Proud Westies Support Homeless Families

By Jordan Grantham, Catholic Outlook
Bryan Brown AM and Mark Buhagiar, Director of Clergy Health and Wellbeing at the Diocese of Parramatta. Photo: Jordan Grantham/Diocese of Parramatta

“I’m Bryan Brown and I’m a Westie!” were the opening words of the Celebrate the West fundraising luncheon on March 24. Over 300 people attended the gathering of celebrities, politicians, sports stars and supporters for the San Miguel Family Centre at North Richmond.

Emeritus Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Kevin Manning is a patron of Celebrate the West, along with actor Bryan Brown, NRL legend Phil Gould and John Brown AO.

Champions of the West award recipients gave lively and entertaining speeches. The awards recognise significant contributions to Western Sydney and the San Miguel Centre.

Gerry Harvey, Dr Charlie Teo, Peter Higgins and Peter Anderson received awards for their significant contributions to Western Sydney. All present reflected on the value of the San Miguel Centre and Western Sydney. Casey Donovan received her award in absentia and sent her apologies on the day.

Peter Summers, the General Manager of Liverpool Golf Club, was given the Jack Gibson award to recognise his ongoing contribution to the San Miguel Centre. Peter is a De La Salle Old Boy.

Comedian Vince Sorrenti and singer Mark Seymour provided ample entertainment throughout the lunch.

A video presentation shared the gut-wrenching difficulties faced by San Miguel Centre families.

The lunch was in aid of the San Miguel Centre, a project of Yourtown, which is part of the De La Salle Brothers. The centre provides emergency accommodation for parents and children; offering support, counselling and guidance to help families tackle the issue of homelessness.

The Diocese of Parramatta sponsored a table at the luncheon and Mark Buhagiar, Director of Clergy Health and Wellbeing, won a bottle of port in the fundraising raffle.

Students from Oakhill College, Castle Hill volunteered during the luncheon selling raffle tickets and ushering guests.

The De La Salle Brothers provide an impressive range of charitable services across Australia, including the Kids Helpline, which receives over a million calls annually. The founder of Kids Helpline, Br Patrick McCarthy, was present at the luncheon.

Attendees helped tackle homelessness for families, which is the fastest-growing group of people experiencing homelessness in Australia, with 26% of Australia’s homeless population being families with children.

 

For more information about the San Miguel Centre call 02 4579 6622 or visit the YourTown website.

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