Sergeant John McNally, a local policeman was killed on the goldfields at Mount Ararat on 16th October 1856 and is buried at the local Cathcart cemetery. He was the first member of the Victoria Police Force to be feloniously slain in the line of duty.
The Ararat Branch of Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation was established in February, 2002 to perpetuate the memory of Sgt McNally and well over $800,000 has been donated to East Grampians Health Service (Ararat Hospital).The annual Gala ‘Night of Nights’ in May is the major fundraiser, together with the annual Grampians ‘Ride to Remember’, which are both supported most generously by the wider community.
Donations to the health service for projects completed since 2002 have included $63,000 for the ‘John McNally’ Emergency Department, $150,000 for the ‘John McNally’ Emergency Helicopter Landing Pad, $136,000 for the ‘John McNally’ Medical Imaging Department for a General and a Portable X Ray Machine in addition to $150,000 for an Image Intensifier and Computorised Radiography, and $50,000 for a new Microscope for the Peri-operative Unit. In 2014 the Ararat Branch donated $150,000 to match a $200,000 contribution from the East Grampians Health Service ‘Building for the Future’ Foundation for the purchase of a new CT Scanner for the ‘John McNally’ Medical Imaging Department.
At the 14th annual Gala ‘Night of Nights’ held in May, 2015 the Ararat Branch announced a new $150,000 project for the Perioperative Unit which included the redesign and refurbishment of the Theatre Recovery and Day Procedure areas to improve workflow for the increasing number of day stay patients. Already over $100,000 has been donated to East Grampians Health Service for this project.
In conjunction with the new project was the important announcement of a new police naming of a local young man, Jason Bond who had only been a member of Victoria Police for a short time, a police officer in training who died as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 2011. In announcing the new project Ararat Branch President, Terry Weeks said: “It is such a pleasure for the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation and Ararat Branch to announce this new fundraising project that will honour the memory of Jason Bond through the naming of the Jason Bond Perioperative Unit at East Grampians Health Service.”
The Ararat Branch is indebted to the ongoing generosity of the community and beyond together with our strong partnership with the Emmerson Financial Group and ACE Radio Network, in addition to many other businesses and organisations that continue to commit annually.
The Ararat Branch has a clear vision and a full commitment to East Grampians Health Service and with the support of the Foundation, the Ararat and District community, businesses, organisations, sponsors, donors and volunteers this generosity will continue to make a difference to our local health service providing the best of facilities and equipment so to provide a quality service for all residents.
Ararat Branch: Terry Weeks OAM (President), Dianne Radford (Hon Secretary), Chris Emmerson (Hon Treasurer), Stuart Kerr, Peter McIntosh, Chris Emmerson, Nick Bush, Dean Pinniger, Sgt Shaun Allen, Jodie Holwell, Jess Baird, Sgt Sandra Marriner