One cold night behind bars

One cold night behind bars

It’s Thursday afternoon and as I sit down to write this column I have to admit I’m feeling a little nervous. I don’t usually get this way but it’s different this afternoon because I’m taking part in the Vinnies Community Sleepout tonight at Maitland Gaol.

Voluntarily spending a night behind bars at Maitland Gaol is something I never would have considered in the past but as Mayor I think it’s important that I put myself out of my comfort zone and get involved in events like this. Vinnies is such a wonderful organisation and they do amazing things for our community, so when I was asked to take part I agreed.

Homelessness is a big issue across Australia and not just in big cities, it’s a problem right here in Maitland too. It’s important we empathise with people who are homeless and really support organisations who are working to help. Personally, I think a night on a small bit of cardboard, on cement, with just a sleeping bag for warmth will put everything into perspective.

Big day of football

I also want to congratulate and thank everyone who came out to the football match at No. 1 Sportsground last weekend. The Jets and Mariners put on a great match and there were also some wonderful junior matches between Maitland FC and the Adamstown Rosebuds. It was a real thrill to see the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt in Maitland. Thanks to everyone who was involved in the day and special congratulations to the staff and volunteers who made it happen. 

Lastly, I want to wish all the Maitland dads a Happy Father’s Day for this Sunday.