From the Desk


Muscular Dystrophy Australia (MDA) has just finished a major ISO audit which we proudly passed with flying colours. MDA received ISO Certification back in 2013, which was, and continues to be, a major achievement and one which places MDA in a great position when compared to other similar notfor-profits. ISO sets a framework in which MDA follows, to ensure a high level of quality and service is maintained and that we have the utmost confidence from our clients, donors and the government. MDA’s result in the most recent audit are reflective of our teams hard work and drive to hold our organisation to the highest ethicacy, something that is of vital importance in the not-for-profit sector.

An example of the standard of ethicacy that MDA lives by is present in one of our most recent and extremely successful ChallengeMD events; ChallengeMD Goldfields 2016.The concept of this charity ride and the way it was approached and supported was with absolute integrity. We took it upon ourselves to ensure every possible dollar raised from the 450km ride through the Victorian Goldfield region was coming back to MDA, for support services, programs and research. To do this, it meant our riders and crew did not sleep in fancy hotels, did not eat out at beautiful restaurants and did not sleep
in plush beds that cost valuable dollars from the fundraising pool. Far from it, we slept on the floor of local footy clubs, we ate cereal from plastic bowls, we self-catered, we found local and cheap pizza and we washed our riding kits in the sink! Not only did this approach help rid the event of any unnecessary costs, it create a fantastic sense of camaraderie amongst our team, the feeling of sleeping rough and doing it tough in support of the MD community.

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By doing our due diligence for every dollar raised, the small costs of ChallengeMD Goldfields were fully covered by the even smaller registration fee of $250 for each rider. This means every single dollar of the $2,000 fundraising target for each rider came directly to MDA. Some riders took it even further, with Bill Schlink raising $10,745 and again, this came directly to MDA. It was not spent on hotels or restaurant meals, it was utilised for the MD community. In total, ChallengeMD Goldfields 2016 raised more than $32,000, with every cent coming back to our community.

MDA is extremely proud of our approach to this event and the result it yielded. We have seen similar events taking place that raise what seems to be incredible amounts, upwards of $100,000. However when you take a closer look, the cost of a professional to plan the entire event, that’s $30,000 gone, the cost of accommodation in hotels, there’s another $5,000 and the cost of eating out at restaurants, thousands gone again. This pattern continues until that $100,000 becomes less than or close to MDA’s achievement of $32,000 and we believe it is just not worth it to fundraise in that manner. With this in mind, as MDA approaches one of its biggest awareness and fundraising campaigns, we hope that you will feel pride in supporting a cause that does everything it can to get every last dollar back to the community. We are of course talking about National Superhero Week 2016, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest Superhero Weeks yet.

Return sponsor Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses have signed on to create Muscular Dystrophy Superhero Cupcakes that will be sold at all their stores throughout the week. $1 from every cupcake will come straight back to Muscular Dystrophy Australia. New sponsor CrossFit Victoria will be running an in-house fitness competition with a superhero theme to support Muscular Dystrophy Australia, a new relationship we’re excited to build upon. This is just some of the exciting projects happening to help raise awareness and funds through National Superhero Week and we hope you will join us by registering at: www.SuperheroWeek.org.au and choosing to be a superhero for Muscular Dystrophy!

It’s obvious from the above that we are working hard at making a difference and I firmly believe we are!
We have now conducted 102 instances of CampMDA which is an amazing achievement when one considers the multiple benefits flowing from this program; respite, fun, student placements education and training and time out for primary carers.

The financial support that MDA provides to the Royal Children’s Hospital ensures that “Muscle Clinic” provides a one-stop-shop approach to the MD Community and this is lauded by the broader community as a benchmark for others to emulate. Each day we receive calls affirming the direction and extent of service delivery. The phone calls come from all parts of Australia from; Queensland, NSW and as far afield as Perth where members of the MD Community are seeking our advice and support. When asked why they contact us, the answers almost always resonates in unison – because you have the
reputation and have demonstrated that you care – without peer.

We continue to strive to raise the awareness of MD and garner support to help us Make a Difference to the MD Community!

Until next time,

Boris