The Australian prize home lotteries have a very rich history. Most importantly, they have and still continue to change many lives in a mighty way. It's often humble families that have been bombarded with the biggest and most pleasant surprises of a lifetime, by receiving news that they are proud winners and owners of breath-taking dream homes. How about this; you receive a call from a strange number and the person on the other end of the line says that he is calling from one of the prominent prize home lottery organizations. At first you are confused because you have already forgotten about the draw tickets that you purchased some time back. Then here comes the bombshell: "you are the proud winner of a million dollar prize home!"
At first you may want to believe that you are actually in one of those sweet dreams that one never wants to wake up from until you pinch yourself at least twice and the pain of the pinch jolts you back to reality; then the realization that it is not a dream after all sets in! This must have been the reaction of one Noel Markson (name withheld for privacy) when he recently received the news that he had won the most expensive prize home ever, in the history of prize home lotteries in Australia, worth $4 million. The only words that could escape from his mouth were, "That is life changing! I am speechless!" honestly, who wouldn't?
Now this is a real windfall and the perfect Christmas gift that anybody could ever receive. The draw was organized by the RSL Art Union, one of the biggest names behind the prize home lottery draws in Australia. Mr. Markson, together with his wife and two young children couldn't believe that they might be celebrating this year's Christmas in an entire seven apartment complex in Idyllic Palm Beach, on the Gold Coast. It is said that Mr. Markson's winning ticket was actually the very last in a $1oo dollar tickets book in the Gold treasure. To spice up the deal, winning with the $100 book grants him an additional $100,000 book buyer's prize!
The Markisons, who are natives of Geraldton, Western Australia, have the liberty to choose to live in the luxurious penthouse on the top floor of their brand new $4 million apartment complex, rent it at a whooping annual rental income of $177,320, or sell the whole complex whose total prize value is estimated at $4,039,048. Now this is what can be termed as a real life transformation. It is a story of grass to grace.
Mr. Markson's and many other families have been so luck to be among the few families whose lives have been totally changed for the better, through the Australian prize home lotteries. However, even more touching are the real life stories of thousands of beneficiaries of the charitable organizations that run these lotteries. The money raised from the tickets purchased by those who participate in the draws, goes into funding charitable projects that help hundreds of thousands of people who really need help. So whether you win the prize home or not, it is always a win-win situation since the money you use to buy tickets goes into a noble cause and who knows? The few dollars you spent on the tickets might be just enough to put a smile on a needy person's face somewhere. The biggest names that organize the prize home lotteries in Australia, all of which have a long and checkered history, are:
- RSL Art Union
- Surf Life Saving
- Boys Town Prize Home
- Mater Homes
- RMH Prize Home
RSL Art Union
This is a union that was started to support the Australian Defense forces personnel, especially war veterans, together with their families. The organization was initiated to give a soft landing to war veterans who were returning home from war, only to realize that they did not know where to start from in terms of reconstructing their lives. They were always haunted by horrifying memories from the war fields. This situation was worse in the 1930s; hence such diggers needed a guiding and caring hand which RSL Art Union sought to offer.
The situation of most Australian war veterans during that time can be best captured by a quote from George Newland's book, "The Golden Years - A Story of Comradeship" and it goes like, The war veterans of Australia "had through no fault of their own, been reduced to straits of poverty and despair. In the years after 1918 armistice, many had grown old or unfit prematurely, through wounds and illness picked from war; many could not get a job and had no hope of ever getting one."
The book creates an ugly picture of the state of affairs for the men and women who had selflessly served their country, within its borders and abroad, at that time. After the peace deal of 1918, depression and abject poverty was the order of the day for most of them due to the fact that they had either become aged or unfit, as a result of injuries picked from the war front or sickness. Therefore getting a job or any other means of survival was a tall order for these people.
The birth of RSL Art Union's Prize home lottery
Something needed to be done to salvage the situation, and it is at this point that the prayer was answered by the birth of RSL Art Union, which swung into action to provide the much needed help to the suffering defense forces veterans, who were mostly turning into social misfits because of circumstances that they did not wish on themselves. Initially, a few affluent people and funds raised from sub-branches financed a scheme that availed a few war homes. However, this one alone could not be enough hence the urgent need for a secured consolidated fund that could take care of most f the basic needs of the veterans who, in most cases, were unemployed and lacked capital to set up any meaningful business.
