Ballarat mourns charity worker Shane Dorney

Charity worker Shane Dorney pictured in 2013. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Charity worker Shane Dorney pictured in 2013. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

THERE wasn’t a thing in this world that could hold Shane Dorney back from achieving his dreams.

A larrikin and go-getter, Mr Dorney will be remembered for his dedication to helping others.

The Ballarat man, who had been battling an aggressive form of stomach cancer for the past 20 months, died on Sunday.

Tributes have flowed for the father of two who was widely known for his community projects in Ballarat, none more so than his work to save the much-loved Delacombe Community House and Grant Street benefit charity.

Described as the man with a heart of gold, Mr Dorney touched the entire Ballarat community with his passion and determination.

Mr Dorney’s wife Patricia described her husband as cheeky.

However, she said it was his generous nature  to put the needs of others  ahead of himself that made him adored by so many.

“We’re extremely proud of him and his generosity, lovingness, kindness, and the great work he has done for the SJD Foundation and Delacombe Education and Training Centre,” she said.

“He cared for other people and the community.”

In his children’s eyes, he was father of the year, every year.

“He was very determined and dedicated to get the SJD Foundation Ballarat going, and we’re very proud of him for that,” daughter Kayla said.

“We’re extremely proud of him and his generosity, lovingness, kindness, and the great work he has done for the SJD Foundation and Delacombe Education and Training Centre." - Patricia Dorney

The driving force behind SJD Foundation, formally JFD Foundation, Mr Dorney bought the former Delacombe Community House in September 2012 with funds from a mortgage on his family home.

The Leawarra Crescent house, which had brought together a cross-section of the area’s immigrant and disadvantaged population for English classes and educational activities lost operational funding and was sold by Child and Family Services Ballarat.

The new name of the Delacombe Education and Training Centre was given to the building and the Ballarat Secondary College “Link Up” program for young mothers took over the site, providing young mothers with programs to help improve their future. 

For many, Mr Dorney’s contribution was life-changing.

To him, he saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to build a lasting legacy for the foundation he created – to remember his father John Francis Dorney, who was as community-minded as his son.

But that wasn’t enough for Mr Dorney.

To ensure the community house would never be sold-off again, he looked at ways to raise funds for the SJD Foundation and continue his work long after his battle with cancer was lost.

Three units were built and sold at Sebastopol, which helped ensure the Delacombe Education and Training Centre would continue to remain a vital community asset.

During this time, Mr Dorney never watched on from the sidelines; he was always at the forefront, answering phone calls and collecting donations. 

He made Ballarat better and was a true inspiration to others that all it takes is the actions of one person to help make that difference.

A man of no good fortune, Mr Dorney did whatever it took with everyone else in mind. 

Ballarat will forever remember him for his generosity, love and optimism. 

Mr Dorney’s family hopes that they can continue to raise funds for the SJD Foundation in memory of their beloved husband and father.

A funeral service will be held at The Ballarat Funeral Centre,1114 Doveton Street North, on Friday, August 22, at 3pm.

alicia.thomas@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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