Press release in pdf format can be found here.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced $500,000 of assistance by the Federal Government to Future Direction Network, in front of five hundred people at the joint FDN-University of Sydney information evening at the Revesby Workers Club last night. In her speech announcing the funding, the Prime Minister said she “was so blown away” when she first met FDN Chairman Corey Payne and first heard those stories from students like Elaine Yeo and Paulo Greaves from Fairfield High, that “…I knew that I wanted to help and I knew I wanted to see him have the resources to take his vision and his dream even further.”
Dropping in from a community cabinet meeting in nearby Regents Park, the Prime Minister was introduced by Revesby Workers Club President and Federal Member for Banks Daryl Melham. In his speech, Mr Melham on behalf of Revesby Workers Club also announced an $18,000 commitment to FDN. Mr Melham said “…she didn’t hesitate to make herself available to come here tonight. Her commitment to education is second to none, it’s well known.”
In her speech to the audience, the Prime Minister expressed solidarity with the aims of FDN and that of her Government. “A big part of what we’re trying to achieve as a Government is to make it possible for people to be the first in their family to go to university. Why is that so important? It literally changes lives.
“If I can leave one message with you tonight — if you’re thinking about it (university), then please strive to do it. It can seem big; it can seem scary, particularly if there’s no one in your family who can show you the path, who can shine the light for you if you’re going to be the first to go. But having the courage to take those steps is so important, because it will be the foundation for the rest of your life,” Ms Gillard said.
At the event, FDN also held a lucky door prize event, where Jenjira Phanumart won a three-night Comedy family cruise for four from P&O Cruises. Other prizes included an autographed NRL Bulldogs Jersey, a double pass to the State of Origin and NRL Grand Finals, vouchers for Oxygen online clothing shop and University of Sydney hoodies.
The team at the FDN would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors for providing these prizes – P&O Cruises (Carnival Australia), Oxygen clothing, Dirty Dog eyewear and the University of Sydney, for assisting us in hosting this successful event. We would also like to give special thanks to the Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Revesby Workers Club for their generous contributions to FDN and her kind words. FDN Chairman Corey Payne and the team at FDN believe that the support of the Federal Government is a huge milestone for FDN and shows an enormous amount of confidence and belief in our work.
More photos can be found on the FDN Facebook Page