It is at this point that the idea of raising funds through conducting lottery draws was born. The idea seemed to gain momentum right from its initiation stages, quickly gaining popularity and wide acceptance among Australians. In 1956 the Art union activities were by Queensland with all its profits going into provision of many services, among them, accommodation for former defense forces personnel, together with their families or dependants.
This was obviously a timely idea since, in the early 1950s, the situation in the country had worsened due to constraints of the Second World War that had come to an end, as well as grumblings still coming from Vietnam. This necessitated ultimate care and provision of essential services which led to increased fund-raising activities that were pioneered in Queensland.
Activities of RSL Art Union
At the moment, RSL Art Union tops the list of big names in the Australian charitable organizations circles. They have not only touched and tremendously changed many lives of people who have won numerous coveted prizes, but above all, they continue with their main mission of raising funds which go a long way in providing the much needed assistance for veterans of the Australian Defense Forces, even the present or former servicemen and women together with their entire families and dependants.
The funds collected from the sale of tickets for the RSL Art Union's prize home lotteries, goes into supporting the defense forces personnel irrespective of whether they are members of the union or not. All these beneficiaries always have different tales to tell. They include young soldiers coming back home from service abroad and are in desperate need of a person who can connect them with their families and offer them means of reintegration back into a society that has become so dynamic. Others need emotional and physical rehabilitation due to the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most of the veterans from past wars are usually sick and the complex procedures they have to go through to get into pension and welfare programs don't help things either. Hence, the Art union's initiative comes very much in handy to offer the much needed financial security. This is done through offering welfare services, free pensions, rehabilitation programs, advocacy, financial services and affordable emergency accommodation.
Worthy to note, is the world-first PTSD research project worth $1.75 million, initiated by RSL Art Union to help in understanding and managing several military personnel coming back home from wars in very critical mental and physical conditions. The organization also allows anyone willing to support these veterans with their families through buying tickets for lottery draws. Apart from supporting the heroes through purchase of tickets, you get a chance to take part in the most expensive and largest home lottery in Australia and the world. There is a likelihood of winning big prizes including luxury homes in the best parts of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
The union has also initiated a new project dubbed "Mates4Mates" which offers support to injured Defense forces personnel together with their families. There is also the option of one becoming a VIP member of the organization with the membership fee going into supporting this noble cause of supporting these heroes and their dependants. As you can see, there is every reason for buying that draw ticket since you will not only be supporting a worthy cause, but who knows? You might end up becoming the luck winner of a luxury home worth millions!
Surf Life Savers
Though many individuals have been pleasantly surprised by winning some of the most luxurious prize homes in Australia, in the lotteries conducted by Surf Life Savers, the golden idea behind the formation of the organization was to save the many lives lost in the Australian coasts, through preventable drowning, each year. You will be surprised to hear that since its inception, Surf Life Savers have managed to save over 500 people from drowning every year. The highly trained volunteer personnel patrol the beaches for over 1.1 million hours on holidays and weekends. To meet the expenses of undertaking this massive exercise, the Surf life Saving lotteries are organised to raise funds from the sale of tickets.
How does the organization spend the money raised through lotteries?
The organization runs a total of 311 clubs of Surf Life savers across the country and volunteer workers in these clubs assist over 100 million people who throng the beaches every year. The Australian coastline stretches for a massive 35,000 km which means, it needs a large number of dedicated volunteers from the organization to cover this vast coastline and tirelessly serve the people during their beach visitations. Also, it is obvious that such a massive exercise will cost a fortune since it entails training of personnel, education programs for the Surf save community, buying of rescue gear and equipment, and first aid supplies. This therefore makes it necessary to raise enough funds from the ticket sales in the lottery draws.
Rescue gear and equipment
This forms perhaps, the biggest expenditure incurred by the surf life saving community in the country. In addition to this, the gear and equipment need constant maintenance as a result of continuous exposure to water, salt and the sun while some may need replacement eventually so as to ensure total safety of victims of drowning. It is for this very reason that the organization promotes lottery draws and encourages as many people as possible to keep buying tickets so as to contribute towards the noble mission of saving innocent lives.
Funding the education programs for surf life savers
The number of people who visit the beaches at the Australian coast keeps on rising each year. This only means that the demand for more surf life savers on the beaches goes up yearly, hence the need for new surf life savers to continue being churned out through education programs funded by the organization. Since many lives depend on these volunteers' honest effort, it is only fair that they get the best training.
