It was after a meeting with ac.care early in 2011 and reading a front page article in The Border Watch that Mr Maney learnt of the high number of homeless people ac.care was helping. Funds were desperately needed to provide extra support for finance, health, education, accommodation, household goods and employment etc. He discussed this with Mr Barry Stafford from The Barry Maney Group, who suggested a networking lunch that could bring businesses and organisations together to network, listen to a key-note speaker and raise funds.
Since 2012, 1147 local people, including children, have been assisted with the funds raised at the bi-annual Support Homeless People Luncheon. Businesses and the community have come together to raise over $340,000 for people who experience homelessness in the Limestone Coast.
A RENOWNED South Australian business leader and internationally recognised poet will feature at the biennial Support Homeless People Luncheon on April 3, 2020, at The Barn Palais.
The event has become a key feature on the region’s social calendar as the Limestone Coast’s preeminent charity business luncheon, raising more than $335,000 since 2012 to support regional agency ac.care’s work.
Next year’s event will likely sell-out quickly with prominent speakers and the opportunity to network with businesspeople from across the region, Adelaide and interstate.
Melanie Cooper AM will be the luncheon’s first female keynote speaker, joined by the event’s first interstate emcee - Rupert McCall OAM.
Ms Cooper became the first female director in the history of Coopers in 2009.
She has been Governor of the Coopers Brewery Foundation since its inception in 2006 and replaced Dr Tim Cooper as chair in 2011.
She has held many board positions, including with Burnside Hospital Foundation and the Neurosurgical Research Foundation.
“Coopers Brewery has been supporting the luncheon since its inception in 2012,” she said.
“I look forward to sharing my experiences in businesses and foundations that support communities.
“At Coopers Brewery we work with passion, respect, responsibility, consistency and service and I look forward to meeting like-minded business professionals in the Limestone Coast who share these values that drive their business’ success.”
Meanwhile, Mr McCall has built a reputation internationally, delivering tributes at Ground Zero for the New York Fire Department on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, on the shores of Gallipoli and as an orator in honour of legends such as Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Don Bradman, Dawn Fraser and Greg Norman.
Mr McCall has hosted and spoken at various high-profile functions, including Allan Border Medal and AFL Hall of Fame dinners, Olympic receptions, racing occasions from Flemington to Birdsville and
Test Match Rugby functions to deliver touching and compelling tributes, with a passion for sport as a commentator and poet.
“I have done some work with people experiencing homelessness in Brisbane in recent years ... so
I have a great appreciation for the difference the Limestone Coast business community has been making with the Support Homeless People Luncheon,” he said.
“My intention is always to deliver a message that inspires and leaves people feeling good about themselves and I look forward to doing this for the generous business community of Mount Gambier.”
On 13th April 2018, a sell out crowd of 500 business and community members raised $125,000 at lunch. The luncheon was again held at The Barn Palais, with key note speaker Mr Tim Guest. A video was shown of three people who had experienced homelessness and had been helped by ac.care talking to three business owners who support the work of ac.care. The committee was joined by Astyn Reid from Kinship Productions.
On 8th April 2016 the luncheon was again held at The Barn Palais, with key note speaker Mr Glenn Cooper AM, Chairman and Ambassador Coopers’ Brewery. Shannon, a young woman who has experienced homelessness also spoke. The committee was increased with Di In from Di Monty Training Solutions joining.
At the 2016 luncheon 450 people attended and raised $100,000.
In 2014 another lunch was organised by the same committee, this time renamed to “Support Homeless People Luncheon”.
The interest had grown so much that the Luncheon was moved to The Barn Palais to accommodate the extra numbers. The key note speaker was Mr David Brand, Chairman and Managing Director New Forests Ltd. A young woman, Ellen, who had experienced homelessness also spoke.
Three hundred and sixty-people attended and raised $77,000.
In August 2011, Mr Maney brought together a small committee comprising Anne Hinkly-Tyler (ac.care), Barry Stafford (Director-Barry Maney Group) and Robin Reid (The Border Watch) and together this team arranged a fundraising luncheon in April 2012 titled “Help Build the Bridge”.
This inaugural event was held in the City Hall and the guest speaker was Mr Stephen Gerlach AM, Chancellor of Flinders University and Chairman of Foodbank SA.
The luncheon was a sell-out, with 162 guests attending and more than $38,000 was raised.