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Hands across Canberra

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise today to express my gratitude and support for Hands across Canberra, a foundation that provides a simple, direct, cost-effective, flexible and financially secure opportunity for Canberrans to contribute to our local charities here in the ACT.

Hands across Canberra achieves this in a number of ways. First, they provide a vehicle for people and businesses to conveniently and actively engage in philanthropic activities to address a wide range of issues in the ACT community. Second, by building a permanent fund and generating increasing resources, Hands across Canberra has been able to use these tools freely in order meet Canberra’s current and ever-changing needs. By recognising and improving the capacity of donors and grant recipients, opening up new areas of social investment and exercising coordination and leadership in local philanthropy work, Hands Across Canberra supports and celebrates the community spirit and generosity that is at the heart of the ACT community.

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending Hands across Canberra’s 2017 grant announcement at Canberra City Care, which operates a number of services for the community in West Belconnen, in my electorate of Ginninderra. There this valuable organisation acknowledged the important and essential contributions charities make across the ACT and provided $197, 497 to a number of our local charities that work with our community’s most vulnerable people, including OzHarvest Canberra, the Shepherd Centre, St Vincent de Paul Society, YWCA Canberra, Lifeline Canberra and many more.

At this event, Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands across Canberra, remarked that the role of the organisation is to, quote, ‘encourage Canberrans to think about being generous right here in our own backyard ... I work to connect people who can help with local charities needing support’.

Madam Speaker, I am grateful not just for Hands across Canberra but for each of the charities that this organisation supports. The Canberra Liberals strongly believe ‘in a just and humane society, where those who cannot provide for themselves can live in dignity’. We also believe ‘in the innate worth of the individual’. It is my belief that many Canberrans understand and share these same principles. They understand that, in the great family of Man, we are all brothers and sisters, and therefore we have not just the obligation but also the happy opportunity to love and take care of each other.

But how do we do that? Often we don’t know who needs help. That’s where an organisation like Hands across Canberra comes in. They know who needs our help, providing a place where we can give secure in the knowledge that our gifts of love will reach their target. I encourage all members of this Assembly and all Canberra citizens to consider contributing.

Thank you.

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