Sunshine Letter Campaign – Members Statement

You can watch the video here.


Ms ADDISON: Last week was Homelessness Week and I wish to recognise Ailish Ryan, a young Ballarat girl with a big heart who inspires me. After seeing firsthand people who were homeless, Ailish wanted to make a difference for people who were sleeping rough. She thought what could she do to improve the lives of people doing it tough? How could she bring some sunshine into their lives? And so the idea of the Sunshine Letters campaign began. These are very special letters written to people experiencing homelessness ‘to make them feel warm and happy’, as Ailish describes it. With the support of her family, teacher Jo O’Kelly and Emmaus Catholic Primary School, she is making a difference. Ailish’s dad created a bright yellow letterbox for people to post their sunshine letters, which sits in the Emmaus school foyer. Since then Ailish has encouraged friends and their families to write sunshine letters to bring a smile to those people experiencing homelessness and to let them now that they are not invisible, that members of our community do care. Hundreds of sunshine letters have now been written, and from all reports they bring joy to those who receive them. I am pleased that the Sunshine Letters campaign is growing, with students at Yuille Park Community College building another sunshine letterbox. I encourage anyone who wishes to write a sunshine letter to do so, and I am happy for members to drop them at my office.