Sue-Ann Dunning: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Providing for sick kids in the house that love built
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Dedicated. Inspiring. Passionate
Sue-Ann Dunning helps families of very sick kids who need a place to stay while in Brisbane or the Gold Coast for medical treatment.
As a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland, she makes the lodging as welcoming as possible for children and their parents who often need to spend months away from their home town.
The charity has three houses and can accommodate one hundred and thirty-nine families at a time, giving more than seven hundred families from regional Queensland a place to stay every year.
Sue-Ann has experienced personal illness and loss in her family, which helps her relate to others going through a challenging period.
She is excited by the recognition the charity has received from her being voted a Westfield Local Hero.
“I am very passionate about my volunteer work for Ronald McDonald House,” says Sue-Ann. “To me, it’s the house that love built.”
Throughout the year, she organises activities for the children and gives much-needed personal support to their parents, even if it is just a listening ear or a hug.
She also works with others to help make Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas special occasions.
“We prepare a Christmas hamper for every family, and it is waiting for them on Christmas morning,” says Sue-Ann. “We make sure there is a gift for every child and also festive treats for the whole family.”
Beyond that, she helps with fundraising and gives up time every year to work at the charity’s week-long cycling event.
“I am more than happy to do my bit and offer as much support as I can during the ride,” she says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.
The charity will use its grant to fund maintenance at Ronald McDonald House in Herston.
“The grant means McDonald House Charities can continue to provide much-needed support and essential accommodation for families of sick or injured children,” says Sue-Ann.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.