Contact Details

60 Main Street
Great Western, VIC 3377

P: 0419 316 920

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, funds have been donated to East Grampians Health Service (Ararat Hospital) for projects dedicated in honour of Sgt McNally and other fallen police members.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.

In May, 2015 the Ararat Branch announced a $150,000 project for the Peri-operative Unit which included the redesign and refurbishment of the Theatre Recovery and Day Procedure. In conjunction with this 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 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 fundraising project that will honour the memory of Jason Bond through the naming of the Jason Bond Perioperative Unit at East Grampians Health Service.”

In May, 2019 at their 18th annual  “Gala Nights of Nights’ the Ararat Branch in conjunction with the Foundation announced the future naming of the Blue Ribbon Foundation Wing as part of the forthcoming redevelopment of the Medical Imaging Department. In addition, the Ararat Branch have committed to supporting the purchase of a replacement General X Ray Machine which will cost in the vicinity of $235,000.

The 2022 year, marks 20 years since the Ararat Branch was formed, and in that time the branch has worked towards a number of major projects, culminating in the completion of the current project, donating $235,000 towards a general x-ray for the EGHS Medical Imaging Department, bringing total donations to EGHS over the past 20 years to $1 million.

The Ararat Branch is indebted to the ongoing generosity of the community and together with our strong partnership with the Emmerson Financial Group, ACE Radio, AME Systems are committed to supporting East Grampians Health Service make a difference for all in the community.

Ararat Branch: Dianne Radford OAM (President), Sgt Shaun Allen (Vice President),  Jess Baird (Hon Secretary), Chris Emmerson (Hon Treasurer), Stuart Kerr, Peter McIntosh, Dean Pinniger, Andrew Freeman, Jodie Holwell,  Sgt Sandra Marriner

2022 East Grampians Health Service dinner acknowledging the support of the Blue Ribbon Foundation Ararat Branch. Current Ararat Branch members, L-R, Jodie Holwell, Shaun Allen, Jess Seres, Stuart Kerr, Dean Pinniger, Nick Bush, Sandra Marriner, Dianne Radford, VPBRF CEO Neil Soullier, and Peter McIntosh (absent Chris Emmerson and Kirsty Millson).