Freedom to Dream

More than 60 supporters, funding bodies, volunteers, staff and Board joined us at the offices of our pro bono partner Norton Rose Fulbright on Wednesday, 14 November for our 2018 Annual Review and launch of our new program, Ride By Your Side.

In the words of our chair, Sue Woodward, “As children, we were given a gift – the gift to dream. For some children though, their gift to dream gets interrupted or taken away.

These simple acts of childhood love are absent because their Mum or Dad is in jail.  They forget how to dream.  They feel the weight of loneliness, judgment, anger, rejection and hurt. Some of them they will never recover. Research overwhelmingly tells us that the loss of love and family connection leads to juvenile crime and is a fast track to an adult life in and out of prison.

At SHINE, we come together to give kids back their right to dream.

As the new Chair, my dream is simple – to reach more kids, to have a presence in more jails, to connect with more funders, to connect with more in the community and to have leadership and the right people on board to do this.

I am proud of the work that has been achieved over the past year – some super-hero efforts.  We have reached and connected with over 15,000 children.  Our 300+ volunteer base gave over 1,600 hours per month of unconditional time and love to the kids in the SHINE family. This was supported by the leadership, teamwork, collaboration, empowerment and trust that oozes from each of our 48 employees.

Our CEO, Andrew Kew, has cemented critical relationships based upon trust, social and community need and program delivery with many of our key stakeholders; Corrective Services NSW, Juvenile Justice, Serco, GEO, and Dept. of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He and others in the leadership team are part of working groups formulating relevant strategy on family matters, and children and families of prisoners.

We’ve welcomed new members to the board – Simon McSweeney and Martin Irwin.  They bring the gifts of stewardship, social purpose and justice, and share the dream to reach and connect more children and families.  We extend our thanks to directors – Jodie Lydeker and Graham West – who are not standing for re-election.  They have both contributed significant hours to the organisation and imparted their knowledge and experience unconditionally.  They will remain advocates and passionate supporters of SHINE.”

In closing, I would invite you all to think back for a minute about what your childhood dream was. Reflect on it.  At SHINE, we all work with the belief that, even if we can’t save the world, we can change the life of a young person, one future at a time. Let’s all continue to dream. And let’s ensure that children never forget how to dream.”

You can download the 2018 Annual Review and Statutory Accounts here.