SALA winner keen to continue artistic impact

Written by Lili Rose.

This year’s winner of the SALA Don Dunstan Foundation Award is inspiring textile artist, Makeda Duong, who says winning the award came as a shock.

‘I was a little bit surprised. I felt like the other two finalists were strong contenders as well,’ Duong said.

The winning piece, Duong’s Mixed Race Sweater, is a layered, intimate piece displaying and examining the questions made to her about her identity and her musings on the complexities of being a mixed race, Vietnamese-Australian woman.

‘It’s partly about how I’m perceived as a mixed race, half Asian person, but there’s also a lot of stuff going on behind it to do with my father’s past coming from Vietnam, a country that suffered a lot of invasion, war and trauma,’ said Duong.

The sweater, which is split evenly displaying the colours of the Australian flag on the front and the South Vietnamese flag on the back, is a manifestation of her own heritage and the curiosity it inspires in other people. 

As part of her exhibition Mixed Race Female, the sweater asks its audience to reflect upon themselves and the powerful social positions in which questions like ‘Where are you from’ and ‘Am I Australian’ come from.

Each of these questions, which make assumptions about identity based on name or appearance, have been asked to Makeda, an experience known to many other people of colour in Australia.

‘Firstly, there’s something about being a person of colour, it’s very visible, it’s a fact that’s right there, the colour of your skin, colour of your eyes, colour of your hair…it sets you apart,’ Duong said.

Additionally, the sweater’s colours comment on the duality in views on communism, comparing the difference between her father’s experience in Vietnam, which led to his migration to Australia, to the ideals of Western youth.

‘I was thinking that a lot of young Western people have this really positive view of communist ideals now, they see it as a positive alternative to capitalism. Whereas, people like my dad, who came from Vietnam, have had oppressive communist rule and see it as a negative thing. This intrigued me and I might be thinking about that in future works,’ said Duong.

Winning the DDF SALA Festival Award hasn’t been the only response Makeda has had for her work. The exhibition has been featured in a number of local publications, further demonstrating the profound impact it’s had on the public.

‘I think it’s made me realise these kinds of works on these topics has really resonated with a lot of people, probably more than I thought it would,’

‘A lot of things that aggravate me tend to make me want to make artwork as a reaction to it.’ Duong said.

The initial inspirations for the sweater began with Duong’s first piece from 2015, the Cursed Boyfriend Sweater, a manifestation of the unhealthy things couples say to each other knitted into a wearable sweater.

Duong plans to save the $1000 prize money to continue creating artwork on topics of mental health, migration, race, and gender.

‘I think it’s emboldened me to make work if I feel I have something to say about it, not feel like I can’t or that it’s a topic that I’m going to be attacked or perceived negatively for,’ said Duong.

With a specialisation in textiles, Duong says she won’t be moving away from the medium any time soon. Instead, she’s considered creating more sculptural works like those currently featured in her exhibition.

Although having a break after this exhibition, Duong will continue to contemplate conceptual avenues, further focusing on ideas of communism and the funding cuts within the arts sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mixed Race Female is showing at Nexus Arts Gallery until September 17th.

Congratulations Baroness Louise Casey!

Baroness Louise Casey

Written by Edward McLeish

Queen Elizabeth II has elevated 2017 Don Dunstan Orator Dame Louise Casey to the title of Baroness.

Baroness Louise Casey has been a driving force in ending homelessness and has developed a number of bespoke social policy programmes governments have used globally.

Aside from being an annual Don Dunstan Orator in 2017, Bss Casey challenged the city of Adelaide to solve its homelessness problem – a challenge giving birth to the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Zero Project.

Some of Bss Casey’s UK achievements include becoming director of Shelter (1992), head of the Rough Sleepers’ Unit (1999), a director of the Anti-Social Behavioural Unit (2003), head of the Respect Task Force (2005), was the UK’s first Victims Commissioner in 2010 and the director-general of Troubled Families in 2011. In February this year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed Bss Casey as an adviser to help tackle homelessness.

Bss Casey has consistently delivered brave and innovative solutions to long standing social problems ranging from homelessness to anti-social behaviour to troubled families.

