Speech by Senator the Hon Doug Cameron MP

National Reconnect Good Practice Forum video message

Location: Adelaide

Welcome to the National Reconnect Good Practice forum.

I’m sorry I couldn’t be there in person today.

In the short time I’ve been Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness, I’ve seen many examples of the amazing work being done across Australia to help some of our most vulnerable people.

Reconnect is a great example.

The focus you place on young people is really important.

Too many young people spend their nights on the streets, in their car, or on a friend’s couch.

And so many who might not be homeless are in such precarious home situations that homelessness is likely the next step.

There is no doubt that if we intervene early we can make a lifelong difference.

Reconnect services give these young people somewhere to go.

Every day, your work helps young people get their lives back on track.

You help them move out of homelessness and into secure accommodation.

You help families build stronger relationships and resolve conflict to prevent family breakdown.

And, in many cases, you help young people avoid homelessness altogether.

Your work can make all the difference in the lives of so many young people, and I want to thank you.

This Government remains committed to the goals we set ourselves – to halve the rate of homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

But it is only with you – the people on the ground who every day work with young people to help them get back on their feet – that we will reach these goals.

Since the program began, you have already reconnected more than 72,000 young people with their families, with school or with training.

This is a program that works.

The Government recently announced it would continue to support more than 100 Reconnect services with a $73 million boost over three years so that your work can continue.

Today’s forum is a great opportunity to share your ideas, expertise and knowledge.

It’s also a good chance to strengthen networks and build relationships, so that we can continue to help vulnerable young people.

Once again, I’m sorry I’m not able to be with you today, but I hope you have an enjoyable and productive forum and I look forward to hearing about the outcomes.

Watch the video of The Hon Doug Cameron’s welcome message