Legislative Council: Thursday, December 01, 2022



Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. J.S. Lee:

That this council—

1. Recognises that AnglicareSA has been supporting South Australians in need for more than 150 years;

2. Acknowledges the contributions of more than 1,800 AnglicareSA staff and 400 volunteers who support more than 55,000 people each year; and

3. Notes the valuable role that AnglicareSA plays in South Australia through its social service programs including housing and homelessness, NDIS services, aged care, foster care, emergency assistance, financial counselling and literacy, Aboriginal services, new arrivals, children, youth and families.

The Hon. R.P. WORTLEY (16:54): I rise to support this motion and acknowledge the important work of Anglicare across South Australia for an incredible 162 years since its origin in 1860. The Anglicare we see today was formally incorporated in 2000, but the earliest Anglican charitable organisation in South Australia was established by Ms Julia Farr. Most South Australians would associate the name Julia Farr with a building in Highgate that was one of our last large disability institutions. The namesake for the building was an amazing woman who led the foundation of the orphan home for girls aged five to 12 years back in 1860. This was a first step in a series of homes and support services for children and women in need of refuge.

Over many decades, the organisation grew and changed, with the modern AnglicareSA now employing almost 2,000 people, who are helped by hundreds of volunteers. Together, these dedicated South Australians serve tens of thousands of our fellow community members every year. Anglicare's work, as noted in the motion, now cuts across almost every part of our social service system: housing and homelessness, disability, aged care, child protection and foster care, family support, emergency relief, financial counselling, and services for specific groups like young people, Aboriginal South Australians, older people and new migrants.

Around halfway through its history, as the world dealt with the fallout of the Second World War, the Anglican Church established a social welfare committee and bureau in the 1940s. This was a period in South Australia with many parallels to today. The cost of living was escalating quickly, a war in Europe was impacting supply chains, there was a shortage of housing and many people were doing it tough. Government and community organisations both recognised the need to act, and their early work uncovered more needs amongst the community that led to the development of many of the services and supports that we recognise today.

Over the years, AnglicareSA has adapted and expanded in response to change in our social service system, both at the federal and state levels. AnglicareSA Housing recently became Believe Housing, a registered community housing provider that manages almost 1,900 homes in South Australia. Through Believe, Anglicare is a key member of the Adelaide north-west homelessness alliance. This alliance includes seven other organisations that work with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and their work has never been more important.

The introduction of the NDIS presented challenges and opportunities for many organisations, and over the last decade Anglicare has become a registered NDIS provider. It prides itself not just on individual support but also on a range of programs and therapies to ensure NDIS participants get the quality of services and dignity they deserve.

All of this invaluable work is underpinned by Anglicare's five values: integrity, compassion, stewardship, equity and servant leadership. These values drive the work of Anglicare with some of our most marginalised communities and ensure that people who need help are treated with dignity and respect, particularly when life has not gone as planned. As one of the largest social services organisations in South Australia, Anglicare works collaboratively across the sector in service delivery, leadership and advocacy. It brings a breadth and depth of experience that few organisations can match. Its slogan of 'in every community' rings true, because we can see the evidence of its work in almost every corner of the state.

The organisation has not just produced great services, it has also fostered great people, who the state government has been proud to make use of. The former CEO of Anglicare, the Reverend Peter Sandeman, now works in the SA Housing Authority, and he brings a critical understanding of how different social services need to work together to address serious and chronic disadvantage in our community. I wish to place on record my deep appreciation and that of the government for the important work of Anglicare across Australia. Its journey began long before any of us entered this world, and I trust it will be there helping people in need long after we are gone.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (16:59): I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak in favour of the motion. Anglicare has played a really important role not only in South Australia but right across our nation. It established its first Anglican charitable organisation, the Orphan Home, in 1860, established by Julia Farr. As the Hon. Russell Wortley has observed, that led to support homes for children and women seeking refuge. In 1998, the name Anglicare was independently incorporated. It now supports more than 50,000 South Australians. It employs 1,800 staff and has 3,000 volunteers.

Anglicare does really important work across our community in a range of areas, working with older South Australians, providing residential care, home care and independent living options; doing work with children and their families, including parenting support and relationship support, foster care programs and independent living support; providing support for young people, in particular services for young people who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness; and providing migrant and refugee support.

One of the areas where I have come into contact with Anglicare over my work on the city council and more recently in this place is through their support for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. I want to commend them for their important advocacy in that space. They really do offer vital services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, and they have had some really terrific people associated with them over the years. Like other members, on behalf of the Greens I thank them for the remarkable service they have given to our community. With that, I commend the motion.

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (17:01): Thank you to honourable members for your contributions. I am sure the organisation will gratefully accept this public recognition. I commend the motion.

Motion carried.