And throughout her illustrious career, Bss Casey has maintained her commitment to the charity sector and has been a driving force in the establishment of the Institute for Global Homelessness (which works with the Adelaide Zero Project), with the aim of delivering an international solution to homelessness across the world.

Previously, Bss Casey was awarded the Companion of the Order of Bath (CB) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2008 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Queen’s birthday honours list, 2016.

The Don Dunstan Foundation congratulates Baroness Louise Carey for her promotion, her leadership and her stellar achievements in reducing homelessness.

How to help our partners

Written by Anthony Collebrusco

During this challenging climate, our thoughts are with the partners of the Don Dunstan Foundation’s major projects.

These service providers continue to deliver invaluable services to vulnerable populations in our community, and many have adapted their practices to protect their clients, employees and volunteers.

With many of us in the not-for-profit sector impacted in different ways by COVID-19, some of you may have the capacity to support our very important service providers.

We have made a comprehensive list of partners and their current needs with links to more information about how you can help.

Additionally, some partners are no longer accepting certain types of donated goods. These changes are also noted below.

Whether you are able to offer support, or unable to in these difficult times, the Foundation thanks you for your ongoing commitment to social justice in our state.


Donations to Anglicare’s COVID-19 Emergency Appeal can be made here. To limit the spread of COVID-19, AnglicareSA is currently not accepting donated goods from the public, including food, clothing and blankets.

Baptist Care SA

Baptist Care SA provides weekly emergency relief food parcels to people experiencing homelessness. The organisation has created a list of non-perishable food items, including:

  • Canned meat, soup, tinned fruits and vegetables.
  • Cereal and long life milk.
  • Rice.
  • Pasta sauce.
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and deodorant.
  • And much more.

Items can be dropped off during office hours Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm at 11-19 Millers Court (off Wright Street).

Baptist Care SA is also seeking mobile phones (Android not Apple) to help connect those experiencing isolation with their loved ones.

Catherine House Inc.

The current virus threat means clients need more support than ever, and donations can be made here. Volunteer programs have been paused and in-kind goods donations are currently not accepted.

Community Housing LTD

CHL has compiled resources related to COVID-19, state-specific information, and FAQs related to housing and tenancy matters.

Housing Choices South Australia

Housing Choices South Australia has been curating helpful resources on their Facebook page, including a telephone check-in service from the Red Cross and a factsheet for older Australians from COTA SA.

They also shared Action for Happiness’ Meaningful May calendar, featuring daily prompts of positive actions you can take. Print it out and put it on your desk.

Hutt St Centre

Hutt St Centre is accepting food donations, including:

  • Reusable, BPA-free water bottles
  • Muesli bars
  • Long life milk
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Supermarket gift cards

Clothing and household items are not currently being accepted.

Download Hutt St Centre’s COVID-19 wishlist. (PDF)

Junction Australia

Junction Australia’s Facebook page is curating ways to help local not-for-profit organisations.

OARS Community Transitions

OARS Community Transitions’ volunteer recruitment page is still active.

Australian Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross continues to support bushfire relief and helping those in need across Australia. It is still seeking volunteers. Find opportunities close to you on their volunteer page.

Blood and plasma donations remain vital in the fight against COVID-19. Travel and venue restrictions do not prevent people from giving blood, although the Red Cross encourages donors aged 70 and over to stay at home and self-isolate. Learn more about how to give blood and plasma.

The Red Cross created a page dedicated to tips about maintaining your well-being and how to take care of yourself and others in isolation.

The Salvation Army

As COVID–19 continues to impact our communities, The Salvation Army is working hard to continue providing support to those who need it most. Cash donations can be made here. The Salvation Army is not accepting donations of goods currently, so please do not drop unwanted goods outside the shops.

Uniting Communities

As of 1 May, anyone entering an aged care facility for work or to visit loved ones will be required to provide proof of a current flu vaccination. Uniting Communities encourages everyone to get your flu shot as soon as possible.


