Making progress for the homeless
‘We are not as good as we should be,’ the federal opposition leader Bill Shorten had observed in Melbourne early one Friday morning, on 8 September, when Major Brendan Nottle set out to walk to Canberra.
‘But, he added, ‘there’s always the one person, the one man or woman, who can help us make a difference – that’s part of change. Change does not happen automatically. I’m optimistic that together we can make Brendan’s walk a success.’
On Monday, 16 October, 40 days and 703 km later, Brendan reached Canberra. He had spoken to thousands of Australians, helped raise more than $123,000, gathered more than 9,340 signatures on a homelessness petition he presented to government. The major’s long walk and brisk swim across the Murray River also received more than 400 media hits across Australia, estimated to be worth more than $2 million, which reached 20 million Australians with his call for a national, bipartisan policy to eliminate homelessness.
By any measure, Brendan’s walk has succeeded.
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