Jemena mates turn out for sick comrade

In May over 250 people turned out at Doutta Galla Bowls Club in Essendon to pay tribute to and raise funds for longtime Jemena member Shane Hayes, who has been recently diagnosed with stage-4 brain cancer. His comrades organised a stunningly successful fundraiser, supported by the ETU.

Workmates from near and afar attended, along with their families, while scores of kids were kept busy with plenty of activities. Organiser Matt Boyd said, “no one left with an empty belly or empty-handed”, with great support from sponsors decking out food and giveaways for the crowd.

Pat Hurley, Brad Tregear, Leigh Grattan, Evan Ryan, Kevin Ritchie, Jason Showler and their families helped organise the day, where $46,000 was raised. The union and the ETU Victorian Power Industry Shop Stewards contributed over $5,000.

The funds will go towards supporting Shane through the next year as he battles the disease, which doctors have said is terminal.

Jemena, X Power, Arthur’s, Construct, Benchmark, Kamikaze, Pascoe Vale Hotel, Belgian Beer Café Southbank, Kilmore Racing Club and Essendon Wine Bar all contributed money or goods to be raffled off or given out. Al and Angelo from Celebrations Bottle Shop Strathmore were also particularly generous, along with all the other individuals who donated or helped on the day to make it such a success.

Shane’s family were incredibly grateful, including his wife Sheryl and children Reagan, Tiarni and Mitchell.

Organiser Matt Boyd said the day showed the “strength of the union, as bonds were strong between members in good times and bad”. He said, “The union isn’t just about supporting each other through an EBA campaign or an issue at work, it’s about supporting each other in any time of need.”