Afternoon Reception for Volunteers and Supporters of the Pyjama Foundation
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Pyjama Foundation, Mrs Bronwyn Sheehan; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
As parents and grandparents, Kaye and I are particularly honoured to welcome the extended Pyjama Foundation ‘family’ to Government House once again.
Also as parents and grandparents, Kaye and I strongly embrace and support the Pyjama Foundation’s driving ethos that trusting, caring relationships are of the utmost importance to children.
Like good grounding in literacy, numeracy and life skills that the Foundation also provides, they are valuable for their own sake, and vital to the quality of later life for children.
But we must face the unpalatable fact that tens of thousands of Australian children have no experience of a stable, protective home environment, or of encouragement to learn and develop.
Fortunately, there are groups in the community who are indisputably ‘on the side’ of children who have been placed in care as a result.
The extraordinary generosity of foster and kinship carers in Queensland means that these children can experience a connection with caring, supportive adults in a healthy home environment.
The Pyjama Foundation’s wonderful programs and activities complement the selfless dedication of foster carers.
The tens of thousands of hours of practical literacy and numeracy support provided by the aptly-named Pyjama Angels is highly impressive in its own right.
The less visible benefits of the program are equally important.
Weekly visits by the ‘Angels’ reinforce for these children the message that they are loved and valued for their own sake.
The encouragement and example of the ‘Angels’ expand the children’s experience of healthy adult attachments, encouraging self-confidence and the development of invaluable life skills.
For vulnerable children who have faced significant disadvantage, it is difficult to think of more precious gifts.
On behalf of the people of Queensland, I sincerely thank the executive and staff of the Pyjama Foundation, its ambassadors – many prominent in children’s literature – and the extraordinary Pyjama Angels, for their unwavering commitment to the well-being of children in care all over our State.
I thank wholeheartedly the Foundation’s government and private sector sponsors for their great generosity in making so much of the Foundation’s work possible.
Together, let us now celebrate these achievements with some well-earned Government House hospitality, and wish the Foundation every success in the future. Thank you.