Every volunteer in the Surf life savers community across the country must have a bronze medallion. The training program entails CPR, updated rescue techniques, fitness testing and first aid. Training a single Surf Life saver volunteer approximately costs $8oo. Given that Australia has a vast coastline and numerous beaches; to train enough volunteers to cover all of them comes with a huge expense in terms of training programs.
Apart from training personnel, the organization has embarked on a massive public sensitization outreach program that targets tourists and beach goers, to educate them on beach safety. This community educational program also targets schools and business houses whereby people are given essential surfing tips like sun safety, spotting a rip, swimming between the yellow and red flags, and marine hazards. This program also takes part of the money collected from the sale of lottery tickets.
First aid supplies
A good percentage of the money raised by the organization goes to funding firs aid supplies which are very essential in the Surf life savers' line of duty. These include: disposable sheets, Ventolin puffers and bandages. Every Surf life savers club has a special first aid room that must be regularly replenished with these supplies. Approximately, every club needs about $2000 worth of first aid supplies each year. Research has shown that the organization performs more than 30, 000 minor first aid treatments each season. Given that a single first aid kit cost about $400 and the clubs must ensure that the stocks are replenished fully all the time, one can only imagine the amount of cash that goes into funding first aid alone. This is the reason why the Surf lives saving lotteries have to be conducted in order to raise funds.
The lotteries generate more than $1.4 billion annually, by the sale of tickets, which goes into funding these expenses. The tickets are affordable, up to as little as $10. Whenever you purchase the tickets, there is a big possibility of not only winning the grand prize, but several other additional prizes as well. One can also join the champions' club program and get a lottery ticket automatically whenever a draw is organized. To join the club costs as little as $2 per month. Join the club now and support this noble cause of saving lives.
Boys Town Prize home
Boys Town is a non-profit organization that has been helping youths who are disadvantaged by providing them with counseling, training and support services, for over 50 years now. The organization dedicates its energies towards the quality of the youngsters' lives, especially for those who faced with myriad youth challenges but lack a voice that can make them heard.
How they raise their funds
The major source of funds that finance the charitable activities of Boys Town is through the sale of tickets of participation in the prize draws organized regularly. They organize 15- prize draw yearly, which constitutes 10 draws for luxurious house and 5 draws for prestigious cars. In addition to this, they also raise funds from donations, and workplace donations. To top it up, they also receive support from local, federal and state governments in terms of grants.
Boys Town activities
The organization uses the proceeds from its fundraising to perform the following activities:
- Supporting disadvantaged and troubled young people
The organization comes in handy to support and provide counseling services to the young generation. This entails; offering telephone and online counseling, group support workshops and face to face counseling.
The help provided here is purely professional, by well trained and experienced counselors. These services provide help lines for both youths and their parents, with assistance available all round the clock. Young people in need of assistance can be accompanied by their families when participating in workshops or meetings that aimed at aiding them to lead better lives.
Usually, such gatherings address various issues that directly or indirectly affect the youth in society. These include alcohol and drug abuse, hygiene and cookery.
Training, education and employment
The organization runs many educational and training programs aimed at enabling the youth to overcome challenges that face them in accessing higher education and eventually, employment. These programs help in terms of development of their numeracy and literacy skills. This goes a long way to boost the youth's self confidence hence helping them to face challenges of life more confidently. The other programs offered include:
- A social business enterprise which offers job opportunities to young people aged between 15 to 25 years. This entails on job training (OJT), and real employment opportunities, which help to prepare the youth for the open market employment.
- A program that enables the youth to gain employability skills which are very necessary in opening up employment opportunities.
- The Vocational and Training Employment Center (VTEC) offering pre-employment training, individual coaching and placement for the aboriginal people and natives of the Torres Strait Island.
- New Career for Aboriginal people (NCAP) program, which strives to increase the involvement of the aboriginal people in the labor market by creating, determining and supporting educational and employment opportunities.
Community and family services
The organization runs numerous programs that aid family members to not only bond with each other but also with their communities too. A well functioning family is what makes society to function well. These community programs include:
- Alcohol and Drug program (AOD) which targets youths who misuse alcohol and abuse drugs which ends up messing their lives badly.
