Looking back, moving forward

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Foundation Founding Patron Walter Mikac explains the importance of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

By Walter Mikac, Founding Patron

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation was set up as legacy to my daughters and to recognise their loss of potential in the world.Walter Mikac

The Foundation began in my parents' (Milka and Danny Mikac) loungeroom with Phil West, Port Arthur survivors Gaye and John Fidler and other friends. We started with the thought that even if the Foundation was only around for a few years and helped a handful of children then it would be worth doing.

The big challenge in the early days was raising funds to keep it going. We didn't have ongoing funding when we began so it was a struggle. We were very fortunate that 3AW came on board straight away with the support of Clark Forbes and Neil Mitchell. The support of many other prominent business people then followed. Steve Vizard was a major figure in those early days and contributed his boardroom and expertise.

Sixteen years on, I am staggered that the Foundation is still growing. There are always new plans to help more and more kids each year. We aim for children to be safe and protected. The Foundation is all about the future.

These days, I work as a pharmacist and motivational speaker. I share my story in the hope of inspiring others. My talks provide insight into the things that helped me deal with such a huge unexpected life challenge. When I speak, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation is an integral part of the conversation. The Foundation has helped me survive and then thrive.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is a great thing that has come from tragic circumstances. It allows my daughters to be remembered for the positive contribution the organisation has in our society, both now and in generations to come.

I said at the girls' funeral, I truly believe the power of love and creation will always triumph over the power of destruction and revenge.

For more information on Walter's talks, visit Walter's website.

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