Tuesday, 16 May 2023
Sammy D Foundation Awards Reception
Rod and I as your Patron are delighted to welcome you to Government House to recognise the contributions and achievements of the Sammy D Foundation volunteers.
It is no coincidence that this reception is being held in National Volunteer Week because, as the week’s theme attests: you are all Change Makers.
Everyone here knows how 17-year-old Sam Davis’s life was tragically cut short when he fell victim to a violent and unprovoked one-punch assault.
And that out of that tragedy, and in his memory, his parents Nat and Neil, harnessed their grief and set up the Sammy D Foundation to create change.
Change through which young people can be empowered to say no to bullying.
Change through which young people can recognise the inherent dangers of violent behaviour and the risks of misusing alcohol and drugs. And say no.
Change through which young people can be empowered to have the strength to walk away and look after themselves and their mates.
Change where parents and community leaders can acquire skills to prevent unsafe behaviours and know what to do.
Nat and Neil, I am sure I speak for all here this evening in thanking you both for being courageous, caring, and passionate in founding the Sammy D Foundation and ensuring its continuing mission.
Rod and I were at the Reach for the Stars ball last year, the that raised $200,000 in just one night – demonstrating not only the respect, support and love that the foundation has engendered, but also your ability and innovation in raising funds for its important work.
Since inception, thanks to the Sammy D Foundation, more than 200,000 people have undertaken programs in schools, sporting clubs and community organisations.
That’s a marvellous milestone.
This would not have been possible without you, the volunteers, who have contributed an incredible 54,000 plus hours of your time over the past 13 years.
Thank you for your roles in becoming ambassadors, providing education programs, and mentoring support, being there at fundraising and engagement events and providing administration duties.
You are the lifeblood of the Sammy D Foundation.
Today we honour those who have achieved significant milestones in giving the magic gift of your time to the Sammy D Foundation.
Rod and I know it is given with heart, with enthusiasm and dedication, and particularly so for those who knew Sam.
We thank you all for giving of yourselves, because in doing so you are building a stronger community.
You are giving our youth the confidence and the tools to “say NO to violence and YES to mateship”.