Congratulations to Caretakers Cottage

Malcolm Turnbull MP | October 18, 2007

Today I had the privilege of meeting a simply excellent bunch of people ­ the young residents and workers of "Caretaker's Cottage". It's the Cottage's 30th birthday, and their founder, Laurie Matthews, invited me to the festivities and speak at their gathering at Waverley Bowls Club this afternoon.

I congratulated Laurie Matthews for his remarkable achievement of 30 years of selfless service to the eastern suburbs community and specifically to our youths in crisis. The story of "Caretaker’s Cottage" is an inspiring one and very Australian in its plot. When Laurie Matthews first started "Caretaker’s Cottage" in 1977, there was nothing like it of its kind to help homeless youths in the area. The Cottage seeks to source constructive training, work and educational opportunities for troubled teens during their stay. The cottage vision is to work with individuals during their stay to build the life skills they will need for successful independent living or to reconcile with their families. Laurie’s idea was instantly recognized as a revolutionary approach to youth homelessness, and the six thousand or more young people who have passed through the doors are testimony to the success of his warm and personal approach to young lives in crisis. The Cottage is now seen as a leading edge example of caring for our homeless young people. And yet, despite its significant achievements, "Caretaker’s Cottage" has maintained an admirable, quiet humility, never seeking to big­note itself in the community or make headlines for the work it does.

So, congratulations Laurie and to the whole team at Caretakers Cottage who make this special place such a valuable resource. Could I also especially mention caseworkers Angie Bainbridge and Anette Jespersen. Thirty years is a remarkable achievement, and I wish you all the very best as you grow in your mission of service to the community and to our youth over the next three decades and beyond. As both a lifelong resident of the area and the Federal Member for Wentworth, let me extend a deep and heartfelt vote of thanks for all that you do for our community.

© Malcolm Turnbull MP 2007