Start a Heart – Funded

14 September, 2020 Update: New hard paddles for defibrillators donated.

We are very grateful to STRYKER, a medical supply company in Sydney who have donated 5 brand new hard paddles for the 5 Defibrillators that were donated from Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney.

The defibrillators are in the shipping container that is expected to arrive in Kurdistan in a few weeks time.

STRYKER organised import of the new hard paddles and they were given to me recently by their representative Cate Ayers. We are so thankful for their generosity – retail price for the 5 hard paddles is $A3,730.

My job is now to get the hard paddles freighted to Kurdistan so that they can be distributed along with the defibrillaters.

If you would like to contribute to the cost of freight please go to our home page and simply click the DONATE button.

Thank you.

2020 Medical Equipment on its way to Sinjar Hospital

We have been given donations of medical equipment by generous Donors that will be delivered to Sinjar Hospital in Northern Iraq. The equipment is packed into our shipping container heading for Kurdistan right now.

History of the Sinjar Region and Yazidi people:

Sinjar has been the centre of the homeland for Yazidi (religious minority) people for generations. Sinjar is the city that was decimated by ISIS/Daesh on 3 August, 2014. On that day, thousands of Yazidi people fled their homes up onto Mt Sinjar to escape ISIS. It is believed that approximately 10,000+ Yazidi men, boys and old people were killed. Others perished on the mountain in the summer heat, in many cases because they had fled without water and food. About 5,000 women and girls were kidnapped by ISIS and have been held in captivity and sold many times as sex slaves in markets. There are still over 2,000 women and girls missing – either still in captivity of ISIS or killed and missing. Further atrocities were committed on 15 August 2014, in the village of Kojo/Cujo/Cujoo with 1,826 residents. ISIS separated the men from the women and all the men (except one young man who pretended to be dead from the shots he received) were killed and over 1,000 Yazidi women and children were kidnapped. Some of these women and girls are still in the hands of ISIS, some have been rescued by relatives paying a ransom to ISIS, some are still in captivity in refugee camps in Syria and some were beheaded by ISIS only last year.

Shortly after this genocide, 300,000+ Yazidi people fled into Syria and Kurdistan seeking refuge. They were placed into refugee camps in Kurdistan and have lived in the tents in these huge camps in shocking conditions for the past 6 years. Summer temperatures reach over 45 degrees and in the tents over 50 degrees. Winter brings chilling winds, rain in huge amounts that cause flooding of the tents and snow that has brought down roofing and buildings in the camps.

Since July 2020 close to 10,000 Yazidi’s have returned to Sinjar to try and rebuild their lives, their homes, their schools, their shops and employment opportunities. They are seeking response and assistance from the Iraqi government to acknowledge this genocide and assist in the rebuilding of Sinjar.

Sinjar Hospital:

The hospital in Sinjar is a small 10 bed hospital with very little medical equipment. The needs are immense especially during this period of COVID-19. Last year, Kim and I took a new oxygen concentrator in our luggage to Kurdistan which was then transported to Sinjar hospital. Also a transportable oxygen concentrator for the ambulance was donated by a Doctor in Germany. These were the first oxygen concentrators given to the hospital and ambulance. Prior to our donation, patients had to be transported on a 6 hour journey in the one ambulance to a hospital in Mosul – many patients did not survive the journey.

Medical Equipment Donations for Sinjar Hospital:

Our Yazidi Doctor friend Dr Hussein had given us a list of medical items that are required by Sinjar hospital. Dr Hussein then updated me with the urgent request for oxygen.

Shortly after this request an anonymous donor made the offer to supply Sinjar hospital with the following new medical equipment:

  • 1 x 10 litre Oxygen concentrator
  • 1 x Oxygen Filling Station
  • 1 x Oxygen cylinder
  • Spare parts and Oxygen Analysers

Together these items ensure that oxygen can be on hand on a continual basis for use in the hospital.

We have also been able to pack into our shipping container a donated Defibrillator, a Paediatric Ventilator, a stethoscope and 680 x Masks for Sinjar hospital.

Our Heartfelt thanks to:

We give thanks for the very generous donation of new medical equipment from our private donor in Australia

We acknowledge and thank Alethea Gold, Australian Ambassador for NGO smartAID for connecting us with the donor.

We thank John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia (through their biomedical department) for the donation of medical equipment and a private donor from Melbourne for the masks. JHH supplied many items for our last shipping container and we truly appreciate their support for our ongoing projects.

#MeetingMedicalNeeds #SupplyingLifesavingOxygen #ThankYouToOurDonors #OfferingLifetoRefugees #GivingHope

2020 Outstanding Humanitarian of Year Award

On 21 July, I was honoured with an award from my Rotary Club, who nominated me for the Rotary International Zone 8 (Australasian) “Outstanding Humanitarian of Year Award 2020”. Each Rotary District is part of 6 worldwide Zones, with Australia’s being part of Zone 8, which includes oceanic nations like Australia, New Zealand, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

I am overwhelmed and humbled by this acknowledgement of the work of Operation Hope Australia Ltd in supporting Refugees and Internally displaced people in Northern Iraq.

