“Thank God for you, Australia really needs this charity”.

“Thank God for you, Australia really needs this charity.”

The words are still ringing in my ears. It is not everyday a Prince will tell you this. If I may rewind why did a Prince tell me this?

HRH Prince of Wales as you probably are aware was recently in Australia and I was invited to attend a function at the Opera House that he would be attending.

Invites like this are not easy to come by and looking around the room on the night it is a little intimidating mingling with these high profile dignitaries.

What made me, just an ordinary girl, special enough to be in this room tonight?

It was a decision I made a number of months ago, that I could no longer sit back. I could no longer let Australia go without. If I didn’t step up who would? It was that decision that brought me here this night.

I decided it was time Australia had a charity like the one HRH Prince of Wales founded 20 years ago and is Patron of in the UK, In Kind Direct. It redistributes excess products from retailers to charities via an online website. A simple system but one Australia doesn’t have.

I am now working with his organization to bring this to Australia, these charities have been operating in the UK and USA for 20 -30 years and it is time our charities in Australia had access to this system. The USA charity has redistributed over $7b worth of stock since inception.

I am working to establish In Kind Direct – Australia, exciting yes! It just shows the power of one. You can make a decision to make something happen, to make a stand and say this is no longer acceptable.

In the hustle and bustle of the crowded room at the Opera House I was lucky enough to connect with HRH Prince of Wales for that moment in time. I had been told by the UK operations of In Kind Direct that he was very excited about the opportunity of a charity like In Kind Direct operating in Australia and it was instantly recognisable in his eye when we spoke, that this project is very dear to him.

That is when he said to me “Thank God for you, Australia really needs this charity”. What a reality check. That exact moment in time when the Prince acknowledged what I was doing. I had been saying that it was up to me to ‘step up’ and make this happen because if I didn’t perhaps it would be another 20 – 30 years before it did. I had put everything on hold to make this happen and it was amazing to hear him acknowledge this.

It is interesting how when you meet someone in person they are so different to the image you have of them through the media and I have found this with a number of high profile people I have met recently.

The royal couple is so delightful together, the busy schedule they had and genuine attempt to connect with each person they met was admirable. It was an absolute honor, to have been invited to such an amazing night.

When you come face to face with royalty it doesn’t matter how far you think you may have come in your career it is very humbling. My mind could only think how proud my parents would have been of their little girl if they had seen this day.

Good working class English coal mining folk who came to Australia to give their children a better life. Now here I am creating a charity that will enable all Australian charities, a game changer for Australians, working with a UK charity to make this happen and with HRH Prince of Wales no less. You know what I think this was my destiny.

I raise my champagne glass to my parents and thank them for the belief the had in me and telling me I was always capable of doing anything I put my mind to.

Cheers

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