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Movember 2019 – Team Canstruct

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With a large portion of the Canstruct team being men, this last quarter of the year we decided that we should focus on Men’s health and the challenges they face.  When we started to look into the issues they face we were startled to learn that across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable.  By starting more conversations and addressing the issues impacting men’s lives we all can start to change the face of men’s health.

On Friday 13 September 2019 the Canstruct Team began Movember fundraising with the face auction. The face auction works by the winning bidder getting to choose a design of moustache the person wears for the month of November.  A professional barber will shape these designs on Tuesday 5 November 2019 in the makeshift Canstruct Nauru Room barber shop.

With our very talented auctioneer Yvette Thorn in control of the afternoon proceedings, 10 men strutted down the catwalk in aid of this very worthy cause and raised an incredible $10,651.  A big shout out must go to all the very generous bidders that supported the Movember fundraiser and the Canstruct team below that are helping to make a bigger impact on men’s health.  We are all waiting with great anticipation for the November moustache design reveal.

A worthy mention must go to Rob Cattle for facilitating the BBQ lunch and to Dan Murphy for his entertaining costume changes throughout the afternoon.

We invite you to visit our Movember fundraiser page and take part on this great cause to help change the face of men’s health.

Rory Murphy returns to Vinnies CEO Sleepout

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This Winter Solstice, Canstruct CEO Rory Murphy relinquished the comforts of home to sleep out under the stars on one of the coldest and longest nights of the year to show support for the more than 100,000 Australian homeless. Rory is a veteran of the Vinnies annual CEO Sleepout having participated three times in the past as part of his commitment to helping raise money and awareness for Australia’s homeless.

This year, Rory managed to generate almost $44,000 in donations in the lead up to the event; an amount that will help provide 138 individual support programs, 363 beds and 1453 meals. ABS Census data has shown that, tonight, more than 116,000 Australians will be without a home to sleep in. That figure as risen 14 percent over the past five years. Rory says the annual sleepout event has given him insight into the destitution faced by so many Australians year round.

“It’s heartbreaking to know so many people are spending nights on the streets without the basic comforts of a bed or a blanket. Doing this event helps to remind me just how privileged we are to have a roof over our heads.

“I don’t think many Australians realise just how many people are living in these conditions, and so it’s vital we raise awareness and create a dialogue around this crisis we are facing as a nation.”

Rory is no stranger to charity, having spearheaded Canstruct in raising more than $150,000 for the Puuya Foundation in 2017. This allowed the foundation to build a new community centre and accommodation facilities in Lockhart River. Rory’s family have also founded the Murphy Family Foundation, which has provided $1.5 million in donated funds to charities which support causes that are close to the Murphy family heart.

Rory acknowledged there is still a long way to go to make sure Australian streets remain empty at night. He is calling on all Australians to spare a thought for the homeless. Donations can still be made to help this great cause via the Vinnies CEO Sleepout website.

ANZAC Day speech by Major Andrew White (ret)

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Major Andrew White (ret) was the mouthpiece for Canstruct’s ANZAC Day address on Nauru Island this year. With a military background spanning the better part of two decades, Andrew empirically understands the significance of ANZAC Day commemoration, which he aptly communicated to those in attendance. In a speech that emphasised the sacrifice and unselfish devotion of ANZACs past and present, Andrew also took time to acknowledge the tragic wartime history of Nauru. Andrew was intent on delivering an address inclusive of, and relevant to, the Nauruans, that also served to inform all attendees of the largely untold experiences of the Nauru people during the Second World War. Some reminders of their wartime suffering can still be found within the island’s landscape today. The full transcription of Andrew’s speech can be found below.


Today marks the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli 103 years ago. Like hundreds of thousands of people who gather at memorials around the world – we gather here in Nauru for one of the most significant events in our national calendar.

By your presence here this morning, I know in your hearts and your minds that today is both special and significant. This day is a permanent reminder – that the ANZACs, stood for their countries ideals, freedom and way of life. The ‘ANZAC’ is not a place, nor is it a campaign or a war. And it is certainly not a ceremony or a parade. For many, 1915 represents Australia’s birth as a nation – where we were defined by our character, way of life, and resilience in the face of adversity.