Vinnies has announced that shops at Hawthorn and Kidman Park have reopened as of 18 May 2020. Vinnies Hawthorn shop at 21 Abbotshall Road accepts quality donations of clothes, bric-a-brac, books and household items. Clean blankets are also being accepted to help those in need of warmth. Social distancing measures are in place and volunteers have proper protection.

Women’s Safety Services SA

The organisation encourages donations to Second Chances SA or the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Secondhand goods are not accepted.

Shelter SA

Shelter SA is involved in weekly Giving Tuesday campaigns. In a recent campaign, they asked for food or cash donations to be made to a list of homelessness service providers. Weekly updates can be found on their enews and Facebook page.

Writers Week review – Angela Woollacott’s biography on Don Dunstan

The Visionary Don Dunstan – Angela Woollacott Adelaide Writers’ Week event

Written by Chris Button

Don Dunstan’s lasting legacy as a strong leader, social reformer, and an eloquently intelligent politician commanded attention at a packed Adelaide Writers’ Week discussing his recent biography written by historian Angela Woollacott, Don Dunstan: The visionary politician who changed Australia.

Featuring discussion between Woollacott and local barrister Anthony Durkin, the 5 March event commenced with Durkin remarking on comments made on Dunstan by former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Specifically, the fact Whitlam said ‘No one has done more to transform his own community and society and… the whole of Australia.’ Tongue firmly planted in cheek, Durkin suggested that for such a renowned figure to make these comments, Dunstan must have been significant!

Woollacott then took to the lectern and listed a snapshot of Dunstan’s political achievements, including working towards Aboriginal land rights, equality, and Adelaide’s dining culture. Additionally, Woollacott paid homage to Dunstan’s very own Adelaide Festival performance in 1974, where he recited Ogden Nash poetry accompanied by Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals a stone’s throw away at the Adelaide Zoo – to a sold-out audience, no less.

When Woollacott took time to quote reviews of her book to the audience, it was not to gloat, but to vividly illustrate the far-reaching impact Dunstan had on Australia. From The Saturday Paper’s Linda Jaivin recognising how much the former Premier shaped ‘the Australia I fell in love with’, to Adelaide’s own David Penberthy praising Dunstan’s progressive revamp of South Australia’s capital. Arguably pointed at the current political establishment, Woollacott quoted Christine Wallace, who posed and answered a poignant question in The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘What do you do with a politician capable of achieving an 82 percent approval rating? Answer: Study them closely.’

In working on the biography since 2011, Woollacott believed Dunstan’s importance to Australia was motivation enough to see it through and that researching him only enhanced her view of the man. As an Adelaide local, Woollacott said she came of age while Dunstan was Premier of South Australia, seeing firsthand the changes made during what is commonly referred to as the ‘Dunstan Decade’.

Once the format switched to a conversation between Woollacott and Durkin, the discussion turned to how strong a campaigner Dunstan was. Particularly in 1968, how he overcame the gerrymander in place which favoured the Liberal and Country League (LCL) party, and how his national campaigning embarrassed then-Premier Steele Hall into beginning to redraw the electoral boundaries. Dunstan was heralded by both Durkin and Woollacott for working with tenacity and passion towards objectives others thought impossible.

Other points of discussion included Dunstan’s love of the arts and willingness to invest political capital into it, which was unusual for the Australian Labor Party at the time. Additionally, his creativity in using the media advantageously was praised. Woollacott recalled Dunstan as an early adopter of opinion polls; not as a method of informing policy, but to help him identify where and how he could better explain his policies. Further, Dunstan’s elocution lessons and background in theatre helped to punctuate his points in a way few others could.

Additionally, both speakers commented on Dunstan’s ability to inspire bipartisanship, including a unique relationship with former LCL Premier Sir Thomas Playford, whom the former would regularly invite to discuss political matters in a pinch. Woollacott and Durkin took amusement in discussing a photo at Dunstan’s 50th birthday party, where he and Playford were pictured next to Whitlam and Bob Hawke – a stark contrast of political allegiances. They also commented on Dunstan’s focus on consensus leadership, different to the factional politics prevalent today.

