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60th Anniversary of The Smith Family's VIEW Clubs of Australia, Government House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good afternoon, all.

Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for this 60th anniversary reception for The Smith Family's VIEW Clubs of Australia.

Anniversaries are important occasions. They are a time to hit the pause button in our busy lives and to reflect and to celebrate.

Congratulations to VIEW’s 15,000 members who are spread across more than 300 Australian communities on your Diamond Jubilee.

V – I – E – W.

Voice. Interests. And Education of Women.

Together, these elements form a powerful mix.

It’s a mix that speaks of friendship and of selflessness, compassion, kindness, generosity, inclusion and respect.

It’s a mix that produces outstanding results in our community.

Over the course of six decades VIEW members have:

  • raised more than $40 million for The Smith Family
  • volunteered in excess of three million hours for The Smith Family — many of those hours spent reading to children in schools (a delight in itself and one of the best things you can do for a child’s development)
  • supported The Smith Family’s work with disadvantaged children.

What we see here is goodness.

Linda and I, through our work, see examples of goodness every day. Every day, and in all parts of our country.

At investiture ceremonies, on the ground in communities ravaged by natural disaster, amongst our health professionals as they grapple with the impacts of COVID and, of course, across the not-for-profit sector.

This ‘richness of spirit’ is incredibly reassuring, especially in these challenging times.

Our nation has taken a huge hit.

Many Australians have been impacted severely by drought, flood, fire and COVID-19.

Research indicates that the impacts of these events will be felt deeply, particularly by children and young people, for a long period of time.

Sadly, there are children who are at risk of falling through the cracks right now.

Today, 1 in 6 Australian children and young people are living in poverty, where even life's basics are hard to come by.

And we know what comes of this — kids fall behind in their learning and become more vulnerable to experiencing hardship themselves later in the life.

That’s why The Smith Family’s ‘Learning for Life’ program and the support it receives from VIEW is vitally important.

What I like about ‘Learning for Life’ is that it takes a holistic approach to education.

The program provides emotional, practical and financial support to children and young people — from the early years of development through to Primary and High School.

This support increases a young person’s likelihood of remaining engaged with school, completing Year 12 and developing sound pathways for the future.

VIEW is the largest community sponsor of ‘Learning for Life’ and supports more than 1,400 disadvantaged children and young people across 91 Australian communities.

The partnership between VIEW and The Smith Family is strong, it is inspiring, and it gives hope to vulnerable, young Australians.

Again, congratulations to VIEW on its Diamond Jubilee.

Over the course of 60 years, VIEW has constantly evolved to meet the changing needs of society, never losing sight of its commitment to women, The Smith Family and disadvantaged young people.

Sixty years of strength and support.

I want to thank all VIEW members, past and present, for their outstanding contribution to our nation.

You have enriched the lives of many Australians and made our country a better place in which to live and to grow.