This weekend thousands of volunteers will be joining the Salvos in knocking on doors for the annual Red Shield Appeal.

This is perhaps Australia’s best recognised fundraising drive as the Appeal has now been in operation for over 50 years.

I want to encourage residents in my own electorate of North Sydney to give generously on the weekend and at the collection points in local shopping centres.

The Salvation Army does such incredible work for those who need a helping hand and the Red Shield Appeal is vital to their efforts to support the most vulnerable in our community.

Their community services range from assisting the homeless, helping families in crisis through to emergency and disaster relief.

The generosity of Australians during the Red Shield Appeal allows the Salvos to provide in just a typical week:

• 100,000 meals to the hungry;
• 2000 beds to the homeless;
• Support for 1000 people trying to find work;
• Refuge to 500 people who are the victims of abuse;
• Support for 500 people with addiction problems; and
• Aged care services to nearly 3000 elderly Australians.

And I repeat that that is just in one week.

The Red Shield Appeal is a major logistical undertaking and I want to thank the many organisations who lend their support – from Rotary to the thousands of school students who volunteer.

Today I also want to acknowledge the incredible work of Rob Bagnall who, for more than ten years has volunteered as the Area Chair of the Sydney North region for the Appeal.

He’s retiring next year and I’m honoured to be asked to become the Area Chair from next year and I know I have huge shoes to fill.