Parliamentarians join forces in charity friendship group
30 November 2022 at 4:30 pm
The sector will be able to use the group to launch key initiatives and engage with parliamentarians.
A cross-parliamentary group will champion Australian charities, its founders say.
Co-chaired by WA senator and Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Dean Smith, and Labor senator for Tasmania, Catryna Bilyk, the Parliamentary Friends of the Charitable, Not-for-Profit and Philanthropic Community was established to showcase the work of the sector.
Pro Bono News understands the group includes members from across the political spectrum, including charities minister Andrew Leigh.
Smith and Bilyk said in a statement that the group “will provide a platform for the sector to maximise its parliamentary engagement” and can be used “to launch key reports, strategies and other initiatives”.
“Whether it is responding to floods, bushfires or other natural disasters, or emerging from an unprecedented global pandemic, Australia is incredibly well served by its charities, not-for-profits and other philanthropy,” Smith said.
“This group has been set up to increase awareness of the issues facing the sector and lead a national discussion on addressing them.”
Bilyk said the role of charities and not for profits had been highlighted by the pandemic, natural disasters and the cost of living crisis.
“Charities and not for profits are being squeezed at both ends — facing emerging challenges engaging volunteers and donors while the demand for their services is increasing,” she said.
“In the face of these challenges, it is important for our federal parliamentarians to work together across party lines to find new and innovative ways to support charities and not for profits as they navigate this rapidly changing landscape.
“Having a parliamentary friendship group for this sector recognises the vital role it has in upholding the values that Australians hold dear.”