We are enjoying having former Executive Director Helen Imber back at Australian Communities Foundation (ACF). Helen has been making a valuable contribution as Volunteer Program Coordinator and has shared some of her thoughts about attending an event to remember Scarlet Spain. 

A wonderful part of my return to ACF is the opportunity to meet new and re meet existing donors and see what is happening in their lives.  Where they are in their giving? What is their burning passion?  How can ACF be part of and help them fulfil those giving passions?

I recently represented ACF at the presentation of a special gift of prints to the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). The occasion marked the 5th anniversary of the death of Scarlet Spain, a musical and artistic young woman.

She died after a catastrophic accident that left her clinging to life for 5 days before succumbing to her injuries.  Those five days changed many people’s lives family, friend’s as well as doctors and nurses who looked after Scarlet. In those days, so many of Scarlet’s friends came to the hospital that at times there were 30 visitors in her room. Their singing and the playing of music was integral in the way Scarlet’s friends chose to be with her.

When Simon and Victoria, Scarlet’s parents, were ushered into a small room 5 years ago to hear news no parent wants to hear, they looked around the room and their gaze found no beauty and no diversion.  The prints will go to those rooms to bring beauty and some diversion.

Scarlet’s family set up a sub fund at ACF to keep her memory of alive. The fund supports creative projects in developing communities, focusing on children and young people and support art and music in future generations.

Returning to the presentation at the RCH, Simon and Victoria had contacted 20 artists/printmakers. Simon, an artist himself, sent each of them a piece of lino and asked them to make a lino-cut in response to the poem Musee des Beaux Arts by WH Auden, a favourite of Scarlet’s.

The result is an edition of 40 prints per artist. These artists include some of Australia’s finest.

The presentation to the RMH was, as Simon put it so eloquently, to bring some beauty to the RMH.  The rest of the prints are for sale to support Scarlet’s Fund.

I wish Simon, Victoria, Georgia and all associated with Scarlet’s Fund every success and recommend everyone go to their website.