Give me freedom

I spent a few hours behind bars this morning.

Today I broadcast my 98.5 Sonshine FM radio programme from Fremantle Prison, where I was held captive while I asked people to donate towards Cystic Fibrosis WA so that I could be released.

Let me say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who donated and to everyone who helped promote the event via their blog or through email.

During the morning I chatted to my regular Friday morning guests, Jill Bonanno and Mic Cullen, as well as a number of other guests who were at the prison to help the cause.

I talked to Western Australia’s first female Premier and current Federal Member for Fremantle, Dr. Carmen Lawrence, as well as a local priest, John Meagher, who is a direct descendant of one of the original convicts sent to WA and several other very interesting people.

Two of my guests this morning, Sarah Quinn and Mitch Messer, suffer from Cystic Fibrosis and were able to tell first hand of the punishing routines they face each day to simply stay alive. Sarah is just 22 and has already had a double lung transplant. They were absolutely inspirational.

I also spoke to Peter Tagliaferri, Mayor of Fremantle, whose father and grandfather both spent time inside the prison during World War II because of their Italian heritage.

Bevan Beaver, the Executive Manager of Fremantle Prison, spoke to me about the prison’s history and how it was built with convict labour. It’s hard to believe that the cramped, inhuman cells still held prisoners up until 1991. One of these days I’m going to have to make time to go on one of the prison tours to get a better understanding of the place.

Other interviewees included Alex Poor, Darren Schmidtke, and Luke Walker. It was a busy morning punctuated by all kinds of songs about either freedom or prison.

As for the cause of today’s excersize, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common life threatening, recessive genetic condition affecting Australian children and is the second most common life-shortening, childhood onset inherited disorder in the United States. For such a serious condition it really doesn’t get a lot of attention.

You can read more about Cystic Fibrosis in this post.

While I’ve already managed to break free, it’s not too late to donate. If you’d like to give to a great cause, simply click here then scroll down the page and select Convicts for a Cause Donation. Type ‘Rodney Olsen’ into the text box and select the amount you’d like to donate.

Donations can be accepted on Visa or MasterCard. Please keep in mind that the amounts are in Australian Dollars and of course the tax deductibility is only available in Australia. If you’re not in Australia and you’d like to work out the exchange rate you can work it out through this currency converter.

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The day has arrived

As I type this post I’m only a few hours away from being locked in a small cell at Fremantle Prison.

At 9 o’clock Perth time this morning the door will close behind me and I’ll start broadcasting my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM. If you want to try listening in to all the fun we’re likely to have you can click here then click the Listen Now live streaming button. If you’re wondering about the time difference just click here to see what 9 o’clock will be in your part of the world. I’ll be broadcasting until midday Perth time.

The Programme Director has found a lot of music with a jail or freedom feel so we’re planning to milk it for all it’s worth. I’ll also be chatting to quite a number of people who are connected to the cause of Cystic Fibrosis.

If you want full details of how to donate and the cause behind my short prison stay, just read my previous post. The basics are I’ll be asking people to donate towards Cystic Fibrosis WA so that I can be released. I need your help to pull off my own prison break.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common life threatening, recessive genetic condition affecting Australian children and is the second most common life-shortening, childhood onset inherited disorder in the United States. For such a serious condition it really doesn’t get a lot of attention.

If you’d like to help me out simply click here then scroll down the page and select Convicts for a Cause Donation. Type ‘Rodney Olsen’ into the text box and select the amount you’d like to donate.

Donations can be accepted on Visa or MasterCard. Please keep in mind that the amounts are in Australian Dollars and of course the tax deductibility is only available in Australia. If you’re not in Australia and you’d like to work out the exchange rate you can work it out through this currency converter.

Thank you for your help with this. Together we can make a very big difference for families who can really do with our support and encouragement.

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Enjoying the wild life

I really enjoy relaxing with friends … even the furry kind.

We took advantage of yesterday’s public holiday here in Australia to head to Whiteman Park for the afternoon with the family. We only live about five or ten minutes from Whiteman Park so it was a handy place to catch up with some of our extended family.

Once inside Whiteman Park we headed to Caversham Wildlife Park, Perth’s premier native animal park.

It was great seeing and touching the variety of animals and birds that they care for but my favourite part of the day would have to be spending time in the kangaroo enclosure. It was wonderful to be able to feed and touch the roos. They are such magnificent animals and there are dozens of them roaming free in quite a large area. There were several with joeys either in pouches or just out of pouches.

The kangaroo in the picture was having a relaxing time laying around on the grass so I decided to join him. (Click the photo for a better look.)

I might post some other kangaroo or koala pictures later.

If you’re thinking of visiting Perth, make sure you get in touch. I’m looking for an excuse to head back to spend some more time with the kangaroos.

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Someone's definitely got issues

Ever find something little really annoying you?

Can you shrug it off and just let it go?

Are you able to realise that the world isn’t going to end, even if it is something that makes you want to scream?

I hate apostrophes in the wrong place but I can live with the fact that others use them incorrectly. I hate the way that some people behave in traffic but worrying about it gets me nowhere so I just let it go. Some people have opinions that are so obviously ludicrous that it could really get under my skin if I let it.

I have come to realise that not everyone in the world thinks and acts the same way that I do and I’m fine with that. To tell the truth, the world would be a boring place if everyone was like me.

Some people aren’t quite as forgiving. Some people get so annoyed by the little things in life that they buy domain names to let everyone know about what’s pushing their buttons.

If you could set up a URL to highlight something that annoys you, what would it be?

(Spotted at Seth’s Blog.)

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Lest We Forget

ANZAC Day, the 25th of April, has been described as Australia’s most important national occasion.

It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

While the date is aligned with that event in the First World War, the day is a remembrance of all those who have been to war to protect our freedom.

My parents served in the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War. (That’s my dad in the picture.)

War is a terrible thing but I am grateful for the courage and sacrifice of those who fought for our country. I shudder when I imagine what it would be like to face a hostile enemy, knowing that any moment could be my last. I would hate to have to go to war. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to say goodbye to my loved ones, not knowing if I’d ever see them again. Having kids of my own, I don’t even want to think about the parents that have seen their children go to war.

ANZAC Day isn’t about glorifying war, it’s about paying our respects to those who put their lives on the line for their countrymen and the generations to come.

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