MJD Foundation

Elcho Bus Launch

Accessible School bus for Elcho Island is celebrated

Thanks to our wonderful MJDF donors who enabled the last $5,000 to be raised to add to Variety NT's amazing fundraising to donate a new Sunshine Bus to Elcho Island.

On 18th Aug, Morag our Operations Manager joined Melanie from Variety NT on Elcho Island for the launch of the new accessible school bus.

The bus arrived on Elcho a couple of weeks prior to the launch and has been in use since the day it arrived.

The bus has a wheelchair lift, which enables the children with mobility restrictions to come to school. Prior to this, the MJDF assisted Kaitleen (one of our young clients) to attend school by installing a hydraulic lift in the front passenger seat (Turney) in the MJDF Ute. The wheelchair lift is so much easier to use and makes the journey to school a lot more enjoyable.

The launch went really well with all the Shepherdson College students attending the launch held in the basketball court. Many of the children's families attended, lots of photos were taken and the children were pleased to welcome Magnolia Maymuru who is now an international model, from Yirrkala in Arnhem Land. 

Magnolia also helped raise money towards the bus. Her speech was excellent, encouraging all the children to come to school each day, to believe in their dreams and to make them happen with lots of hard work and determination. The children had a question and answer session with her learning all about her journey to the international stage. She explained what was involved in preparing for her New York trip which was just a few weeks away.

Shepherdson College Special Needs Teacher Ruth Burrows, showed Morag around her class room that has been upgraded to a Special needs area. It has its own kitchen, play and study area as well as having a bedroom for the children to rest in. 18 year old Kaitleen has set up a coffee shop in this area where she makes and sells a selection of great coffee.

After the launch, Ruth provided all the people attending with a wonderful afternoon tea before returning the kids to their homes, and saying goodbye and a huge thank you to everyone for making this happen.

Elcho variety bus

Elcho bus launch - Kaitleen

Elcho bus launch - Miss World Aust