- Coordinated Advocacy and Referrals for Early intervention (CARE), which offers guidance to families to determine their strengths and explore ways of improvement in the children through a positive school environment.
- Community For Children Initiative, which is an early childhood and preventive program that targets families that are unable to offer proper child care.
- Starfish program. A family mental health support service which offers services to young people who have a high risk of suffering from mental illnesses.
Refuge and accommodation
This involves offering refuge to homeless families. Children form about a third of the homeless people in Australia. The organization seeks to offer temporal accommodation for such families. `This program also offers shelter and services to victims of domestic violence and rape, mostly women and children escaping from such assaults, for a while.
The Boys Town organization has a fully dedicated team of over 500 employees. This includes leaders made of the executive and board, members made of employees including trained counselors, educators, social workers, youth workers and trainers, usually backed up by IT marketing and HR professionals. The organization also has community volunteers who help in mentoring young people. Boys Town funds all its activities from the sales of tickets in their prize home lotteries. As a citizen, you can also support this mission by simply buying a ticket.
Mater Hospital Home Prizes
The Mater foundation is simply a charitable organization founded by the Mater medical research institute with Mater Health Services. The funds raised are channeled towards research, education and clinical care. The main mission of the organization is to promote prevention and treatment of diseases that afflict people of all ages. The prize home lottery is their main method of raising funds that go towards financing the organization's main agenda, which is to provide the ultimate healthcare for all.
The Mater Healthcare services
The first hospital to be opened by the organization was inaugurated in 1906. In collaboration with "The sisters of Mercy", the organization's 8000 strong staff availed sympathetic care to the poor and sick people basing their activities on the values of:
Currently, the organization operates a successful chain of seven hospitals, of which 3 are for uninsured patients while four are private, all dedicated to serving the community according to its changing needs. The mater hospitals are respected worldwide for their endeavors in advancing quality healthcare services. They are estimated to attend to more than a half a million patients in Australia annually.
Mater healthcare services are considered unique worldwide since the organization focuses on the following.
The foundation utilizes the funds collected from sale of tickets for lottery draws to develop the latest technicalities, methodologies and clinical practices aimed at giving patients the best quality medical care. This is done through the foundation's urge towards discovering, improving, adopting and adapting ways of staying ahead in the healthcare service provision and medical sciences field.
using the consolidated funds, the foundation purchases state of -the-art life-saving equipment for the Mater healthcare services so as to ensure that their patients, together with their families, get best quality services.
Providing education for future healthcare workers
the accumulated funds are also pumped into providing the best education and training of healthcare service providers of the future generations.
In the footsteps of the sisters of mercy
The foundation bases its activities in the footsteps of the Sisters of Mercy, in all aspects-be it in social innovation or in the numerous efforts of searching for creative solutions to unsolved community challenges. This is achieved through the many services offered by the foundation, such as maternity care, healthcare for refugees, care for the homeless people and many more other services. Therefore, the foundation's activities go beyond the provision of medical services to offering new solutions to the needy. This is made possible through relentless research aimed at finding new solutions to the problems that afflict the community, all made [possible through the funds raised by the foundation.
Mater research efforts
The Mater foundation research is globally recognized for its relentless efforts in medical research field. Their main objective being preventing and treating health conditions that affect infants, prematurely born babies, the youth and the old to ensure that they all lead a healthy and disease free lives. The Mater research was started in 1998 with a small staff of 10 people. Since then, it has gradually expanded as a competitive research institution internationally. Having begun several original programs, it has over time attracted world-class top-notch scientists from across the globe. The institute strives to widen, discover, commercialize as well as translate the medical researches while assimilating specific areas of specialization while working hand in hand with the mater healthcare services. All this research is supported by funds from the consolidated fund accumulated by the Mater Foundation. The areas of focus include those involving chronic diseases like leukemia, cancer, diabetes and heart diseases.
Understanding and prevention of diseases
The foundation strives to understand disease more deeply in order to improve health standards. In spite of the efforts towards improved healthcare and increased quality of patients lives for over a century now, many diseases still pose a big challenge the modern healthcare services. Clinical and basic science researchers are working towards a an even more clearer understanding of biological, genetic and environmental basis of such ailments, so as to invent effective treatment of cardiovascular, cancerous and metabolic diseases. They are also working on measure aimed at prevention of the disease.
