08 May 2013
(Community Recognition Statement, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)
I support the 200-year history of great work done by the Benevolent Society in helping individuals, families and communities make positive change in their lives. It is Australia's first official charity. Today the Benevolent Society helps vulnerable families and children to thrive, promotes positive mental health and wellbeing and supports older Australians.
Working from a non-denominational base and in partnership with other organisations, it offers a wide range of services to a diverse mix of clients. A dedicated research and evaluation team ensures evidence-based practice and means the society can respond to new and emerging needs. The Benevolent Society was one of the first non-profit organisations to appoint female directors to its board and supported reform to ensure children fostered by same-sex couples had their families legally recognised through adoption. It continues to draw attention to the need for early intervention strategies to help the most vulnerable in society. I commend everyone who has been involved with the Benevolent Society for the past 200 years and wish the organisation a happy birthday.