“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has” - Margaret Mead.
Watch my speech about the Mums for Mums and how your Government is supporting community groups trying to make a difference.
Want to get involved?
Check our the Mums for Mums website & buy your own stylish grey beanie (it's getting cold now anyway, so you might as well). You'll not only stay warm, but also support Mums for Mums and the Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group.
Rob Stokes MP, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and I, honouring of all the mothers and fathers who support their families through thick & thin, and all the other parents who get involved to help them. They are the Legend, Heroes and Champs.
Thank you Mr Speaker,
Congratulating our volunteer organisations, and the support services that help match volunteers to organisations, can never be hard work.
In Australia, but particularly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, which I represent here in Parliament, volunteerism is in our blood.
In Mackellar, I am proud to say, people more often than not solve their own problems.
They see something in the community they are not happy with, they see someone in need, so they get together and actually make a difference.
Take for example, and this is but one of many, the Mums for Mums group. Started by a couple of friends, mothers whose children all attended Newport Public school.
One of their own was diagnosed with brain cancer.
A couple in their prime, working, raising healthy and happy kids. It could have been any one of them.
Offering sympathy is easy. Who could not be sympathetic to such plight? Actually helping, making a real difference, day in, day out, through what can be a long steep road, that’s the hard part.
Unwilling to stand by and watch, this group of mothers decided to band together and help.
Discretely, respectfully, they started supporting the family with frozen meals that could easily be popped in the oven after a hospital visit.
They organised a cleaning service to help unburden an overwhelmed father trying to keep his family together. They helped take care of the kids.
And they were there, providing support, every step of the way.
Seeing what a difference their help made, they were asked again and again to help families in the community who had fallen on hard times.
So they grew into a group of energetic parents learning how to raise money, how to organise, how to provide support.
Tragically, after having gone into remission, brain cancer claimed their friend’s life.
I am honoured to have been joined with my colleague Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and State Minister Rob Stokes, to support the Mums for Mums’ campaign selling brain cancer beanies just last week.
They are raising money, not just to continue their own work, but to support the Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group in memory of their friend.
In supporting this campaign we hope to raise awareness that everyone can do their bit.
Every single one of us can dedicate some of our time to helping someone or something else.
Whether it be spending a Saturday patrolling our beaches, a Sunday back burning the bush, a Thursday night helping out at the local Women’s shelter, a morning at the Be Centre for traumatised children, or joining a group like the Mums for Mums.
I am proud to be part of a Government that recognises the enormous contribution volunteers make to each of our communities.
Which is why we are improving the delivery of community development funding through the redesigned Strong and Resilient Communities Activity, now more closely aligned to the Commonwealth’s constitutional authority.
We are truly committed to supporting community-based organisations that are tackling complex social problems on the ground, day in day out.
SARC will support community organisations wanting to increase people’s sense of belonging and engagement within their own local communities, helping foster cohesion.
It will improve their chances of getting people who are often in desperate circumstances, get the help they need and get their lives back on track.
We have maintained our support for these community organisations with $18 million in Government funding every year.
Under the new grant system, support service organisations will continue to be eligible to apply for funding to support the management and referral of volunteers for projects that meet SARC’s objectives.
In fact we have increased the amount volunteer support service organisations can apply for to $150,000 per project, per year.
It is our hope that SARC will help fund innovative, community-led solutions to social and economic challenges. Because there are often no better placed people to help their community than their own.
Locals who know the people, who know the systems, who know the pitfalls, who are invested in seeing their own thrive; can put their heart and souls into their projects, knowing that this Government supports them.
The funding application is competitive. Because as much as we would want to give endless amounts of money to every organisation wanting to do good, the Government is not an ATM.
The supply of Tax payer’s money is not endless, and just like in the real world, tough decisions must be made.
Including a competitive process into the allocation of grants ensures that money contributed by hard working Australians, is put to the best use it can.
That it will have the maximum impact, that it will help the most people in the best way.
As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”