The term ANZAC comes from the words Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. In the modern day I believe the term ANZAC has transcended the physical meaning to be something more spiritual – an inspiration that embodies the qualities of courage, discipline, sacrifice, self-reliance and in Australian terms, that of mateship and a fair go.

Gallipoli lasted eight and a half months. In that time 7,600 Australians and 2,500 New Zealanders were killed; and a further 24,000 were wounded.
Today, it would be remiss of me not to also acknowledge the loss and sacrifice of the Nauruan people as a result of war and hardship.

It is well documented that the Japanese troops occupied Nauru in 1942 during WW2. The Nauruans were poorly treated by the occupying forces and on one occasion 39 leprosy sufferers were loaded onto boats, towed out to sea, and sunk. In 1943 the Japanese deported 1,200 Nauruans to work as labourers in the Chuuk islands. Nauru was finally set free from the Japanese in 1945, and in 1946 those Nauruans sent to Chuuk were returned to Nauru. Sadly only 737 survived Japanese captivity. The remanence of this war still remains visible and scattered across this island and is a reminder of a time when Nauruans also made significant sacrifices for freedom and happiness.

We should not glorify war but we should recognise the sacrifice, commitment and unselfish devotion by those men and women who have served so bravely for their countries. And in many cases knowingly would have understood their fate. We pause today to acknowledge all current and former members of our defence forces – the men and women who represent our country on a daily basis. No Aussie or Kiwi is left untouched when a member of our defence force is injured or killed in action or as part of their duties. It is difficult to comprehend the grief associated with the loss at war. Let us also ensure that we remember the families that endure these losses.

Future generations also need to be reminded that happiness and freedom has a price. For surely if happiness is the product of freedom, then freedom is the reward of courage. We should be grateful to those that have helped preserve our nations and our way of life through their sacrifice. In doing so, we keep bright the memory of those lives. It is in the remembrance of these things that communities across the world come together on this day.

Lest We Forget

Construction for a brand new TB Ward has commenced at the Popendetta Hospital in Oro Province, PNG

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From left Michael Asari, Rodney Rauletta, Erroll Mark and Elgin Darego are part of the Canstruct team building the new TB Ward in Oro

Canstruct is delighted to announce that construction commenced on July 23, 2017 for a new Tuberculosis (TB) Ward. This project has been instigated by the Oro Community Development Project, (OCDP) which is an Australian humanitarian aid organisation.

The Canstruct Supervisor in Oro is James Chatfield who has been moving heaven and earth to get this project off the ground. He leads a strong local team who have been working with Canstruct since 2014 in the Province. Pictured are Michael Asari, Rodney Rauletta, Errol Mark and Elgin Darego installing the foundations and flooring system for the new TB Ward.

The usual Oro tropical weather and the National Elections have played havoc with the progress of the job but the team are determined to see it through. The motivation is entirely the health and wellbeing of local people who desperately need a dedicated Ward for Tuberculosis. The Ward is being constructed using the Force 10 system which is perfect for tropical Pacific environments.

The Oro Community Development Project (OCDP) have commissioned this construction project with Canstruct. OCDP was established in early 2008 and provides assistance in the areas of health and education in Oro Province, PNG. The Popondetta General Hospital is the main provincial hospital in Oro, serving a population estimated to be in excess of 250,000 people. The new TB ward is desperately needed, as at present TB patients are being nursed with other medical patients in one ward. TB is a highly contagious disease so a specific ward for TB patients is a medical necessity. Unfortunately Tuberculosis is rife and increasing in PNG.

Australian father and daughter John and Emily Kleinig from the OCDP first approached Dan Murphy the Project Director for the Oro Bridges project in early 2016 about this project. John and Emily are passionate advocates for OCDP and the Oro Province. They spent many years living in PNG and love the Country! They were impressed with Canstruct’s can do performance in PNG and wanted to align OCDP with Canstruct. Dan and his father Robin share their passion and were immediately keen to help. Canstruct has committed to construct this health facility at no cost. We expect that the building will be complete in September 2017.

