Sir David Martin Foundation was officially launched by HRH, The Duchess of York, at Parliament House in Sydney in November 1990. The Foundation’s main aim is to provide the funds for a rescue service and training program for young Australians who are in crisis or at risk and who need encouragement, guidance and hope. It is a grim fact that the number of teenagers caught in the destructive world of drugs, alcohol, prostitution and abuse is growing.
As Governor, Sir David had reached out to as many young people as he could, from all walks of life. Whenever he met them, he sought to encourage them to develop their undiscovered potential for the good of themselves and of Australia. He was particularly concerned about the homeless and disadvantaged who now inhabit our cities in such great numbers.
In a speech to the Australia Day Council of New South Wales, Sir David Martin expressed his concern for the young people of Australia.
...“All those youngsters living away from their homes, in the back streets, the tunnels and the gutters, existing on a diet of drugs, violence, sickness and disease, cold, hopelessness and loneliness. That’s a big mess to clean, but we shouldn’t have let it get so fouled up. Every one of us has to try harder to bring all children up properly and prepare them to inherit Australia from us. These children are our most important assets for Australia’s future, yet we are carelessly squandering those assets….”
At our 15th anniversary celebration in 2005, the former President of Mission Australia, Mr Charles Chambers AM MBE recalled the conversations he had with Sir David in the weeks before his death:
“when I retire in a few weeks time,” he told me, “I want to help one charity and that charity is the Sydney City Mission (now known as Mission Australia). How can I best do that?”
I replied “you could lend your name to raise funds for the Mission. How about the Sir David Martin Foundation?” On his last full day in office, Sir David rang again, “we’ll go ahead with that Charles,” he said “but I want you to add the words “Caring for Young Australians. I want it to help young people.”
Sir David died just four days after leaving office, leaving Lady Martin to fulfil his wishes for the Foundation. Almost twenty years later, the Sir David Martin Foundation continues to thrive. Raising funds for a growing list of innovative and effective youth crisis programs, we continue to provide care, counselling, training and support for young people in crisis and to foster community understanding of their needs and potential.
Sir David took his role as Governor very seriously. Recently found videos
In 1989 Sir David Martin, the Governor of New South Wales, appeared in an educational video about the role of the Governor. In this introduction we see a dramatisation of the swearing in of the Governor as well as an outline of the achievements of previous Governors recently found videos were he explain