Known for being a colourful character in many aspects of life, Dunstan is perhaps best known for the iconic photo of him wearing pink shorts and a tight, white t-shirt to Parliament House – against the wishes of his advisers. Woollacott suggested Dunstan was doing gym workouts at the time and was keen to show off his ‘quite buff’ figure.

Light-heartedly, albeit with an undeniable sense of frustration, Woollacott wished more people knew Dunstan for more than just pink shorts. This sentiment was shared by Anne Levy AO who was in attendance, believing more is required to educate younger generations on Dunstan’s legacy.

While there will only ever be one Don Dunstan, Woollacott implored current leaders to lead with curiosity and imagination, and lamented the absence of these qualities in the years since Dunstan’s time in politics. Further illustrating this, Woollacott pointed to Donald Horne’s 1964 book The Lucky Country which famously stated that ‘Australia is a lucky country, run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.’ Woollacott spoke about how Dunstan was a bold leader actively interested in public affairs- something she yearns for a return to in the current political arena.

Homelessness to surge in South Australia because of COVID-19

Celeste Villani, City Editor, The City|May 10, 2020

Shelters are bracing for a surge in homelessness in SA in both employed and unemployed people because of the COVID-19 crisis – there’s already been a huge spike in the CBD.

Read the article here …

New Executive Director Announced

The Don Dunstan Foundation has today announced the appointment of Ritchie Hollands as its next Executive Director to further build on the legacy of former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan.

Previously the Official Secretary to South Australia’s Governor Hieu Van Le, Mr Hollands’ career spans 20 years with roles in the executive, judicial and parliamentary arms of Government in both Adelaide and Canberra.

Mr Hollands says it’s an exciting time to be joining the Don Dunstan Foundation, which is driving community awareness and influencing change on important social issues.

“I’m really looking forward to contributing to the continued success of the Foundation, while drawing on my professional experience in government as well as my volunteer roles in the social sector,”

Mr Hollands is the current President of the Australian Refugee Association, and has served as an Ambassador for the White Ribbon Campaign seeking to eliminate violence against women.

“I’ve long been an admirer of Don Dunstan’s decisive leadership and courageous vision for South Australia, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to support his legacy.”

The Don Dunstan Foundation’s Chairperson, the Honourable Reverend Dr Lynn Arnold AO welcomes Mr Hollands to the important role of leading the Foundation and says the area of focus remains paying tribute to the narrative-changing role played by Don Dunstan during his lifetime.

This includes cultural diversity, freedom of individuals to control their lives, distribution of global wealth, democratic and inclusive forms of governance, respect for fundamental human rights as well as indigenous people and protection of their rights.

Mr Hollands will commence the role in September and replaces David Pearson who will finish up at the Foundation during the same month.

“I would also like to thank Mr Pearson for his outstanding contribution to the Don Dunstan Foundation including his work on new programs such as the Adelaide Zero Project – aiming to end street homelessness in the inner city and the Thinkers in Residence program – attracting world experts to urgently address local social challenges. I wish him every success in his future endeavours,” Dr Arnold says.

For more information please call the Foundation on 08 8313 3364.

Design competition winner announced

As part of our work with young people and the universities in South Australia, we ran a competition for student designers to come up with artwork for an event at the Foundation.
This years winner was Janin Hentzen, whose artwork will feature in our marketing and promotional materials next year. Her wonderful design featured a picture of Don, and incorporated the Foundation’s primary colours with a modern flair.
Keep an eye out for her well designed artwork in the coming months.

A big congratulations to Janin and our thanks for her effort on the project.

Janin Hentzen, winner of DDF marketing competition.

Migration Entities Join Forces to Combat Issues Facing Migrants and Refugees

MARRNet Enters Strategic Partnership with AMES Australia

The Migration and Refugee Research Network (MARRNet) is pleased to announce the launch of a new strategic partnership, with AMES Australia confirmed as a key sponsor of the network.

MARRNet is comprised of researchers, service providers, students and community members, established to improve migration in South Australia. The Network is sponsored by The Don Dunstan Foundation, The University of Adelaide, Flinders University, The University of South Australia and now, AMES Australia.

