Members Statement: Sunshine Letters Campaign


Ms ADDISON: Thank you Speaker ,Last week was Homelessness Week and I wish to recognise Ailish Ryan, a young Ballarat girl with a big heart who inspires
me. After seeing firsthand people who were homeless, Ailish wanted to make a difference for people who were sleeping rough. She thought what could she do to improve the lives of people doing it tough? How could she bring some sunshine into their lives? And so the idea of the Sunshine Letters campaign began. These are very special letters written to
people experiencing homelessness ‘to make them feel warm and happy’, as Ailish describes it. With the support of her family, teacher Jo
O’Kelly and Emmaus Catholic Primary School, she is making a difference. Ailish’s dad created a bright yellow letterbox for people to post their sunshine letters, which sits in the Emmaus school foyer. Since then Ailish has encouraged friends and
their families to write sunshine letters to bring a smile to those people experiencing
homelessness and to let them now that they are not invisible, that members of our community
do care. Hundreds of sunshine letters have now been
written, and from all reports they bring joy to those who receive them. I am pleased that the Sunshine Letters campaign
is growing, with students at Yuille Park Community College building another sunshine letterbox. I encourage anyone who wishes to write a sunshine
letter to do so, and I am happy for members to drop them at my office.

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