To read more on the work of the Oro Community Development Project, click here.

An engineering spectacle says Acting Prime Minister of PNG, Sir Leo Dion

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“The Kumusi Bridge is truly a milestone achievement. To provide this will connect more than 100,000 people and give us more opportunities. An engineering spectacle that we are proud of and I say thank you to the contractors for a job well done. This bridge is a beacon of hope and a symbol of resilience for our country,”

announced Deputy Prime Minister Sir Leo Dion at the official opening of the Kumusi Bridge in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea on Wednesday the 23rd of November, 2016.

The Kumusi Bridge at 285 metres in length is the largest two-lane bridge in PNG. The official opening was a joyous occasion with thousands of people in attendance to witness the dancing and sing sing. VIPS included: Deputy Prime Minister Sir Leo Dion; Minister for National Planning Charles Abel; Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis;Governor or Oro Province Gary Juffa; and The Hon Delilah Gore, Minister Religion, Youth and Community Development.

Charles Abel, the Minister for National Planning in his speech said

“Thankyou to Canstruct. You’ve done a fantastic job.”

Gary Juffa, Governor of Oro Province said:

“We have come to know Canstruct. They have been part of our community. Even when they leave, they will still be in our hearts. They have left a footprint that we will remember forever. We want to thank the Australian people. The bridges represent a wonderful gift from Australia.”

Delilah Gore, Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development and local Member for Sohe:

“These bridges will save lots of lives. It will save the Sohe district.”

From little things, big things grow!

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Three years ago Robin and Margaret Murphy with their family decided to set up the Murphy Family Foundation. Their three sons, Adrian, Rory and Dan got right behind the idea and the Foundation was born.

As Robin explains, he likes to get behind a project

“The important thing for me is being a catalyst. Things can get a life of their own if you just give them a push.”

This is exactly what has happened with the Kuunchi Kakana Centre. Robin happened to meet Tim Fairfax from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation at a Philanthropy event. Tim recommended the Puuya Foundation and introduced Denise Hagan the CEO. Denise explained that it was their dream to build an early years learning centre and Robin straight away offered to help. Robin invited the Board of the Puuya Foundation to visit his Force 10 factory which supplies modular buildings for cyclonic and remote locations. He initially offered to donate a small Force 10 building.

Denise continues

“we then decided to go back to government and we were able to leverage that grant from the Murphys to get significantly more money. It helped us present the case too. I believe this is the first time a partnership like this between government and philanthropy for indigenous early years has been done in Queensland.”

In the end, the Murphy Family Foundation donated $150,000 to the project. In addition, the Murphy Family Foundation provided in-kind support such as helping with drawings, planning and administration.

Robin sums up

“It’s fantastic to see the beautiful smiling children and their families at Kuunchi Kakana. The phrase “from little things, big things grow” sums up what we are all here for – to give these children the best start in life we can.”

Three Bridges now open in PNG

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Canstruct is delighted to announce that three of the Bridges in the Oro Province of PNG are now open. The Girua Bridge is 150 metres in length; the Ambogo Bridge is 100 metres and the Eroro Bridge is 66 metres.

The people of Oro province today celebrated the opening of three vital bridges. These bridges are set to help restore essential services and connect local communities to markets.

The Eroro, Girua and Ambogo bridges were constructed at a total cost of K139 million.

The construction of the Girua, Eroro, and Ambogo bridges is supported by the Australian government through the Transport Sector Support Program.
David Wereh, Secretary for Department of Works; Roy Mumu, Secretary for Department of Transport and James Passmore, Counselor from the Australian High Commission, unveiled the plaque at the Eroro Bridge, the first of the three bridges to be opened.

The Girua and Ambogo Bridges were then officially opened by Oro Governor, Gary Juffa.

Passmore said the achievement is a result of a close partnership between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The heads of Departments of Works and Transport were pleased as Oro’s residents rely on the roads and bridges for access to health services, education, markets and other income generating opportunities.