December 2018: CEO'S MESSAGE 

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The children are tired and the beach is calling, and we are all looking forward to embracing a summer holiday. So, with only a brief time to before we celebrate the season’s festivities of Hanukkah, Christmas or simply a few days away from work with family and friends, I am happy to report that it has been a great 30th year for Ardoch.

As well as taking the time to celebrate with friends, colleagues and supporters, both the old and the new, in 2018 we have partnered with over 100 schools and early years services and are currently tallying up the number of program activities and the number of children we will have reached this year. The numbers are not yet in, but one thing is for sure, it’s been a lot!

We have built new partnerships with schools and early years services, connected with new community partners who support and enhance our program offerings, built and strengthened corporate and philanthropic supporter relationships which enable us to deliver and grow our programs, recruited hundreds of new volunteers and gratefully retained many existing ones as well, and fostered engagement with new and existing individual donors. ‘Collaboration’ is intentionally one of Ardoch’s values and is central to our mission, because none of what we have achieved throughout 2018 would be possible without each, and every, one of you.

As many of you may have noticed, we are in full swing with our end of year appeal. This year’s focus is Ardoch’s Pathways Beyond School program which builds career and educational aspirations and prepares students for life beyond school. We featured a story about a young student from a community of entrenched disadvantaged who recently took part in the program and has had some wonderful developments. With your support this festive season, Ardoch can ensure more young people are encouraged and aspire to a brighter future.

In addition to the important celebratory days that mark the end of each year, there is one other day in December that Ardoch highlights on our calendar – International Volunteer Day. Celebrated on the 5th December every year since the United Nations designated it so, International Volunteer Day celebrates the power and potential of volunteerism.

The theme of this year’s International Volunteer Day is “Volunteers build resilient communities” and this is something we know firsthand as a result of the relationships that Ardoch volunteers build with the students and schools they support. To each of Ardoch’s 1500+ volunteers, thank you for the significant difference you make to children and communities in Australia. We would not be the organisation we are, nor would we reach the schools and children that we do, without you.

On behalf of the board and staff of Ardoch I wish you all a happy, safe and restful festive season and thank you again for your generous support of Ardoch in 2018 and into the future.

Kylee Bates

Chief Executive Officer