Global migration is a dynamic and growing phenomenon with significant economic, social, cultural and humanitarian implications at the national and international level. MARRNet’s focus is to foster research collaboration and innovation, to promote multiculturalism and improve settlement outcomes for asylum seekers, refugees and international students. It also aims to be a collective place, where discussions and actions on social justice and existing human rights law protection can occur.

Similarly, Victorian based AMES Australia, has helped new and recently arrived refugees and migrants for over 60 years, helping them settle into the community to ensure “full participation for all in a cohesive and diverse society.” AMES Australia works with new arrivals, businesses and the Government to develop effective settlement solutions.

This partnership will allow support events such as the Hugo Oration, various MARRNet engagement activities and many other activities that connect diverse audiences and raise awareness of refugee and migration issues. If you want to be a part of this incredible network, contact the Don Dunstan Foundation.


Significant rise in rough sleepers tracked by record number of volunteers Copy

Support for Adelaide’s Homeless ‘needs to go further’ Australian-first tracking data reveals

In a push to end street homelessness by the end of 2020, Adelaide, the first city in Australia to actively track the number of rough sleepers in its inner city and report the figures publicly, has recorded an increase over the past 12 months.

A record 280 volunteers as part of the Adelaide Zero Project’s annual ‘ Connections Week,’ have engaged with people sleeping rough face-to-face to determine their individual needs, know them by name and prioritise secure housing.

Adelaide’s latest Connections Week shows 227 people are actively sleeping rough in the inner city compared to 143 at the same time last year.

Don Dunstan Foundation Executive Director David Pearson says while it was expected that numbers would rise and fall as the names and needs of people sleeping rough in Adelaide’s CBD was recorded each month – more work needs to be done.

“We should be incredibly proud that the Adelaide Zero Project over the past 12 months has made a record 161 housing placements to support people living on our streets into secure housing.

“We now need to better understand why our data is indicating an upwards trend in people sleeping rough and if this increase is because more people are falling into street homelessness, or whether we are simply identifying more people through an improved measurement system.

“Ultimately, to be successful in ending rough sleeping, all levels of government must work together. The recently announced City Deal, a 10-year federal, state and local government agreement to grow Adelaide as an innovative and vibrant city, should be expanded to include tackling homelessness.

“Whilst we have done an extraordinary job of placing more people into housing, we also need to improve our efforts at prevention – this will be the focus of this year’s Don Dunstan Foundation Homelessness Conference on August 7.

“Over 70% of people surveyed during Connections Week were facing physical health, mental health and substance abuse issues. This shows rough sleeping is a health issue as much as a housing issue.

“What we need now are partners in Canberra to help us with this challenge.

“We’ve called for $1.1 million in state government funding to help us implement the recent Institute of Global Homelessness’ report on Adelaide, to fast track and achieve ‘functional zero street homelessness.’

“The Report’s 28 recommendations include reducing the barriers to accessing shelter accommodation such as taking people on their own terms including those who are couples, intoxicated and have pets.

“The data shows, without removing these emergency accommodation restrictions, many people sleeping rough will continue to remain on the streets,” Mr Pearson says.

Adelaide City Council has pledged an additional $200,000 towards Adelaide Zero Project if the state government matches it.

To sustain functional zero street homelessness in the city, Adelaide Zero Project is also pushing for $30 million in capital funding from the federal government to build additional ‘social houses’ – similar to the $30 million in funding as part of the Hobart City Deal for housing.

Mr Pearson says achieving zero street homelessness is a whole-community approach and the private sector is also encouraged to commit and contribute to Adelaide Zero Project in whatever way they can.

“The private rental system needs to play a greater role in creating capacity in the emergency and social housing sectors for people sleeping rough to be able to be supported in,” he says.

Bendigo Bank’s State Manager SA/NT Paul Mertin is urging other businesses in South Australia to get on board the Adelaide Zero Project.

“Help us in our mission to strengthen the whole community with better resourcing and services for those who have, for various reasons, encountered unexpected challenges in their lives,” he says.

Adelaide is a Vanguard city, one of only 13 cities worldwide, who are committed to ending street homelessness by working with the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH).


