary MacKillop Foundation give 12-month grants to small life changing projects and tertiary scholarships to Indigenous Australians. This is a way that all Australians can encourage the Aussie spirit of mateship and helping those in need,” said Mr Hardjono.

This year, the Mary MacKillop Foundation doubled the amount of grants available to offer extra support to projects that have a particular regard to natural disaster recovery in Australia. To help raise money for the extra grants, the Foundation launched the Travelling Sisters Roadshow – Australian Disaster Recovery that is seeing two Sisters of St Joseph drive to towns all across Australia in a special tourvan, visiting thousands of schools and community groups as well as areas affected by recent natural disasters. The Rodshow has visited Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, and is now making its way through Queensland.

At each school visited by Travelling Sisters Roadshow – Australian Disaster Recovery, students learn about the Australian disasters and the role we all play in meeting needs around us. After hearing that there are people with needs all around them and that there is hope because they can help, students are then given postcards to write down their thoughts on the natural disasters, the greatest needs in their communities and how they are going to help. They also write messages of support to those who are in need or are helping meet the needs around them.

On Green & Gold Day, these postcards will be exchanged and all messages of encouragement will be given to those in need, including children who were affected by Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi.

Dr Fiona Wood, 2005 Australian of the Year and Ambassador of Green & Gold Day 2011 said, “Green and Gold day is a day to share good news and tell good stories.”

For more information on Green & Gold Day, visit: http://www.mackillopfoundation.org.au/green_and_gold_day and http://www.facebook.com/MaryMacKillopFoundation

To donate or register yourself or your workplace, school or community group for Green & Gold Day activities, including Zumba®, visit: http://greenandgoldday.org.au/

Green & Gold Day is supported by the Mary MacKillop Foundation’s Gold National Partners: Australian Catholic University and Sergeants Mess, and its Silver National Partner: Austech Facades. Event partners for Green & Gold Day’s Zumba® Fitness Parties are Mix106.5 and AuZcrew.


Contact Profile

Mary MacKillop Foundation

In the same way that Australia’s first saint, St Mary MacKillop, responded to the needs of her time, the Mary MacKillop Foundation responds to the needs of our time to relieve suffering and give hope by supporting small life changing projects that provide relief from suffering, distress, poverty, destitution, misfortune and helplessness.

Since 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation has funded over 350 ‘small life changing projects’, responding to the needs of rural and isolated communities, indigenous groups and people with disabilities. It has also funded Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships for over a decade with 32 graduates and another 35 currently enrolled.

The Mary MacKillop Foundation is an organisation of the Sisters of St Joseph, the congregation that St Mary MacKillop founded in 1866.
Phoebe Netto
P: 0401036610
W: www.mackillopfoundation.org.au/green_and_gold_day


Zumba, Green & Gold Day, Aussie spirit, Mary MacKillop, Mary MacKillop Foundation, Sisters of St Joseph, saint, small life changing projects, charity, Australia, green and gold



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