I accepted this award publicly acknowledging my deep thanks to my husband Kim Henley for  all the love and support he has given to me and with our projects of Operation Hope.

Thanks also to my Rotary Club – Toronto New South Wales, Australia

I am so proud to share this award with Sarah Brown for her incredible work with indigenous people in Central Australia requiring dialysis. Her work can be viewed on the webpage:

2020 Shipping Container Project

All finished – feeling very happy as we close the door on the shipping container.

The 40 ft container was collected earlier this week and it will be shipped from Botany Bay in Sydney early next week.

Arrival is expected into Duhok, Kurdistan by mid September.

The value of the medical equipment (replaced as new) is $A1.7 million Australian dollars.

Contents will be distributed as follows:

  • Medical equipment to Directorate of Health, Duhok for distribution into their 11 hospitals in the Duhok province. Duhok Province was chosen because it houses the most Refugeees and Internally Displaced People in Kurdistan.
  • Medical books and Journals to The College of Medicine in Mosul.
  • 2,913 x “Womens Health Kits” to NGO The Lotus Flower. The kits will be distributed during Womens Health Workshops in 3 Refugee camps where The Lotus flower have women’s centres. Beneficiaries will be women and girls from the camps.
  • Medical equipment donated specifically for use in Sinjar Hospital. Sinjar is the city in Iraq where ISIS committed genocide of the Yazidi people in 2014. The displaced Yazidi’s fled to Kurdistan and have been living in refugee camps for 6 years.

From the photos attached (below) you can see that many people from many organisations from many towns were involved in donating the medical equipment, donating medical books and journals, making the women’s health kits, donating financially and either collecting/delivering the items. Thank you to everyone who helped out in some way – it truly has been a team effort.

If you would like to contribute to the outstanding shipping costs and transportation then we would love to receive your contributions:

  1. Go to our webpage: and hit the DONATE button OR
  2. Make a deposit to our Australian Bank Account as follows: Account Name: Operation Hope Australia Pty Ltd BSB: 034 087 Account Number: 045791 Bank & Branch:Westpac Banking Corporation, Sherwood Branch, Queensland, Australia.

2020 Shipping Container to Kurdistan

Project Update:

There has been significant progress in filling the 40ft Container with Medical equipment and Women’s Health kits. We hope to have the container on the sea in July heading to Kurdistan. The medical equipment will be distributed throughout hospitals in the Duhok province. The equipment will assist Kurdish residents, Syrian Refugees and Yazidi Displaced people seeking surgery or treatment. The Women’s Health kits will be distributed to women and girls in 3 Refugee Camps by NGO The Lotus Flower. See contents list of shipping container at the end of this report.

We need your help with financial donations:

Due to COVID restrictions our fundraising opportunities have significantly declined. 

Can you help by making a donation to assist in the shipping costs to get the equipment and health kits into Kurdistan?

Donations can be made as follows:

  1. Go to the home page of this website and click the DONATE button
  2. Make a deposit online or at any Westpac Bank as follows: Account Name: Operation Hope Australia Ltd BSB number : 034 087 Account Number: 04 5791
  3. Make a deposit from overseas using IBAN SWIFT Code: WPACAU2S for Westpac Banking Corporation, Sherwood Branch, Queensland.

Donations are tax deductible

Contents of shipping container include:

  • 3 x Hospital Beds
  • 2 x Theatre microscopes
  • 2 x I Beds for Theatre Patients
  • 1 x Baby hospital crib
  • 1 x Infant intensive care unit
  • 1 x transportable humidicrib
  • 1 x physiotherapy unit to assist in Orthopaedic surgery
  • 5 x anaesthetic machines
  • wheelchairs – both for infant and adults and 1 electric
  • 56 x Intravenous Pumps with hundreds of consumables
  • 5 Defibrillators
  • 1 x ECG
  • 6 x Patient monitors
  • Standup Patient mover
  • IV stands
  • Blood fridge
  • 8 x Video Otoscopes
  • 1 x Oxygen Concentrator
  • 2 x Display monitors for theatre
  • 1 x emergency ventilator
  • 1 x Tourniquet inflater and cuffs
  • single use Resuscitator sets
  • walking and mobility aides
  • 2,745 x Women’s Hygiene kits for disribution in an education program in 3 refugee camps
  • Medical books and journals for the College of Medicine in Mosul
  • Medical equipment for Sinjar hospital in Iraq

2019 ABC News Article

ABC journalist Matthew Bedford has written an article about our 2nd Shipping Container project. Click the link below to go straight to the article on ABC news.

We are collecting medical equipment that will be delivered to the Department of Health in Duhok, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq and be distributed through their hospitals in the Duhok Province.

The DOH hospitals provide medical service for all the Kurdish residents and the many thousands of refugees and IDPs living in the camps in the Duhok Province.

We are very grateful to the hospitals that are providing the equipment – Dubbo Private Hospital, Foster Private Hospital, Maitland Private Hospital and Toronto Private Hospital.

Funding is still required to cover the transport costs of the shipping container from Botany Bay, to Mersin, Turkey then overland into Duhok, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.

If you are able to help out, simply click the DONATE button on this website.

Thank you for your support.