Property Industry Foundation Reception

(6pm, Tuesday 13 May 2014, Lord Mayor's Reception Room)

Good evening, everyone, welcome back to Town Hall.

I'd also like to welcome:

  • Rosemary Smithson, National CEO, Property Industry Foundation
  • Property Industry Foundation Board Members
  • Councillor Robyn Kemmis, Deputy Lord Mayor
  • Councillors Jenny Green, Robert Kok, John Mant, Christine Forster and Linda Scott

I'm always very pleased to welcome you to Town Hall and honour the work that you do.

Young people are quite literally our future, and a society which ignores young people at risk is not just heartless but is selling its own future short.

It is shameful that on any night in this prosperous country, there are 44,000 young people sleeping rough, in refuges or squats, who are in need of our help. About half of them are in NSW. The number of children looking for help from services for the homeless has increased by 15,000 in just the last few years, while fully half the country's entire homeless population is made up of people under 25.

These are figures to give us pause. They are also a reminder of how vital the work of your Foundation really is.

Our philosophy at the City is to forge partnerships to achieve our goals, and so we were delighted to partner with the Foundation to establish PIF House in Redfern.

We provided the property, and the Foundation provided the funds, the expertise and the management skills to turn this old City-owned building into a home for seven young people which is managed by Salvation Army Oasis house parents. They live there while they are found jobs and supported into independent living.

I understand a second house has now been built in Victoria, and that means more young people brought in from the cold - literally, as well as figuratively.

The Foundation also opened a Brisbane branch last year, and it is now raising $1.5 million a year in donations and from its fund-raising events.

Organisations like Youth off the Streets, Youth Insearch, the Sir David Martin Foundation and many others have benefited from your donations.

Then there is the added value of your contributions "in-kind" - through project management services, quantity surveying, architectural and contractual services, and supplies for various projects.

These are valuable in themselves, but also work to create a two-way relationship between donors and recipients, often providing an important role in raising awareness of the need that is out there.

If there is anyone in this room who hasn't joined up, I urge you to please do so and support this great work.

On behalf of the City, I'd like to thank the Foundation for all your members have done so far, and all that I know you will continue to do.

Thank you.