Broadcaster Stephen Quartermain welcomed approximately 600 people to the 2018 Red Shield Appeal launch early on Thursday, 3 May at the Sofitel on Melbourne’s Collins Street. He cited the many services provided by The Salvation Army, the projected national appeal goal of $73 million, and said it was hoped that ‘almost $18 million would be raised here in Victoria’.
After Commissioner Tracey Tidd had officiated the welcome to country ceremony and prayed a grace, David Bowden (managing director of JLL Victoria; the firm has sponsored the national Red Shield Appeal for the eighth time) praised the Salvos for their ‘magnificent infrastructure put in place to deal with people in need, efficiently and effectively’.
National commander Commissioner Floyd Tidd then congratulated the K-Mart wishing tree appeal, which over 30 years had collected and distributed more than eight million Christmas gifts to children, thereby ‘bringing hope and happiness where it’s needed most’. The NC then presented The Salvation Army’s Others award to TSA corporate and philanthropic committee chair David Williamson for three decades of committed, passionate service, before the Hon. Martin Foley MP spoke, primarily from his housing portfolio.
‘We have assets that, in the 21st century, are pretty much unfit to live in,’ the minister said bluntly, adding that ‘we can do better if we partner with the private sector and The Salvation Army’.
‘Any one of us could be in circumstances where we could need the services of The Salvation Army.’
The minister then kicked off the Red Shield Appeal with a $150,000 donation from the Victorian Government.
Journalist Nick McCallum interviewed Major Brendan Nottle about the 2017 walk for the homeless to Canberra. The AFL premiership player and premiership-winning, four-club coach Mick Malthouse, who had joined Brendan on one day’s walking, subsequently praised Brendan and his wife, Major Sandra Nottle, for raising awareness of homelessness and the housing crisis. Brendan, he later told e-connect, ‘is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met’.
Major Brendan Nottle interviewed several staff members who deal directly with marginalised, homeless Australians before Commissioner Tidd concluded the event, saying that each year, ‘more than a million people, unable to turn to family and friends, turn to The Salvation Army because of the unexpected things that happen in their lives’.