Enormity is a not for profit, community based teenage committee that was formed in 1996 to Involve young people in positive real life, entrepreneurial, community and fun activities/events, change community attitude towards young people and to address the lack of relevant affordable entertainment for their age group, attacking boredom and associated problems.
Over the past 22 years members of the committee have conducted concerts, Easter Egg Hunts, raised funds for worthwhile charities through the staging of events, met and talked with Prime Ministers, State Governors and have contributed to their community.
The group’s public appeal for the donation of winter coats for those in need or homeless has raised and distributed over 99,200 items including coats from Elle McPherson, Kevin Sheedy, Collette Dinnigan and singing group Killing Heidi. Prime Ministers John Howard, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull have also contributed.
The committee members through their actions learnt from both their failures and successes. They challenged what was the norm and in the process gained valuable real life experiences.
*Click headings below for more information;
• Involve young people in positive real life, entrepreneurial, community and fun activities/events.
• Change community attitude towards young people.
• Assist the community wherever possible.
• Address the lack of relevant affordable entertainment for their age group and therefore attacking boredom and associated problems.
• Experience success and minimise failure.
• Be honest, earnest, create and have fun.
+ Achievements & Awards?
• Anna Paice, inaugural President, member of the Tasmanian Youth Consultative Committee 1999-2000. Current teaching at UTAS.
• Naomi Howard, inaugural Vice President of Enormity, became a member of the 2001 National Youth Roundtable and was awarded Central Coast Council’s 2002 Australia Day Youth Award.
• Karena Brown, inaugural Treasurer of Enormity, received the 2007 Tasmanian Young Achievers Regional Initiative Award.
• Sara Southwick – Past Member, as a 2nd year nursing & midwifery student voluntarily worked in a remote Tanzanian hospital, to help save lives.Equipment & materials were funded by Sara & donations.
• Morgan Brown – Past Treasurer – Barrister VIC Bar.
• Anna Mansfield – Past Secretary, Product Manager French Connection.
• Emily White, Past President, 2004 Australia Day Youth Award – Central Coast Council, AFS Exchange student, Switzerland.
• Jess Jacobson, Past President, Rotary Exchange student - France 2006. Jess was awarded the Tasmanian Young Achievers Community Award in 2009. Founded Tasmanian branch of OakTree. Awarded the 2013 Tom Harvey Award for Citizenship.
• Laura Richardson, Past Treasurer, took part in a 5 week Rotary International Group Study Exchange Program in New York 2010. Rotaract Vice President 2010. Guest Speaker at an United Nations conference speaking on putting a stop to human trafficking and child prostitution.
• Chloe Spicer, current President, 2010 Australia Day Youth Award - Central Coast Council.
• Leah Lynd, Past President, 2011 Australia Day Youth Award - Central Coast Council.
• Emma Smith, Past President, Mum, Anglicare - Family Mental Health Support Services.
• Young Australian of the Year Awards, Regional Initiative category, reaching Finals in 1998, Semi Finals 1999, 2000 & 2001. (Awards are normally only for individuals).
• Young Australian of the Year Awards, Community Service category, reaching Semi Finals in 1999, 2000 & 2001.
• Awarded 2001 Tasmania Day Awards for Community Service by His Excellency Sir Guy Green, Governor of Tasmania.
• Awarded the Central Coast Council’s 1998 Australia Day Youth Award.
• Awarded the Central Coast Council’s 2001 Australia Day Community Events Award.
• Nationally recognised by the Salvation Army with a national “Certificate of Appreciation” for community service - national appeal “Commonwealth Bank National Coat Day”.
• “Certificates of Appreciation” received from; St. Vincent De Pauls, Royal Flying Doctors Service of Tasmania, Royal Guide Dogs, Australian Heart Foundation, Camp Quality, CanTeen, Nixon Street Primary School & The Make a Wish Foundation.
• 2002 National “Can Do Community Award” for Tasmania, presented by Deputy Prime Minister Jon Anderson to Enormity in Alice Springs.
• 2004, 2005, 2009 Young Achievers Award, reached the semi finals in the categories of Community Service and Regional Initiative.
(NB Young Achievers Awards & Young Australian of the Year Awards are channelled towards individuals not groups, so to reach finals is indeed an achievement - never deemed to win)
+ Initial Enormity Events?
