This week marks my five year anniversary with the Sir David Martin Foundation and it will also be my last as I move on to another challenge and hand over the reins to a new General Manager.
So I have been reflecting on those five years and the many things that will stay with me forever.
The first that came to mind is the generosity of SDMF’s supporters. Philanthropy is a wonderful thing. Selfless and also rewarding. To give freely, to help someone you will never meet, is an inspiring act. To be a part in that process by working with SDMF, is an absolute honour.
The second is the skill and commitment of the SDMF team and our colleagues at Mission Australia. Both those who are paid, and those who act in a voluntary capacity, your expertise is a vital element of young people’s recovery.
Someone asked me once what the best thing about this role has been. Being “at the centre of generous donors, skilled colleagues and inspiring young people changing their lives” is probably the best way to describe it.
So that brings me onto the third - the young people and their stories of challenge, of hope and of transformation. Seeing them get better is the common motivation across all who are involved in SDMF.
There are many ‘moments’ that will stay with me. The opening of David Martin Place earlier this year was certainly a highlight being the culmination of a multi-year project. Every Triple Care Farm graduation ceremony was special. But there are so many others, talking to students of their pride in tackling their challenges and their hopes for the future; laughing and learning with the team, sharing with donors a commitment to help young people and the joy in seeing their recovery.
So – to those who are part of the SDMF family, thank you for your commitment, congratulations on what you make possible, and please keep going. We know there will be more young people next year knocking on the doors of Triple Care Farm. Your commitment gives them a second chance at life. We might not change the world, but we can change the world for one person, or a dozen, or a couple of hundred, and that certainly is something worth pursuing.