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Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Nomination time extended for Homelessness Services Awards

Australians will have more time to nominate outstanding services for the second National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards, with the nomination period extended until 1 February 2013.

Nominations were due to close on 18 January, but Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor has extended the period in recognition of busy time support services face over Christmas.

“At this time of year, with no place to call home, many people have little to celebrate,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Of the more than 100,000 people who are homeless in Australia, almost half are aged under 25 years. Many are fleeing violence or are homeless because of family breakdown, and many have lost contact with their family, making Christmas a particularly difficult time.

“Homelessness can affect anyone, and as we sit down with our families this festive season, thousands of Australians will be relying on community organisations for their Christmas lunch and a bed for the night.

“These organisations work tirelessly to lend a helping hand to some of our most vulnerable people.

“The 2013 National Homelessness Services Achievement Awards will highlight the often hidden work of these compassionate and dedicated services, who are devoted to making people’s lives better.

“But I know this can be a very busy time of year for our homelessness services and organisations, so I have extended the nomination period until 1 February 2013.

“This Government has made tackling homelessness a national priority, and is committed to halving the rate of homelessness by 2020.

“But we know we cannot achieve this ambitious goal by ourselves without these remarkable organisations.

“I encourage everyone who knows a service that has made a significant contribution to tackling homelessness issues—either at a local, regional, state or national level—to put in a nomination.”

A wide range of organisations who work on homelessness prevention, early intervention and breaking the cycle of disadvantage can be nominated for one of the seven categories:

  • Excellence or innovation in addressing homelessness by an organisation
  • Excellence in the prevention of, or early intervention in, homelessness
  • Outstanding business or philanthropic commitment to addressing homelessness
  • Excellence or innovation in partnerships in delivering services
  • Excellence in addressing Indigenous homelessness
  • Excellence in supporting pathways to employment or education
  • Excellence in addressing homelessness in a regional, rural or remote location.

Nominations will now close on Friday 1 February 2013. To nominate go to www.fahcsia.gov.au/homelessnessawards