Homelessness Advocate Recognised as ‘Woman of Achievement’
17 October 2011 at 3:44 pm
|Image: Lighthouse Foundation founder Susan Barton.|
Susan Barton – the founder of the Lighthouse Foundation – has been named the winner of BrainLink’s Women of Achievement Award.
The prize, announced today at a gala luncheon in Melbourne – recognises the achievement of women who have contributed to their communities.
The finalists in the award were drawn mainly from the Not for Profit sector. They include Rachael Maza Long – the Artistic Director of Iibijerri Theatre, Shirley Woods – an outreach worker for Project Respect with represents the interests of sex workers, physiotherapist and researcher Dr Linda Denehy and Kate Weiss – a businesswoman and charity supporter.
Barton said she felt privileged to be part of such a “wonderful” group of women who were finalists of the award, hosted by BrainLink a Victorian organisation which supports those with acquired brain injury.
Barton was recognised for her work in protecting children. Thirty-five years ago after volunteering in an orphanage in Sri Lanka, she returned to Australia and fostered children.
With a growing family eventually she ran out of room at her house – and the idea for the Lighthouse Foundation was born.
Barton partnered with the business community to help provide accommodation for homeless young people – including caravans. The organisation has grown and now supports ten homes, with four young people per home and an outreach program cares for more than 600 young people.
She told supporters of BrainLink at the awards ceremony today, “If I have the opportunity to play some role in making it a caring community then I feel very privileged.”
She told the audience that the cause was dear to her as she has a brother with acquired brain injury “so I know how hard it can be.”