• Regular film nights – hiring movies from national distributors and holding nights at the Ulverstone Civic Centre.
• Regular social nights – hiring disc jockeys & local function rooms.
• “Kids Day Out” – An annual event held 3rd Friday of Xmas holidays where members provide free entertainment for children U/10. Free face painting, balloons, sweets, soft drinks, fruit and hair colouring. Xmas tree decorated with Santa listening to children’s wishes. Public are also asked to bring along any unwanted toys for recycling.
• “RockPool” – An annual event held the 1st Saturday after school has gone back. A charity youth rock concert aimed at providing young and upcoming bands an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience. Proceeds have assisted Camp Quality, CanTeen and the Nixon Street Primary School Library where $1900 of library books were purchased to replace those damaged by fire.
• “The Charity Golf Day” – An annual event raising funds for worthwhile charities. Make a Wish, Guide Dogs, Flying Doctors, Heart Foundation & Cancer Council have been past recipients.
• “Easter Egg Hunt” – An annual event for children U/10 at Hiscutt Park Penguin. Groups of 10 children are taken to a spot where in a controlled non-competitive environment seek treats. Each child receives equal amount of same treats.
Community minded activities included:
• Performing the Easter Egg Hunt in another style for local primary school Sacred Heart’s Fete.
• After hearing of a drinking water shortage in Coonabarrabran NSW, driving to Burnie then through to Launceston (350km) to airfreight 10 cartons of Tasmanian Rainwater to thirsty fire-fighters. Had only $200 in bank to achieve it, but was successful in gaining donated water and airfreighting.
• Assisted Central Coast Council with drafting of municipality’s Youth Policy.
• Donated $1000 to the Ulverstone Skate Park project. A bench seat was purchased with a plaque recognising Enormity’s contribution.
• World Suicide Day 2004 – held a sausage sizzle in Ulverstone with funds raised $100 donated to Parakaleo a suicide prevention institution.
Commonwealth Bank National Coat Day:
• This appeal commenced in 1997 in the Ulverstone area and was the result of when a friend of the group became homeless and was basically living on the streets. Members of the group “borrowed” a coat out of the group’s Founder’s car and gave it to their friend.
• Realising there must be more people in similar circumstances around the state the group contacted School Student Councils asking them to come on board and conduct the appeal in their local area. Statewide, over 800 coats and other clothing was received.
• Enormity utilised the Family Services of the Salvation Army, St Vincent De Pauls and Lifeline for the redistribution of coats directly to those in need.
• Not satisfied at just Tasmania, with the financial assistance of the local Service Clubs a delegation set off interstate to attract national partnerships and the participation of other school Student Representative Councils to duplicate the appeal nationally.
• During this interstate visit and through the efforts of Senator John Watson, the delegation was able to privately meet with Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney. Mr. Howard gladly donated his personal coat on the spot, immediately following making a public announcement to the national media outlining the appeal and launching the inaugural National Coat Day in year 1998.
• The Commonwealth Bank of Australia formed a partnership with Enormity to take the appeal all around Australia through financial assistance totalling $45K over 3 years.
• Enormity travelled interstate to meet face to face with supporters and new schools to gain participation in a nationals effort help those that are homeless and in need. Now in its 20th year Enormity, (along with around 3500 young volunteers nationally), have received and distributed around 99,200 coats to the homeless and needy of Australia and are hoping to reach the 100,000th coat this year, 2018.
Enormity has also directly approached and received coat donations from:
• His Excellency, Sir Eric Neal, Governor of South Australia.
• His Excellency, Gordon Samuels Governor of New South Wales.
• Elle McPherson.
• Collette Dinnigan.
• Kevin Sheedy.
• State Premiers Jim Bacon (TAS), Tony Rundle (TAS), Richard Court & Geoff Gallop (WA), Mike Rann (SA), Steve Bracks (VIC), Shane Stone (NT).
• Pop group “Killing Heidi”.
• State & Federal politicians Tim Fischer, Jocelyn Newman, Senator Nick Sherry (TAS), Senator Kate Lundy (ACT), Senator Ruth Webber (WA), Senator Claire Moore (Qld), Jann McFarlane MP (WA), Nicola Roxon MP (VIC) Senator Andrew Bartlett, Kevin Rudd MP (Foreign Affairs portfolio, Qld), Maria Vamvakinou MP (VIC), and Bob McMullan MP (Treasury portfolio, ACT). Sid Sidebottom MHR, Paula Wreidt MHA, Sue Napier MHA, Colin Rattray MLC, Norma Jamieson MLC & Sue Smith MLC - just to mention a few.
