Friday, 3 June 2022

It is my great pleasure to join you this evening with Rod and to be patron of the Sammy D Foundation.

The Sammy D Foundation has achieved a great deal since Sam Davis’s life ended tragically 14 years ago, successfully spreading Sam's message across hundreds of schools, community groups, and sporting clubs.

177,823 young people have been educated about the consequences of violent behaviour, and the risks associated with alcohol and drug misuse.

We can be encouraged by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures which show that use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is less common now among young people than it was twenty years ago.

We can’t afford to be complacent, but this will help to reduce rates of alcohol and drug related violence, and I thank the foundation for the role it has played in helping to generate this shift.

A huge component of the foundation’s success is its unrelenting drive to help as many young people as possible understand that violence is never the answer.

I congratulate the foundation on its outstanding job educating young people about the impacts of risky behaviour and poor choices, and providing them with the tools to walk away, stay safe and look after their mates.  That is so important.

Even in the face of COVID its various restrictions, during the past 12 months, you mentored 58 at-risk young people in the southern and western suburbs of Adelaide, and this program will expand to the northern suburbs in 2022.

In addition, more than 12,000 junior players participated last year in a violence prevention round through SANFL Juniors, which will grow to 20,000 in 2022.

While it may be difficult to quantify how many injuries – or even deaths – may have already been prevented, the foundation’s work has had overwhelmingly positive impact.

I thank the foundation’s board, staff, ambassadors, donors and supporters for their dedication and ongoing valuable support.

Thank you for being here tonight and may we continue to ‘reach for the stars’ together, ensuring all young people have the opportunity to live lives free from violence.

It is certainly hard, but it is not impossible!