MJD Foundation

Nov 2009 - Joyce and Melinda's Family Holiday to Queensland

A day at the poolJoyce - KoalaMelinda Koala

 Angurugu - Groote Eylandt

Arriving Brisbane

The familiesWith the crocCrocs ruleDolphin ShowJoyce and familyThe whole MobDolphin show 2Beautiful sistersAt the DolphinsMelindaLife Guards

Joyce, Kevin and Marco (6 years) left Baniyala on Friday 6th November 2009 on a small charter plane for Groote Eylandt. At Angurugu on Groote Eylandt, Joyce, Kevin and Marco met up with family. Melinda and Brett joined them from Umbakumba. Joyce and Melinda are full sisters.

They stayed overnight on Friday night at Mungkadinamanja Aged Care Centre and Margaret organised a birthday party for Marco who turned 6 years old that day.

On Saturday morning Nadia met the two families and gave them some papers for their trip to the Gold Coast. Everyone was very excited.

Then it was off to Darwin on the Vincent Aviation flight. In Darwin, the families stayed at the Darwin Airport Inn and were very well looked after by the staff . On Sunday they went up to the hospital to visit family there and in the afternoon caught a really big Qantas jet for Brisbane.

At Brisbane Airport they were met by Bryan and Kathy and went by car 100ks to the Gold Coast to Southport and the Broadwater Resort Park. This is a really nice place, friendly people and they had a little two bedroom cottage all to themselves and it was just one short walk from the beach.

Marco is a friendly little fellow and he made some good friends with the balanda kids there, he had a really good time and had lots of new experiences and so did all the adults.

On Monday Bryan came after everyone had a sleep in. They all went for a drive and looked at other beaches at the Gold Coast as far as Burleigh Heads.

On Tuesday it was off to Australia Zoo, it was a magic place for the families. There were crocodiles and snakes and koalas and elephants and birds and lots of other animals. The families liked the cuddly koalas best.  On the last respite trip, Jock liked the slippery big python snake!!. There are no Koalas in the NT.

The families are calling the little rented bus "Bryan Massey's MJD Respite Tours". Sometimes Bryan gets lost and gets the sack as the driver but no one else wanted to drive so we had to give him his job back again.

Wednesday it was off to Seaworld just down the road from where they are staying. It is a wonderful place and the dolphins are like magic, everyone loved them, they are like humans. The water was too cold so we didn't go in to touch the dolphins.

Thursday it was off for a drive to NSW (Tweed Heads) and Bryan and Kathy took everyne to Point Danger lookout. We saw the beautiful coast line (not as nice as the NT though!!!) and of course we got lost again. We discovered it was no use sacking Bryan from driving because he is such a nice countryman so we just were patient as we drove around and around and around.

On Friday Bryan Massey's MJD Respite Tours picked everyone up again and went north of Brisbane to Yandina and Montville. At Yandina we went to a very intersting place where we watched men glass blowing and making beautiful glass dishes from hot sand made into glass. It was a hot place because there were big kilns there and open ovens to heat the glass. Then we went to Montville where there are lots of craft shops, everyone did some shopping. Marco gave Bryan and Kathy nicknames like Donkey for Kathy and Monkey for Bryan, he had bought some little animals at an african shop.

On Friday night we had a really good BBQ tea at Bryan and Kathy's house with Libby's family.  Everyone loved their house and it has an Anindilyakwa name "Angalya" meaning house .

On Saturday it was off to Wet and Wild and it was certainly wet and wild, everyone had such a good time, in the water, on the rides and in the wave pool, we all thought Marco would turn into a fish with a tail, he stayed in the water all day.

Joyce was a bit sad as she lost her camera on Friday so we all had to take more photos for her and Kevin and Marco because she lost all of hers.

On Sunday we all had a rest day and the little bus didn't go to the Gold Coast that day. Everyone was so tired.

Monday it was off to Alma Park Zoo near where Bryan and Kathy live, it was good like Australia Zoo but smaller there were some funny donkeys there and a little animal farm.

Tuesday was shopping day at a really big shopping centre at the Gold Coast, lots of shopping and we all got lost from Bryan this time ...................maybe it was payback time!!?

On Monday night we had another BBQ at Bryan and Kathy's house this time with Craig and his family. Kevin and Craig had a nice time together because Craig used to work in Baniyala it was a really good night.

Wednesday morning we put everyone in the bus and packed all the luggage around them there were lots of bags and suitcases and headed off to the Airport for the Qantas flight to Darwin and the Vincent flight to Groote. Later in the week Joyce and Kevin and Marco will catch a charter plane to Baniyala back to their home.

Joyce and Melinda say they all had a really good time and it was good to have a holiday together before their sickness makes their bodies weaker and they have to use a wheelchair.

For Bryan and Kathy representing the MJD Foundation and being able to contribute to such a great time for these two families was a very special privilege and one we will long remember.

We had opportunities to join in conversations about the girls hopes and fears for the future. Joyce's passing comment at the Airport on Wednesday morning was "Please don't any of you MJD people forget us".

Thank you MJD Foundation and supporters.

Melinda Libby Joyce