Lions Club are part of community life in Australia – in the cities and in the country. Our volunteer initiatives also stretch around the globe. Lions Clubs are easily identified by their distinctive Logo, the trademark of our International Association, and the ‘We Serve’ motto.
Our Local History
The Apple-MAQ Lions Club has evolved over the years through innovative and complimentary projects designed and implemented by our founder, David Phillips. David’s strategy has always incorporated ways to aid the disabled and disadvantaged. The result is a multi-faceted collage of resources to help those in need – for Australians and in developing nations.
We started as an Apple users Computer Club in 1984. This was a place for novice Apple computer users to meet with advanced users to learn about their computers and software, often their first exposure to the then new Internet.
In 1992, Computer Aid for Disabled and Disadvantaged (CADD) was created to provide refurbished used computers to aid the disabled and disadvantaged. CADD was expanded to include sending refurbished computer and school equipment overseas.
At this point David and his core group decided to formally affiliate with Lions Australia/International and the Apple-MAQ Lions Club was formed with twenty members.
Since then, the Club has further evolved into an innovative community services organisation under the name Lions Aid & Relief Centre (LARC). This non-profit Aid & Relief Centre provides quality education and health equipment and supplies to those in needs. LARC combines our technology based roots with creative repurposing of personal, health and education equipment for local and international aid and relief. Aid reaches communities within Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.
For many years, David has partnered with the Australian Commonwealth government to run Work for the Dole programs in Brisbane. In 2012, it was decided to expand the use of the woodworking equipment and participants from this program to create wooden toys for distribution to children at childrens hospitals and wooden puzzles for children and residents at seniors nursing homes.
The Lions International Convention was held in Sydney in 2010. At this event, David was introduced to the hand-cranked Personal Energy Transportation (PET) carts designed for use in conditions where ordinary wheelchairs will not work, typically rural areas in developing countries. Subsequent research and a 10 day training trip to PET headquarters in America in 2012 resulted in our ability to produce the devices. Our club is the only manufacturer and distributor of the Personal Energy Transportation (PET) wheelchair outside the US.
Our club has had opportunities to provide refurbished medical equipment to Queenslanders. Sometimes equipment in our inventory can be matched to palliative care patients in partnership with occupational therapists and discharge officers at the Department of Health.
Our club is an active supporter of Lions Recycle for Sight Australia. It is part of the Lions Clubs International Worldwide Eyeglass Recycling Program, headquartered in Queensland and operates throughout Australia and overseas.
Recycle 4 Sight Australia has collected thousands of pairs of used spectacles, sunglasses, new frames and other equipment. The program distributes regraded spectacles overseas for distribution to poor people in need at no expense or obligation on the recipient.
In addition to our core group of volunteers and Lions Club members, our Work for the Dole partnership programs provide labour to refurbish computers and other equipment as well as to construct the wooden toys. Participants benefit from practical work experience and have the opportunity to give back to the community.
The blending of our technology based beginnings and David’s vision to find creative ways to help the disabled, disadvantaged and those in need after natural disasters, has created a unique, environmentally friendly and cost effective group of community support programs. To date, 160 shipping containers of aid relief as reached those in need.
At present, we are proud to be involved with the following programs:
- Natural Disaster Relief
- Overseas Aid for hospitals and schools
- Palliative Care equipment
- Creating Wooden Toys for distribution in Australian Childrens Hospitals
- Producing Personal Energy Transportation (PET) mobility devices
- Work for Dole Training in computer learning and wood working