• The International Association of Adolescent Health the organisation Child & Youth Friendly, Ottawa have contacted Enormity requesting that the appeal be taken internationally. Members have travelled to New Zealand successfully gaining the participation of several schools and youth committees.
• Enormity is searching for means of visiting other international countries to discuss and initiate methods of actually achieving in taking the appeal globally. Past President Jess Jacobson was accepted as a Rotary Exchange student for France, having intentions initiating appeal during her time over there in 2006.
• Prime Minister John Howard, along with the Canadian High Commission has already provided their congratulations and blessings in our efforts.
+ The Next Step?
• Through the success of Enormity the Federal Department of Family and Community Services along with the Tasmanian Community Fund have provided funding for the pilot project of duplicating the structure and concept of Enormity in other rural municipalities around Tasmania.
• The project of 3 years targeted the rurally isolated municipalities of Dorset, Break O Day, Tasman and Huon Valley. Half way through, valuable partnerships have been formed with each, with the groups “Fewcha” (Dorset), “Rehash” (Tasman) and “R-evolution” (Huon Valley) whom themselves are making a mark on their communities.
+ “Rock the Coast” & “UNLEASHED”?
• Enormity contacted Student Councils, youth service providers, Councils along the NW Coast to gather information and support for a National Youth Week regional concert featuring a national headline band.
• From August 2001 the group planned, coordinated and instigated actions to achieve such.
• Major bands, Jebediah & Pollyanna were secured along with 9 Tasmanian bands.
• On Saturday April 13th 2002, Enormity conducted what was touted as the largest event in Tasmania for National Youth Week 2002 at the Ulverstone Football Ground.
• An estimated crowd of 2000 attended the event, with patrons originating from as far away as Hobart, Scottsdale, Rosebery and Queenstown.
• In 2003 “Rock the Coast” became “UNLEASHED” with the concert expanding to a rolling three day concert held in three regional areas of Tasmania – Huonville (South), Scottsdale (North East) & Ulverstone (North West). The locations were selected, as they are rurally isolated having a low-income base.
• “UNLEASHED” featured national headline band, Frenzal Rhomb and provided 15 local bands an opportunity to play in support.
+ Latest Event?
See www.santarun.com.au for more information
• Attended the 2008 launch of the Las Vegas Santa Run, forming the "World Santa Run Alliance" with Liverpool UK and Las Vegas USA.
• In July 2009 will be attending the global launch of the "World Santa Challenge" in Liverpool, taking with us the world trophy a hand-carved Huon Pine Santa on top of a Tasmanian Blackwood base and encased in Tasmanian Myrtle.
• The trophy will become the annual award for the organisation that has the most Santas in their run, with groups from all around the world competing. Life of the trophy expected 50-60years, hopefully with the adopted nickname of "SAN-TAS", promoting Tasmania for the same period of time.
• Annually we will be contacting the winning organisation to promote sister youth relationships with their community, building an international network of friends, culture, ideas and events.
• Guest presenters at the “From Dreams to Reality Conference” – shaping your community through smart practice. A conference for rural and regional communities, Boonah, Queensland 9-11 May 2003, supported by the Queensland Government, RM Williams, SE Queensland Institute of TAFE, The Bremer Institute of TAFE and Rural Economic Development Institute.
• Guest presenters “TAFE in Touch, Youth in Focus Forum”, Burnie TAFE Campus 9th July 2003. Workshop theme “The Use of Arts to Engage Young People”.
• Guest Presenters State Conference, Child Health Association at East Devonport 13th September 2003.
• Guest facilitator at the Victorian Youth Week commencing 25th August 2003, Melbourne & again in Ballarat as guest presenter & facilitator.
• Cherie French a past student of William Light r-12 School, Adelaide was inspired by Enormity and has chosen event management as a career.
• Carl Kulfleitner a past student of Helensvale High School, QLD was presented with a Community Award by the Gold Coast Council in conducting the national launch of National Coat Day.