Tim Campbell returns to Ararat Gala Night 2024

Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell, one of most versatile and much loved entertainers and avid Blue Ribbon supporter is returning to Ararat for our 2024 Gala Night. 

When he’s not Dancing With the Stars or entertaining on Channel 9’s Carols By Candlelight, Tim is performing the classic 70s and 80s dance floor hits with his band from his ARIA top 30 and iTunes top 10 album High School Disco, traveling around the country in concert and at special events. 

Tim is certainly a star of both stage and screen from leading television roles, hosting national prime TV shows and lead roles in stage shows. 

Also appearing, Darrell “Mud” Madex is a local favourite and will be part of the supporting entertainment first up, then later in night will be joined by his talented sons Jake and Mitchell Madex to present the Mudda’s and will have you dancing the night way. 

Location: Ararat Town Hall 
Date: 31 May 2024 
Time: 7pm 

The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation – Ararat Branch “Gala Night” is a major fundraising with all proceeds from this year’s event directed towards a new project for East Grampians Health Service (Ararat Hospital).

@Blue Ribbon

A special day on the weekend to honour Sergeant Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller with the 26th annual Blue Ribbon Cup played between Hawthorn and St Kilda.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attended and paid special tribute to Gary and Rodney and the other Police members throughout Australia who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

A special thank you to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and Tasmania Police Commissioner Donna Adams for presenting the Cup.

Rodney’s son Jimmy Miller and Gary’s nephew Jonathan presented the Best on Ground awards. All players also received a Blue Ribbon medal to mark the occasion. Plus some fans were given ‘Boots’ blue heeler police puppies post game by the winning Hawks players.

Congratulations to all the teams and individuals who completed the 5km walk and the 5km and 10km run.
5km Angela Taylor Memorial Shield Police Team Event.
1. Craigieburn AfterBurners
2. Team Collingwood
3. AFP Southern Command

Last Sunday we celebrated the 35th running of the Angela Taylor Memorial Run/Walk at Albert Park Lake.

Over 1280 competitors took part in the 5km walk/run or the 10km run. Our largest field ever.

The Craigieburn AfterBurners took out the 5km Angela Taylor Memorial Shield for Police members for the third year in a row. Team Collingwood and AFP Southern Command finished second and third.

Cooking food, what’s not to like about fine folks at ESS Super.

The 10km Shield for Police Emergency Services and Health Care Services was won by Team AFP Southern Command for the second year in a row and the third time in four years. Brunswick UNI and Academy Cruisers finished second and third.

BankVic took out the inaugural award for corporate and general public teams in the 5km run.

Academy Cruisers won the largest team award with 122 members, which is a great effort and the highest fundraisers went to Team MACPAC 2.0.

Plenty of four-legged friends took part and they all received a nice treat at the end.

A special thank you to Arthur and Marilyn Taylor for presenting the awards with Chief Commissioner Shane Patton and Blue Ribbon Foundation Chairman David Mann.

A Special thanks to BankVic for their valued support.

Also our volunteers, Vic Road Runners, SES and Blue Knights for helping on the day.

I am fortunate to be the first recipient of a PTSD Assistance Dog through the Blue Ribbon Assistance Dog initiative – in partnership with Fighting PTSD VicPol, the Code 9 Foundation and Assistance Dogs Australia to whom I am extremely grateful, as this program has made such a significant change to my life. 

I was diagnosed with PTSD in March 2021 and due to ill health I retired from VicPol in November 2022, after 22 years in the job.

I thoroughly enjoyed my career and was fortunate enough to have a seamless and well supported exit onto the ESSS pension. I didn’t attempt to return to VicPol after my diagnoses and instead threw myself into my recovery. 

In January 2023 I became aware of the Blue Ribbon Assistance Dog Program and after talking myself out of it a millions times and overthinking it completely I finally decided to apply for a dog. Fast forward to October 2023 and I have a beautiful assistance dog called Fallon matched to me. Fallon is now my regular sidekick and accompanies me everywhere. Kids sport, their school – where I now volunteer in the classroom a few hours a week, shopping, the gym and caravanning. I am doing things now that I could not undertake before. I can’t completely explain why, but when he is out with me in public, somehow, my PTSD is often under control. 

The purpose of this post is to reach out to other Retired VicPol Veterans (with a PTSD diagnosis) and encourage them to think about the benefits of an assistance dog. Blue Ribbon and Fighting PTSD Victoria have funded dogs in training right now and are keen to match suitable applicants.  I am more than happy for anyone to PM me and ask me any questions, have a chat about it etc.  Check out the link below and have a read of the application form, then hit me up with any questions / fears / worries you have via messenger. Here are a few things that swirled around my head: 

• My PTSD is not bad enough for an assistance dog. There is someone worse who needs one so I’ll leave it for them. 

• It’s too hard to fill out the application form. 

• Everyone will stare at me when I am in public with a dog with a jacket on.

• What if I get the dog then decide I don’t want it. 

• I can’t possibly travel interstate for a week-long course to get my dog

• I do not want to pick up dog poo! 

There are solutions to most of the above questions and likely to most of the questions / worries you may have (except for the dog poo one. I have had to get used to picking it up!)

An Assistance Dog is not for everyone but if you think it may be for you then please get in touch with the Blue Ribbon Foundation or directly with me. Can I also add that the level of confidentiality and compassion by the Blue Ribbon Foundation and ADA was exceptional.

Cheers,

Cherie Arnell 



On 13th February, devasting bushfires swept through the Grampians with many homes destroyed in Pomonal, along with community infrastructure, businesses and properties.

Just days earlier on Sunday, 4th February the Pomonal community came together in support of our annual Grampians “Ride to Remember” by providing morning tea for the 500+ riders, pillions, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Ride Marshalls and Support Teams and did an amazing job.

We have been contacted by many motorcycle enthusiasts, especially those who did our 2024 Ride and have offered their assistance or want to give a donation – we thank you all and am sure the Pomonal community are so grateful for the outpouring of support.

So, we have set up the below “Giving Back to the Pomonal community” try-booking site and if you would like to offer your support by giving a donation through the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation – Ararat Branch this will assist in their recovery.  Please note donation $2 or more are tax deductible. https://www.trybooking.com/au/donate/blueribbonpomonal

Over 500 riders and pillions took part in the 2024 Grampians “Ride to Remember” held on Sunday, February 4th, with this year’s signature regional event being one of the largest ever.

Waved off from Ararat, riders proceeded to journey via the rural countryside to Pomonal where morning tea was served, then continued around both Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale, headed to Halls Gap then onto Lake Bellfield before returning back through Halls Gap. Riders were able see the procession of the bikes going the other way which was reported as one of the highlights of the Ride. The Ride ended back in Ararat for the popular Show N Shine.

Ride Chairman, Dean Pinniger highlighted the valuable support sponsors together with great assistance from all the staff including Ararat RSL & Lions Club, AME Systems, Ararat Motorcycle Club, East Grampians Health Service, the Blue Ribbon Foundation, Ararat Branch members, partners and the many community volunteers.

Ararat Branch President Dianne Radford presented a cheque for $40,000 to East Grampians Health Services Board Vice Chairman and CEO Nick Bush.