Ritchies Testimonials

Diabetes Australia Victoria


Each year the Diabetes Australia Research Trust awards grants to researchers for important diabetes research projects. Dr Andrikopoulos is one researcher who was awarded funding in 2010 for his research into the beta-cell physiology. New grants are awarded every November on World Diabetes Day and there are always many worthwhile projects that miss out.

Dr Andrikopoulos from Melbourne University is studying a condition that causes cells in the pancreas to stop secreting the essential hormone - insulin - to control blood glucose levels. His research could be the key we have been searching for to prevent diabetes.

He says “Through research we have been able to provide better therapies and management strategies that have resulted in an improved quality of life and reduced the burden of diabetes complications. Some significant improvements over the past decade, including pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring, and improved insulin formulations have all been possible as a direct result of the efforts of passionate and dedicated researchers such as myself. I urge you to support medical research so that together we can find a cure for diabetes.”

diabetes lab

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the destruction or dysfunction of insulin-producing beta cells by the immune system. Type 2 diabetes is a condition where beta cells decline more gradually over time, and insulin resistance also plays a large role in the disease.

Diabetes Australia - Victoria is currently raising funds to assist us to award funding to some other vital research projects. With us coming to the end of the financial year, it is a good time for many to make people to make a gift, as it means you do not have to wait for long to receive your tax deduction.

With your support you can help people like Dr Andrikopoulos secure funding for research into diabetes. Please help us fund important research projects so we can better understand the causes of diabetes and, in the future, find a cure.

For more information about Diabetes Australia - Victoria or to make a donation go to www.diabetesvic.org.au or call 1300 136 588.

Who we are

Since 1953 Diabetes Australia - Vic (DA-Vic) has been the peak consumer body and leading charity representing all people affected by diabetes and those at risk. Our purpose is to minimise the impact of diabetes in the community, to help all people affected by diabetes and to contribute to the search for a cure. Our work covers type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, as well as programs for people at risk.

Diabetes facts

  • Diabetes continues to be the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia and the sixth leading cause of death. An estimated 275 Australians develop diabetes every day.
  • 1.5 million Australians have diabetes, but only half know they have it. For every person known to have type 2 diabetes, another is yet to be diagnosed. The cost to the Australian healthcare system of diabetes is estimated to be at least $3 billion.
  • Complications of diabetes are serious and can include heart attacks, strokes, blindness, kidney damage and amputations.

2009 Highlights

  • We contributed $800,000 to our Diabetes Australia Research Trust in support of diabetes research.
  • We increased our membership to 42,000 and enhanced our support and services. Our call centre staff responded 471,000 telephone enquiries and our Advocacy Officer received calls for help from 230 new contacts this year.
  • Our drivers collected clothing and household goods from 143,000 Victorian households.
  • Our state-wide type 2 diabetes prevention initiative, Life! Taking Action on Diabetes, completed its first year. The program is for Victorians aged 50 and over who are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and for all Victorian adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
  • We continued national coordination of the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) program, a five-day self-management program for people with type 1 diabetes.
  • 222 campers aged 8 -17 headed to one of our diabetes camps to gain diabetes management skills and meet new friends.
  • Our community support groups celebrated their 40 year anniversary. We currently have 66 groups involving around 1300 people.
  • We developed Feltman, a culturally appropriate resource for Indigenous Victorians which aims to assist health workers in teaching the community about diabetes.
  • We extended the Cultural Diversity Program to include Macedonian and Spanish resources, adding to the Arabic, Cantonese, Greek Italia, Mandarin, Turkish and Vietnamese resources already on offer.

Thank you

Diabetes Australia - Vic would like to thank Ritchies for their generous support throughout the years. The total donated is more than $200,000 over the last 16 years!

Many of our vital programs do not receive government funding, thus we rely heavily on donations and community support to help the 210,000 Victorians living with diabetes and those at risk.

Diabetes Australia CB Number: 90746


Diamond Creek Fire Brigade

heat camera

The smoke has cleared for Diamond Creek Fire Brigade

Thanks to funds donated by the Ritchies IGA Community Benefit Program, Diamond Creek Fire Brigade now has one of the latest generation Thermal Imaging Cameras. As one of only 15 Thermal Imaging Cameras in a Victorian Fire Station, the device has restored sight to local firefighters working in dangerous situations. It literally allows our firefighters to see through smoke, the number one killer in building fires.

CFA Logo


It detects the infra red radiation given off by all objects and people and means we can now see through all smoke. Where it used to take us minutes to search a smoke filled house, now it will take only seconds - and it's these seconds that count when a life's at stake. It also allows us to find the seat of the fire far more quickly and to more efficiently evaluate the effectiveness of our hose streams. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of firefighting. I have no doubt that this camera will help us save lives in Diamond Creek and also make the workplace for our 60 volunteer firefighters safer. It is easily the best piece of firefighting equipment that I have ever seen.”

heat image

“We couldn't have purchased this equipment without the help of the Diamond Creek Community through the Ritchies' IGA Community Benefit Program. For those who shop at Ritchies IGA and have chosen our Brigade as the fund recipient, 0.05% of their weekly shopping value has been donated to the Brigade. It doesn't sound like a lot but every little bit helps… and, over time, it does add up!

