Diana Butler(Tasmania)

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the Care for Africa Foundation

Diana Butler

Diana Butler’s humanitarian efforts have been recognised through awards including the 2012 Telstra Business Women’s Community and Government award for Tasmania (national finalist), 2016 Order of Australia Medal and the Rotary International’s Paul Harris Medal.

Along with her work with Care for Africa, Diana works as an After Hours Nurse Manager at Tasmania’s busiest regional hospital, Launceston General.

Care for Africa originated through a chance conversation Diana had in 2005 with a Tanzanian medical intern who came from Tarime. Tarime has 340,000 people and only three qualified doctors in northern Tanzania. The Care for Africa Foundation formed after a group of emergency nurses raised enough money to send a shipping container to Tarime packed with medical aid. The transport was sponsored by the Deloraine Rotary Club.

In 2011, Care for Africa acquired land to build a volunteer accommodation centre with the capacity to house 30 volunteers including doctors, nurses, teachers, builders and specialists. One of Diana’s goals is to engage young Australians to participate not only in volunteering, but project fundraising and sponsorship of the program. As a result, up to 60-100 volunteers travel to Tarime each year.

Since its inception 10 years ago, Care for Africa has provided the Tarime District with:

nine deep-water wells which provide safe, clean drinking water to six impoverished communities;

crucial health care for up to 5,000 primary school children via screening for treatment of malaria, intestinal parasites and treatment of exotic diseases;

referrals for major surgeries, dental and ophthalmology and funding for remedial care;

construction of sanitation blocks at community schools to replace unhygienic latrines;

sponsorship of private education for uniquely disadvantaged and at risk children;

developing and supporting social enterprise programs such as sewing groups, bee keeping and subsistence aquaculture to empower local communities; and

nine shipping containers of medical and educational aid including two ambulances used as mobile health clinics and a tractor with tilling implements to cultivate the land for school breakfast programs.