Homeless support

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Homeless support

One of the Limestone Coast’s largest charity fundraisers returned for the first time in four years last week, attracting big name guest speakers and raising more than $125,000 for charity.

The Limestone Coast Support Homeless People Luncheon was held at The Barn Palais on Friday after a COVID-induced hiatus, raising money for ac.care to help those in need.

Premier Peter Malanauskus, ac.care chief executive officer Shane Maddocks, marketing and communications manager Jason Wallace and homelessness and community services manager Trish Spark were guest speakers on the day, highlighting the significance of the event.

Almost 500 people attended the luncheon, which included a raffle, an auction conducted by Andrew Whan, a lucky-key draw and a powerful Welcome to Country delivered by Tim Brennan.

A last-minute auction item for dinner at Parliament House with Peter Malinauskas for 10 people was the highest bid of the day fetching $7000.

Premier Malinauskas delivered a well-received speech highlighting the solutions he hopes to implement to help the state’s homeless population.

Premier Malinauskas began his speech by thanking Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell for drawing his attention to the event, as well as praising The Barn as an extraordinary live music venue in South Australia.

The Premier drew attention to the Australia’s Human Development Index, which is a statistical composite index of life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators, used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.

The index is put together by the United Nations which then ranks over 190 countries using the scores.

Australia currently ranks fifth in the world which Premier Malinauskas described as “pretty remarkable”.

“That is a statistical representation of something I think we all know, is that we are fortunate to call this place home, the challenge is making sure the relative degree of fortune is enjoyed by as many people as possible,” he said.

The Premier spoke of not leaving anyone behind, something he believes the country has always been good at.

Premier Malinauskas also spoke on a slightly more worrying statistic, explaining when the Human Development Index is further adjusted for income inequality, Australia slides down to 11th in the ranking.

“What we are starting to see is a disconnect between our standard of living and to the extent to which it is enjoyed by all,” he said.

Premier Malinauskas challenged Australia to transform into a better country for the future.

“Australia needs to transform from a lucky country to a smarter, more complex country that has an economy of the future, which is not disconnected from what the region can achieve as it has highly productive sustainable agriculture,” he said.

“This community matters to the future of our state, as you are productive and you are sustainable, and there will be a lot more growth and opportunity that comes with that in the South East in the future, you have a sense of community to ensure that growth is provided with everyone and does not leave anyone behind.”

Mr Maddocks spoke on the role of ac.care and the community in helping those who are vulnerable.

“Your coming together and supporting this cause is incredible,” Mr Maddocks told the room.

“Everybody here is here to support a better future for our community and we are grateful for the support of every single one of you because together we can make a difference.

“We certainly know at ac.care every day the value and support that we get from our community means that we can achieve great things when we work together.

“We are making changes in the lives of people everyday and the work that we do is critical, it does make a difference.

“We can change the lives of people who are vulnerable when we do work together, and we can continue to build on our achievements in partnership with the community.

“Your contributions do make a difference to these people that walk through our doors.”

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