Message from the Territorial Commander
On 5 September 1880, two men — Edward Saunders and John Gore — led the first Salvation Army meeting in Australia from the back of a greengrocer’s cart in Adelaide’s Botanic Park. On that day Gore said, “If there is a man who hasn’t had a square meal today, let him come home to tea with me.”
Saunders and Gore couldn’t have realised that within a century, The Salvation Army would be feeding hundreds of thousands of Australians each year.
Since then we have established a reputation for providing innovative services across the full spectrum of disadvantage — homelessness, aged care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, asylum seeker and refugee support, and family and domestic violence refuge.
Our mission connects us with the most vulnerable and desperate people in communities all over Australia.
In 2013/14, we saw great need and distress but were able to meet this with care and compassion. We stood alongside people whose lives are consumed by intergenerational unemployment, ill health, addiction and violence. We worked with people facing uphill battles to provide for their families and live rewarding, empowered lives. More and more, single parents, indigenous Australians, those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and people reliant on welfare payments are highly represented in the people we serve.
Social and political changes have driven more people to rely on organisations like ours. In 2013 more than one third of people accessing our emergency relief services sought support for the first time. An unexpected bill, a sudden job loss, a payment cut — that’s all it takes to leave someone helpless and in need of The Salvation Army’s help.
Political decisions to reduce funding for welfare services across the board as a result of the 2014 Federal Budget and recent changes to welfare payments will also result in greater demand on our services.
We will continue to provide these services because that is our imperative.Such is the dedication of our staff and volunteers who often go the extra mile and have become adept at stretching limited resources to the maximum.This year has been challenging — especially in light of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We continue to work openly and transparently with government seeking to provide healing to survivors of abuse and remain honest with supporters, employees,the public and people affected.
In 2015 we will continue to improve our leadership and the skills of our people to ensure we provide a safe place for all children and vulnerable people seeking care from The Salvation Army.
I would like to thank the staff, volunteers and supporters who faithfully enable us to carry out the work you will read about in the following pages.
We continue to reach out with compassion and offer hope to more than one million Australians each year because of your support.
Commissioner Floyd J Tidd
Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory