Trans-Help banks on Oprah intervention

Trans-Help's Dianne Carroll is in the running to receive $100,000 from American Express when she appears on TV with talk show host Oprah

December 2, 2010

The founder of truck driver charity group the Trans-Help Foundation, Dianne Carroll, is in the running to receive $100,000 from American Express.

As part of Oprah Winfrey’s visit down under,
American Express will reward those who dedicate their time to helping others.

Carroll is one of seven finalists drawn from around Australia to attend the taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show on December 14 in Sydney. The winner will be announced during the event.

A Facebook page has been set up with a video clip of the seven finalists. The charity that receives the most votes will win the $100,000 grant. Voting closes on December 11.

Carroll was nominated by Mari Benson, who received help from Trans-Help after her husband died in a truck accident this year leaving her widowed with four children. Benson will join Carroll at the taping of the show.

"To be a finalist out of 585 entries is astounding, and after five years of seeking funding to no avail, to win this competition will enable us to sustain and then increase our services which are increasing daily," Carroll says.

"This is not only good for the Trans-Help Foundation but for the wellbeing of the transport industry nationally."

A popular sight on the road, the Tarcutta-based Trans-Help runs a support van which counsels distressed truck drivers and conducts free health checks.

The van service began in 2008 to help drivers who do not have time to visit a doctor for health check-ups. It tests blood pressure, weight, height and glucose and cholesterol levels.

Trans-Help also partners depression awareness group BeyondBlue to help drivers suffering from mental illness. Tests are carried out by volunteer nurses, while a counsellor is also provided.

Carroll was earlier this year awarded an Order of Australia Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2010 Honours List.

Carroll is trying to secure long-term funding for Trans-Help to build a medical centre at Tarcutta dedicated to helping truck drivers and establishing a 24-hour counselling service.

Those wishing to vote for Dianne Carroll should go to the Trans-Help Foundation's website at

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