It's the best fundraising concept ever because it requires no extra work on the part of our already very busy volunteers. We are truly grateful to all those who support our Brigade through the Ritchies Community Benefit Program.

If the present level of support from our community continues we hope to purchase a further three cameras in the next few years…we now want all of our appliances to be equipped with a thermal imaging camera.”

Dromana Fire Brigade

Dromana Fire Brigade

Dromana Fire Brigade has been able to purchase thousands of dollars worth of fire fighting equipment, plus a brand new 4WD support vehicle through Ritchies' Community Benefit Card program.

Monthly donations have resulted in this volunteer unit receiving $254,479.49 to date (end May 2011).

“Ritchies' Community Benefit Card program has enabled us to purchase essential equipment for the benefit of the community. It also enables us to purchase the extras on an ongoing basis that make everyone’s life a lot easier.”
Charles King,
Dromana CFA

Dromana Primary School

Dromana Primary School extends a huge thank you to 'The Ritchie's Community Benefit Program'. Since 1983 our community has enabled $263,764.00 to be linked directly to programs that benefit the students at D.P.S.

Last year alone we were able to purchase banks of i-pads to increase access in our Junior school learning centre. Students worked on learning apps which greatly enhanced our literacy program.

In 2015 the money has been aligned with the development of our school boat shed into  a state of the Art ' Marine and Aquatic Learning Centre'. Thank-you Ritchies for such a beneficial community program.


Dylan Hartung Fund

Dylan Hartung

Dylan Hartung is an 8-year-old Australian boy, undergoing medical treatment in New York for Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Unfortunately their medical expenses are not covered by our medical system in Australia; therefore a campaign was launched to raise money for Dylan's treatment in the US.

Dylan is being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, where they have many treatments that are not currently available in Australia. As Dylan requires ongoing medical treatment in the US, the fundraising will continue.

One way you can help is to nominate the Dylan Hartung Fund when you apply for a free Ritchies Community Benefit Card at your local Ritchies supermarket or liquor store.

The CB number is 99498.

For more information on Dylan: www.dylanhartung.net
All donations can be sent to:
Dylan Hartung Fund
Locked bag 5100
Dandenong Letter Centre,
Dandenong. 3175
Victoria, Australia.
Or at any Bendigo Bank in Australia
Account name: Dylan Hartung Fund
BSB No. 633-000 Account no. 123940959


East Bentleigh Primary School

Let's make music!

East Bentleigh Primary School

East Bentleigh Primary School has been able to use some of the $14,079.74 that they have received from Ritchies Community Benefit Program to help put on their school play on September 12th, 2006. Since that time they have received a total of 25,128.27 9end May 2011).

Marianna, Service Supervisor from Ritchies East Bentleigh and Maria, Principal of East Bentleigh Primary are pictured above with students holding a rather large cheque from Ritchies.

The Ice-cream Van pictured below is one of the main props the children have made for their musical.

Ritchies Community Benefit Card helps in so many different ways!

Ebony Jones - Will to Walk

ebony jones

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the Ebony Jones Will to Walk Incorporation, and we hope that support will continue.

A highlight for everyone at the 5th Annual Ball, was to see Ebony walking on crutches with the help of her dedicated aide, Julie. Ebony's improvement to this stage is due, in part, to the therapy she receives which is fully paid by funds raised at our ball.

The funds have also purchased a new laptop computer that Ebony uses everyday at school. Physiotherapy, occupation therapy and private health cover will continue to be funded. Ebony's medical team have informed us that surgery will be necessary in the near future, all medical costs not covered by private health insurance will also be met.

Each year the funds surplus to Ebony's needs are banked in an investment account. One of the future visions of this incorporation is to establish a resource and information centre to assist the families of children with a disability. These families cope with a great deal of additional financial and emotional stress and many have little or no assistance. Our goal is to offer these families advice and direction, emotional support, help with sourcing equipment and also, a chance to get together with others in the same situation. We are very pleased to say that we have got the ball rolling and have been in contact with several families and have offered support and advice.

Again, we sincerely thank you for your help! If you would like to help us through Ritchies Community Benefit Program, you can nominate Ebony Jones Will to Walk Inc when you apply for your free Ritchies Community Benefit Card at any Ritchies store.

Our CB number is: 98761.





More than 400 young people each week are helped by Emerald’s non-profit youth services group, Echo, which in turn has been financially supported by Ritchies Community Benefit Program. Customers shopping at Ritchies who have nominated Echo Inc had helped Ritchies donate over $112,880.00 at the end of April 2010.

