Her Excellency, the Governor of Tasmania, Visits Vincent Industries.

(L-R):Emeritus Professor Don Chalmers AO. National Council Member and State President, St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas), Mark Gaetani. Waratah-Wynyard Council Mayor, Councillor Robert ‘Robby’ Walsh. Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC. Waratah-Wynyard Council General Manager, Shane Crawford. Vincent Industries Executive Manager, Nellie McKenna.

It was an honour to welcome Tasmania’s Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, on an official visit to St Vincent de Paul Society’s Vincent Industries in Wynyard on October 13, 2022. Apart from the joy it brought the staff and supported employees who had an opportunity to meet the Governor, Her Excellency’s visit recognised the valuable contribution the charity sector makes towards building communities and offering hope and opportunity to marginalised and disadvantaged people in our society.

Of course, offering meaningful employment to people who would otherwise find it difficult to secure a job, is only part of what Vincent Industries offers. No matter where anyone is employed, to be truly successful, they must have a sense of fulfilment – a sense of making a difference or a contribution. Vincent Industries employees are no different; and what a contribution they make. From sorting fabric for the export market, to creating rags for the manufacturing sector, to securely shredding documents, very little of the raw materials that enter their doors are wasted. Their daily efforts reduce landfill significantly. Their commitment to caring for the environment and supporting the circular economy is apparent and they are justifiably proud of their contribution.

Although charities and service organisations rarely seek recognition for their community service, they continue to play an important role in promoting social cohesion, advocating for those who do not have a voice, and delivering services that would otherwise be difficult to find if you are disadvantaged or living with a disability.

In June 2022, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) released the eighth edition of the Australian Charities Report. It is published to share the latest information about the charity sector with the Australian public.

Most of all, when I read the report, I am humbled by the compassion and generosity of Australians. During the 2020 reporting period, in one form or another, Australians donated $176 billion to the charity sector. This represents an increase of $10 billion over the previous year and includes $90 billion in funding from State and Federal governments. It does not include the countless donations of food, clothing, in-kind services, and of course the millions of hours donated by dedicated volunteers. Charities are grateful for every dollar donated to help those in need, it would be impossible to deliver crucial services when and where they are needed most – including creating employment opportunities at enterprises such as Vincent Industries.

The report also found that of the approximately 75,000 programs analysed, the most common classification across all charity sizes was ‘Religion’, which delivered approximately 17,000 programs (22.3%). This was followed by ‘Education’, which delivered approximately 12,300 programs (16.5%) and ‘Human Services’, which delivered 11,900 programs (15.8%). Without the generosity of individuals, businesses, and governments very few of these programs, which helped millions of Australians, would have been possible. These programs were delivered in part by an estimated 3.4 million volunteers Australia-wide.

We at the St Vincent de Paul Society are so grateful for the donations we receive so we can continue our work. We are grateful too for the countless hours our dedicated members, volunteers, and staff give towards helping others. We are also grateful for the honour bestowed on the whole charity sector when dignitaries, such as Her Excellency the Governor of Tasmania, visits one of the thousands of organisations doing great work to assist those in need.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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