Sunday, November 15, 2015


Oh people, what I am going to write happened four days ago, 12 November 2015, but it’s like it happened last night, and I am still so excited!!! Yes, you read the title right: he won! Before you read any further I want to say that we are totally thrilled about this win. Not just because It was Grant who won (and very deservedly so!!!), but because he was the only finalist who works hands on in the field with the homeless. With making Grant the winner of a nation-wide awards event it really seems that people have opened their hearts to the homeless and to helping the homeless, and this is wonderful news. Going to post some photos here and I do have to apologize, I still have to figure out how to get the flash on my phone to work...
Already one happy chappy, before the winners were announced :-)
Of course you all know by now what amazing works Grant does helping the homeless and others in need, and it is a huge honour for me to work beside him. Grant helps in more ways than people know, and he has been doing this for years, ever since he got himself back together a bit while being homeless after he got discharged from the hospital with a back brace and a walking frame. Not only has he been doing heaps for others, he also encouraged and inspired many who were better off to do their bit for the disadvantaged as well, and so he has a lot to do with much of the good stuff that is happening around here. Grant has come so far, from being on a successful career path, to getting horrifically injured, to becoming homeless, to helping other homeless get on their feet and do it himself too, and after all that still continuing to help the homeless and others in need, and now the Community Leader Award 2015... I don't know about you, but I am in awe...  
Would have loved to post a photo here from Grant helping, but we try to keep the helping discreet and don't take photos of it. So, here's a photo of the Awards night
And on 12 November, people, all his passion to help the homeless and others in need has been officially acknowledged. Of course, acknowledgement comes first and foremost from the people he helps. Seeing them turn their lives around, seeing them walk straighter and talk more confidently are all confirmations that what he is doing is awesome and important and changes the world for at least the people he helps. Great formal acknowledgement though came quite a few weeks ago, when Grant received an email saying that he had been nominated for The Catholic Leader’s “Community Leader Awards 2015”, and that he was one of the semi-finalists.  Great cheer, great fun, very joyous, because it is of course a huge honour to be nominated for such an amazing sounding award. Being one of the semi-finalists made it even more exciting. We were just about dancing and singing that day, we were THAT excited! And because Grant was a semi-finalist, he was invited to a cocktail party where the winner would be announced. He invited me to come along, and of course for the ladies the issue always is and always will be “What am I going to wear!” Although I do like a cocktail I am not really a frequent cocktail party goer, but once there my choice didn’t seem too bad, haha.
I think we're both pulling off the cocktail party style quite OK, haha

 Some time before the cocktail party Grant was told he had progressed to the finals and was asked to record a video clip, which he of course did, talking with great passion about what he does and how he sees the community come together. We had a lovely night at the Francis Rush Centre, on the grounds of the beautiful St Stephen’s Cathedral. They had the red carpet spread out for us WOOHOO, they looked after us very, very well with yummy finger foods and drinks, there was excellent live music, and we were in the company of around 200 truly amazing people. It was a bit nerve wrecking; of course, when you are a finalist, having by-passed so many others nation-wide and being so close to winning, winning is what you hope for.


And then the prizes were announced. Grant’s category was the last one, “Community Leader of the Year”. When he was announced as the winner, my right arm went straight up in the air, the left one holding my phone for photos haha. I was so happy and so was he. I think we both - and many with us - grinned from ear to ear. He did a spontaneous speech that everyone loved – they were all talking about how genuine it was. Sorry, I don’t remember a lot of what he said because I was so excited and taking shaky pictures haha, sorry. But everyone else just loved what he said and how he said it. He got lots of handshakes and congratulations. It was a great night. Apart from an awesome certificate, rolled up with a beautiful ribbon around it, he received an original framed painting with a little plaque “The Catholic Leader – Community Leader of the Year 2015”. Just beautiful.
The winner, in front of the screen with the three finalists on it.

How happy is he, painting in one hand, certificate in the other :-)

Archbishop Mark Coleridge congratulating Grant.

Grant and the beautiful painting he won
Like I said at the start, this award means a lot, not just to Grant but also to me. Not just because he won it (which is truly awesome), but because it was awarded for helping our fellow men, women and children in need. It shows that people notice “heart”, they are open to people who put into action that saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, they acknowledge helping those in need as something that is crucial in our community. I hope this also means that people who have in any way been involved in and inspired by the choice of winner will go out in the field more, and with their actions help those in need more, give more, and see more.

Everyone has a story, and once you hear it, it changes everything… Grant's is one of overcoming adversity, more than once... A trooper, all the way!!! 


Written by Bernie the Polite Girl for The Polite Team.