Everyone will have their own reasons for being philanthropic. Mine is to offer gratitude for having been given an opportunity to serve and help people in need, and to gain the skills to do so, first as Chaplain and eventually as Executive Director.
Those twenty five years were a great challenge, but also an opportunity to grow in knowledge and experience by working with colleagues and many people of all ages facing serious difficulties in their lives, in a struggle to survive in difficult circumstances. All this had a life changing impact on me.
Through the generosity of past benefactors, donors and supporters, it has been possible for the Brotherhood to grow in influence, to improve the quality of its work and extend into new areas of need.
The challenge for us today and in the future, is to maintain and build upon the legacy of the past. Sadly, as human hardship has been reduced in some respects, it has increased in others.
The reasons are complex because rapid social change often leads to displacement, uncertainty and anxiety, all of which can be disruptive to people’s lives. Small self-help organisations have emerged to tackle these needs, often without the resources and external support to sustain their work over the long term. One of the great strengths of the Brotherhood is that it has always sought to develop effective partnerships with other bodies having fewer resources, rather than acting on its own.
New demands for government support in the face of growing human need will mean that more effective partnerships must be developed between governments, businesses and the not-for-profit sectors, to ensure that vital assistance is nurtured and developed at local levels by agencies who are best placed to do so. Human needs and demands upon organisations are constantly changing and the pressures on them are sometimes even greater than in the past when times were simpler and societies less volatile than they are today. Not surprisingly requests for help have grown as new economic and social needs have arisen.
I am proud of the Brotherhood as it continues to build on firm foundations while responding imaginatively to these new challenges. Please give some thought as to how you can build on this great tradition involving direct service, policy research, advocacy and action.
Bless you as you consider a bequest,
+ Peter Hollingworth
COMMENT This is who (or what) wins from the penalty rates cut. Ross Gittins lays it out ow.ly/IxJs309nxjx
Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.