OKP is Celebrating Our Unsung Aussie Heroes this Australia Day
In honour of Australia Day, I want to acknowledge a group of unsung Aussie heroes. They are passionate people dedicated to making our country a better, safer, healthier, happier and more inclusive place to live – people who are often overworked and underpaid (if at all) – people who inspire the generosity of a nation for the good of us all. They are members of Australia’s third sector.
The Australian third sector – sometimes referred to as the not-for-profit sector, community sector, charitable sector or social sector – is made up of over 1 million Aussie heroes generating more than $100 billion each year to advance health, education, social welfare, arts & culture, and religion. This is a phenomenal achievement when you consider the often limited resourced they have to work with.
So today, on behalf of all Australians, I want to thank our third sector workers for their dedication, hard work and sacrifice. Without you, Australia would not be known as the “lucky country”. I also want to acknowledge the contribution the sector makes to our cultural identity.
Giving in Australia is about helping out a “mate” and ensuring everyone a “fair go”. This mix of mateship and altruism sets us apart from other cultures, as does our love of a little friendly competition. Peer to peer fundraising is thriving in Australia thanks to our ability to provide support while competitively pushing each other to greater heights.
In recent years, dire economic forecasts, terrorism, and other negative messages pervading the media, have somewhat eroded our “she’ll be right” attitude. The third sector is trying to counter this with a greater focus on the positive outcomes of its work. By sharing stories of success and inspiring a can-do attitude in their supporters, third sector organisations are showing the way forward and helping to re-build the confidence of our community.
However, our culture most impacts our giving when it comes to large-scale disasters whether in Australia or overseas. Australians will “give the shirt off their back” to help communities devastated by fire, flood or earthquake. People, who are not regular givers, will suddenly be inspired to give and those who give regularly will often give more. In fact the impact of a natural disaster can often cause a spike in giving across the third sector as Australians are reminded of the importance of charity.
From the team at OKP, we wish all our third sector colleagues a Happy Australia Day. We hope the day brings you an opportunity to relax, recharge and reflect on all the wonderful things you do for this country.