Official Launch of the Red Shield Appeal in Queensland
Minister representing the Premier and Minister for Trade, the Honourable Dianne Farmer MP; The Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Deb Frecklington MP; Salvation Army Queensland Divisional Commander, Lieutenant Colonel David Godkin; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I begin at once by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land, and expressing my sincere respect to elders; and then by mentioning some staggering and sobering statistics, which speak of our society, and the Salvos.
In the twelve months since I was last here for the launch of the Red Shield Appeal, the Salvos have provided approximately 5.2 million meals for the hungry and given assistance to 26,000 people with addictions to drugs, alcohol or gambling
In a typical week, the Salvos provide 2000 beds for the homeless and refuge to 500 victims of abuse.
These statistics are staggering; both a sobering reminder of the scale of need in our community, and a heartening affirmation of the Salvo’s ability to reach out and provide practical support for people in crisis.
The Red Shield Appeal is at the very heart of the Salvo’s ability to deliver social welfare and community support programs to Queensland’s most vulnerable people. It both needs, and deserves, our support.
The Red Shield has been in existence for over 100 years, and is now an international symbol of Salvation Army service and ministry.
Its origins in the First World War are reflected, in our own times, in the desperation and urgent immediacy which afflict so many of our fellow citizens in crisis.
The Red Shield has become recognised and embraced as a symbol of Christian compassion, and just as importantly, as a signifier of practical assistance, delivered with speed and support.
In our State of drought and flooding rains, it is immensely comforting to know that the Salvation Army is watchful and ready to respond to natural disasters.
For Queenslanders who struggle with addiction, the Salvation Army offers a lifeline of rehabilitation and ongoing support.
And for those who are homeless, or escaping violence, the Red Shield is a symbol of hope when needed most.
As Patron of the Red Shield Appeal I thank the Salvos, from the bottom of my heart, for the help they give to Queenslanders in need, without discrimination, without regard to background or beliefs.
I thank, also, the wonderful volunteers, who give so generously of their time during the doorknock appeal.
Above all, at this time, I enthusiastically encourage my fellow Queenslanders to generously support this very important appeal.
The Red Shield epitomises the willingness of the human heart to help those in need, and the Red Shield Appeal epitomises the willingness of Queenslanders to give a helping hand to those who are doing it tough.
I endorse this year’s theme as I say to everyone here today, and to all Queenslanders, “You can give hope where it’s needed most”, by giving generously to the Red Shield Appeal, which I now declare officially launched for 2018.