Tuesday, 10 May 2022

It is my great pleasure to be able to join you virtually from Government House to officially launch the 2022 Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal in South Australia.

The Red Shield Appeal is certainly one of the best-known and most highly regarded appeals in the country.

It was actually the first-ever doorknock appeal in Australia, starting in Sydney in 1965.

No doubt many of you have childhood memories, as I do, of not walking past without putting money in a Salvos’ tin, or of answering the door at this time of year to a Salvation Army collector.

I think one of the reasons why the Red Shield Appeal, historically, has enjoyed so much support is the level of trust the Salvation Army has built with our national community.

We trust the Salvos to use our donations to support Australians in need in the most efficient, compassionate ways possible.

It’s extraordinary to know that, every 17 seconds, the Salvation Army helps someone through one of their services or programs.

While it is heartbreaking to realise that such need exists, it is equally heartening to know that the support is there when people face crisis.

With the impact of COVID-19 and natural disasters, such as recent floods, demand for services has increased, and, in the face of current economic factors, may well stay elevated.

I sincerely thank the Salvos across our nation, and particularly here in South Australia, for coming to the aid of so many people, often at the toughest time of their lives.

I note the breadth of activities the organisation undertakes to support Australians from youth right through to aged care, in response to acute crisis, as well as in service of prevention and building individual and community resilience.

I commend the Salvation Army for its commitment to inclusion, and celebration of, all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

This year the Red Shield Appeal is being used to shine a light on family and domestic violence, the number one cause of homelessness for women in Australia.

In the past 12 months, the Salvos have assisted 5,800 Australian women and children to leave abusive situations and start to build new lives.

While family and domestic violence can happen to anyone, the overwhelming majority of those affected are women at the hands of men.

As Governor, I am committed to supporting organisations like the Salvation Army which are helping to create a fairer and safer world for women.

You may know that it takes Australian women, on average, up to seven attempts to leave an abusive partner.

Escaping domestic violence can be extremely challenging, and I thank the Salvation Army for its commitment to supporting women through the complexity of this task.

I also thank the organisation for the effort and resources it puts into prevention and reform services for men who use violence, through men’s behaviour change programs, confidential counselling and parenting support programs.

For while we need to do everything we can to support women in crisis, it is also important that we focus on preventative measures and on creating a society with true gender equality.

Thank you all for coming along this morning in support of the Red Shield Appeal and the Salvation Army’s outstanding work in our state and nation.

In my first seven months as Governor, I have been heartened to see first-hand the level of community spirit and support in South Australia for those in need.

It should make all of us proud.

I have no doubt the Salvation Army will do outstanding works with money raised today, now and into the future, ensuring no-one is left in need.