Ritchies Emerald, Store Manager, Peter Van Enk, along with Community Benefit promotions officer, Penny Sayer (both on left) presented a plaque to Echo Director, Wayne Collins and Echo Youth Worker, Kyria Perry on the right.

If you would like to help Echo to provide services to the youth of the area, you can nominate them to receive a donation from Ritchies Community Benefit Program.

Their CB number is 94190.

ECHO Inc - Emerald Club for Hope and Outreach

ECHO’s director Wayne Collins

ECHO Inc. was founded over 20 years ago as a completely volunteer organisation. From a team of 2 adult and 6 teenage volunteers, ECHO now has a limited number of staff and an extraordinary team of over 80 volunteer young people, young adults and adults.

ECHO's focus is on reaching and empowering teenagers and young adults (aged 12 - 25 years) in Emerald and surrounding areas. ECHO is an active member of a vibrant and supportive community in Emerald. The amazing community support received by ECHO is clearly illustrated by the generous contributions ECHO has received over many years from the Ritchie's Community Benefit Card System.

As a non-profit organisation ECHO relies on the support of many individuals and groups as well as grant support from philanthropic trusts and government grants. The Ritchie's support is a vital part of enabling ECHO to continue to serve teenagers and young people in Emerald.

ECHO's activities are all peer-led programs. A number of ECHO's programs run on a weekly basis during term time and others run weekly throughout the year. In addition ECHO has regular camps, conferences and training opportunities all designed to support, encourage and equip teenagers & young adults. Through contact with young people in our programs, ECHO is able to provide professional crisis support to those individuals in need - this is a vital service as ECHO is the only non-government agency in the Emerald area providing crisis and support services specifically for young people.

Based on census data and attendance records, it is estimated that in a single term, ECHO will have contact with approximately 25% of the population in the Emerald area aged 12 - 18 years.

On behalf of ECHO, I would like to thank Ritchie's and their customers who have supported ECHO through the Ritchie's
Community Benefit Card System.

Wayne Collins,
ECHO Director


Edithvale Fire Brigade

edithvale group

Firstly on behalf of the Edithvale Volunteer Fire Brigade I would like to thank Ritchies Stores Pty Ltd, in particular Aspendale Gardens store on the Community Benefit Scheme. This scheme has allowed the Brigade to undertake projects and update equipment that would not of been possible without the financial assistance the scheme provides, and the Brigade is extremely appreciative. Edithvale Fire Brigade has received over 83,152.93 to date (end May 2011). Some of this money was used for two major projects.

edithvale presentation

It enable and assisted us to undertake Stage 1 of the Fire Station Renovation which was proposed at approx $40,000.00, the station had not undergone any capital works since it was built by the members in 1969, The station was in need of upgrades and modification to enable us to meet current requirements, including new training rooms, offices and workshops. To date the stage 1 renovations are complete and now we are looking to undertake stage 2.

Another project Community Scheme Funds were used was for the upgrade of lighting and generators on the Brigade owned Salvage Fire Truck. This truck is called upon anywhere in our region, and if need be, anywhere in the state, it carries lighting and generators, salvage equipment including wet/dry vacuum cleaners, chain saws, petrol driven metal saws, flooding pumps, overhaul -salvage and property protection equipment.

The Generators on the vehicle were old, heavy units, requiring up to 5 people to deploy, wasting time and resources and new smaller and more efficient generators were sought.

With the Community Benefit Scheme this enabled us to purchase:

  • 2 new Honda 2.6KVA Generators
  • 6 High tower light stands
  • 2 Base mount lights and leads
  • 16 Tower lights

This amounted to over $6,000.00 in equipment that has already been used countless times for scene lighting at fires and incidents as well as training.

The Brigade has found the Community Benefit scheme to be very rewarding and successful and allowed us to undertake projects that would not of been possible without scheme. The Brigade also appreciates and thanks the community support it receives with this program.


Andy Sneikus
1st Lieutenant
Manager Finance and Administration
Edithvale Fire Brigade

Emerald Ambulance Auxiliary


Emerald Ambulance

Community support for Emerald Ambulance Auxiliary has reached over $125,830.54 (end May 2011). The occasion was recognised with the presentation of a plaque from Ritchie's Supermarket in Emerald to Team Manager Mike Burgess and President/Treasurer Graeme Legge at Emerald Branch Station.

This wonderful contribution, accumulated over a number of years, is a credit to local community support. This most generous funding has enabled the Auxiliary to purchase some equipment carried on ambulances, it has enabled the purchase of training gear and it has enabled the purchase of amenities for the benefit of staff.

Ritchie's Supermarket in Emerald is complimented for its great support and goodwill towards the Auxiliary throughout the process. Such support has benefited the local Ambulance Branch and all in the community who've benefited from the Service.

You can help the great work the Emerald Ambulance does in the community by nominating them as the beneficiary of a donation from Ritchies Community Benefit Program.

Their CB number is 94191.