Improving methods of treating diseases
Through research, the foundation has been able to offer improved care to patients. In conjunction with healthcare providers, the scientists are jointly working towards bettering the quality of the lives of patients who are suffering from myriad injuries, disorders and diseases. Using advanced diagnostic technologies, together with genomic age that optimizes the results of individual patients, they are able to put their focus on medical assistance.
While combining the idea with the latest improved treatments, the disease is determined through different methods of clinical tests hence finding the best solutions for treating diseases. They also try to improve to maximum, the quality of lives those lives suffering from injuries or chronic diseases and growth disorders whose remedies are yet to be discovered.
Lactating mothers and infant health
The foundation also takes care of both mother and the newborn baby's health. More than 10,000 babies are in Mater Mothers Hospital yearly. The health professionals in these hospitals do their best in caring for pregnant women and their babies, after birth.
Healthy development of babies in the womb
Clinical scientists and professionals are jointly researching on incidents that affect mothers during pregnancy and by extension, affecting the unborn babies. The research is aimed at preventing the newborns from suffering as a result of genetic diseases and disorders and also treating them in case they suffer.
All these activities are funded by the Mater Foundation, through the funds collected from lottery draws organized by the Mater Prize Home lottery, which was started in 1954 as the first ever art Union real estate to operate in Queensland. The lottery has since grown over the years, and managed to provide specialized care to thousands of needy patients all over the country, and even internationally.
Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Prize Home Lottery
The RMH is among the oldest hospitals found in Victoria. The lottery run by the hospital does not only offer an excellent opportunity to win a luxurious prize home but also allows you to indirectly be part of the efforts towards fulfilling the RMH mission of providing excellent medical care to all.
The hospital was established in the God Rush period when there was a population surge in Melbourne. It was started by the City campus of RMH and Royal Park campus, as "Melbourne Hospital meant for "Immigrants Aid Society" in the years 1848 and 1853. Having association with numerous universities, and research institutes across the city, The RMH is one of the city's primary teaching hospitals.
The RMH Foundation works tirelessly towards enhanced community health by supporting:
- Innovative research
- Quality healthcare services
- Education of healthcare professionals in the within the hospital
The RMH Foundation ensures that the hospital is able to provide quality healthcare for patients through purchasing life-saving top notch equipment and making sure that the research teams are relentlessly searching for better procedures for treating patients.
The RMH raises funds to support its noble mission through: organizing Prize home Lotteries, donations and monthly contributions, Wills and Bequests, Music therapy and Finlay Macrae research Fund. In addition to these, The RMH has partnered with Charity Greeting Cards to provide a variety of cards that fit all events, to help the "Outpatient Transformation Project. They have also formulated a new concept dubbed "In Memory" which entails preparation of a gift in memory of a loved one hence in the process, contributing in a great way, towards making a big difference in the lives of all who depend on the RMH.
What the RMH does with the accumulated funds
The funds raised through all the above activities go a long way to perform the following activities undertaken by the Royal Melbourne Hospital:
The RMH' main focus is on research. The funds raised from lotteries are utilized in supporting several research activities, which incorporate the "Associate Professor of nursing research together with "Executive Director of Research". It also funded the initiation of the "Research Grant Program" which cost about $2million, in the year 2009.
Purchase of latest state of the art technological equipment
Every year, the RMH foundation puts some of its funds into purchasing new life-saving equipment besides ensuring enhanced amenities for patients.
The RMH also allocates some funds to special projects which include: Mobile X-Ray facilities, management systems of the flow of patients, cardiology pacemaker and also, cooling blankets.
Outpatient transformation projects
This is a new project developed and funded by RMH at a cost of $2.25 million, which provides: Improved wide corridors and ceilings, 14 multi-disciplinary treatment rooms, big consulting rooms with modern medical equipment and large built-in space.
The RMH offers numerous other services to the community which includes:
- In-Reach residential care services, which offer low and high care in the hospital's residential care facilities.
- Outpatient department
- RMH special research
- RMH volunteer services
The money collected from the sale of tickets in the RMH prize home lotteries goes into funding all these activities. You can be the next winner of an already furnished, luxurious home which the grand prize in this lottery. Apart from winning the grand prize, the RMH offers some subscription prizes to ten fortunate subscribers, on top of holiday attractive holiday packages. Above all, the funds collected go into the noble mission of offering quality services to the RMH patients.