The Salvation Army 2021 Red Shield Appeal Brisbane Launch
Premier; former Queensland Governor, Dame Quentin Bryce;
Minister for Defence, the Honourable Peter Dutton MP; Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Cr Adrian Schrinner; Members of Parliament; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Commissioner Greg Leach; Salvation Army Divisional Commander for Queensland, Major Gavin Watts; leaders of the Salvation Army; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
As the Queensland Patron of the Red Shield Appeal, I am very pleased to be with you to officially launch the 2021 Appeal.
I have had the honour of launching six appeals since my appointment as Governor of Queensland in 2014 – and this would have been the seventh had it not been for a certain pandemic which resulted in the cancellation of last year’s appeal.
Today, COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc and bring despair around the globe and I am very much aware that every person and every business here this morning has felt the impact in some way. However, the fact that you are supporting the 2021 Appeal is testament to your leadership, your generosity, and your commitment to the work of the Salvation Army. On behalf of all Queenslanders, I thank you.
Of course, it is those who are not here today who have been most severely affected by the pandemic, especially the homeless.
The face of homelessness, for most of us, may be rough sleepers on the street but they are outnumbered thirteen to one by the invisible Queenslanders in crisis who are living without one of the most basic of human rights – the right to shelter.
The elderly woman sleeping in her car, the evicted family who can no longer pay the rent, the unemployed worker couch-surfing from friend to friend are all part of this disturbing picture of our community today.
The statistics are sobering, but increasingly, we are realising that numbers are only part of the homelessness story and don’t always indicate where policy and action should be focused.
This is where the Salvation Army plays such a vital role – it has marched alongside Australians for a hundred and forty years and the strong and deep roots into the community mean that the officers and staff know both the true extent of the problem and the practical solutions needed to solve it. I congratulate and thank everyone involved in this ongoing and vital work.
BBC boys, Red Shield volunteers, will be calling at Government House on 10 May, to receive Kaye’s and my cheque as well as to enjoy some afternoon tea. We are very much looking forward to making our contribution and helping to promote the Appeal in this way.
I wish the campaign every success and now have great pleasure in launching the 2021 Brisbane Red Shield Appeal, and to wish the appeal, and the dedicated men, women and young people who make it all possible, outstanding success.