Community Briefing

The results from Connections Week were announced at the Community Briefing, with presentations from Hutt St Centre CEO, Ian Cox and Executive Direction of the Don Dunstan Foundation, David Pearson. Over 120 community members, volunteers and industry specialists attended the event, focused on this years results and how to move towards Functional Zero street homelessness.

To view Ian Cox’s presentation, please click here.

To view David Pearson’s presentation, please click here.

For more statistics on this year’s Connections Week, please download the info-graphic click here.


About Adelaide Zero Project

More than 40 organisations are driving the Adelaide Zero Project and have committed to ‘functional zero street homelessness’ by the end of 2020. These include inner city homelessness services, Principal Partner Bendigo Bank, state government, City of Adelaide, University of Adelaide and Flinders University. Don Dunstan Foundation is acting as the backbone organisation.

‘Functional zero homelessness’ is reached when the number of people who are homeless in a city on any given night is no greater than the average monthly housing placement rate – and is reduced over time.

Adelaide Zero Project commenced in late 2017 and is based on a highly successful approach being rolled out across the United States.

In the United States, seven communities have achieved Functional Zero homelessness for veterans, and four communities for chronically homeless people.

Adelaide aiming to be first Australian city to end street homelessness by 2020 with record number of volunteers set to hit the streets

Every homeless person has a name and a record 280 volunteers next week will spend a few nights walking the streets of Adelaide’s CBD, getting to know the people sleeping rough face-to-face.

Dubbed ‘Connections Week’ from Monday 20 May until Thursday 23 May, the overall goal is to support more rough sleepers into secure housing to achieve Functional Zero[1] street homelessness in the city by the end of 2020.

The initiative is part of the Adelaide Zero Project, which involves over 40 partnering organisations including inner city homelessness services, Principal Partner Bendigo Bank, state government, City of Adelaide, University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

“Since Adelaide’s first Connections Week during May last year, 133 people have been supported into secure housing – this is a remarkable achievement,” Don Dunstan Foundation Executive Director David Pearson says.

“These are people who were identified as sleeping rough and were put on Adelaide’s first-ever By-Name List, to assist inner city homelessness services to know their names and coordinate housing and support – based on their individual needs,” Mr Pearson says.

“In an Australian-first, a public online Dashboard is also actively tracking the number of people sleeping rough in Adelaide’s CBD and shows how many have moved into secure housing –

“While the city has the most comprehensive data on street homelessness in the country, we still have a huge task ahead of us, as we know new people are regularly ending up on the streets.

“Tonight, 167 people will be sleeping rough on the streets and parklands of our city. Connections Week will establish whether this figure has gone up or down.”

This year, new data will be collected from people sleeping rough to include:

  • Length of time living on the streets
  • How many people have experienced repeat homelessness
  • Identifying mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosocial disorders
  • Diagnosis of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart, liver and kidney disease

Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor says people sleeping rough are some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Connections Week is an opportunity to understand the needs of individual rough sleepers to ensure that service responses can best address their needs, including those for appropriate housing,” Ms Verschoor says.

Bendigo Bank’s State Manager SA/NT Paul Mertin says Bendigo Bank is very pleased to be able to continue its support for Adelaide Zero Project as Principal Partner.

“Bendigo Bank staff will again be volunteering during Connections Week to help enter and analyse the information collected from the people sleeping rough, so that an accurate assessment of the homelessness situation in Adelaide can be presented at a public Community Briefing on Thursday 23 May.”

The Don Dunstan Foundation initiated the Adelaide Zero Project with a diverse range of organisations in late 2017 to achieve a common goal – ending street homelessness in the City of Adelaide.

“There are no simple solutions to homelessness – it’s incredibly complex,” Mr Pearson says.

“We do know that the biggest cause of homelessness is ignoring it, that’s why the Adelaide Zero Project is so important as it requires our community’s collective effort to tackle this problem.”

For more information or interviews contact: The Message Bureau (08) 8223 7703 or 0419 754 564

[1] Functional Zero street homelessness is achieved when the number of people who are sleeping rough at any time is no greater than the average housing capacity.