Letters to the Editor



Dear Editor,

I was interested but sadly unsurprised to read the article “MP coy on CFA vote” in last Wednesday’s Weekly Times.

The article outlines how Independent Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed has refused to rule out reigniting Premier, Daniel Andrews’ bid to split the CFA after the November 24 State Election.

Why is Ms Sheed refusing to disclose how she will vote?

It can only be because Ms Sheed knows that the voters have a deep affection and respect for our wonderful CFA volunteers.

Given Ms Sheed’s history of voting with Daniel Andrews and her Labor mates you can bet London to a brick she will vote against the CFA once more.

It’s only right therefore that she comes clean on her voting intentions before the November election.

The voters have a right to know.

Yours sincerely,

Marty Richardson





Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Victorian community for their generous contributions to The Smith Family’s Winter Appeal. We are very pleased to have raised over $4.5M nationally to help thousands of disadvantaged children across Australia with vital support for their education.

For the one in seven young Australians living below the poverty line, keeping up at school can be extremely challenging. Family struggles at home can have a flow-on effect on a child’s learning. In our daily work, we hear heartbreaking stories of children missing school because they’re embarrassed about not being able to read or pretending to lose their homework because they hadn’t understood what was happening in class.

The donations we’ve received will help us reach almost 11,000 children in need through The Smith Family’s out-of-school learning programs – such as student2student, which helps younger children improve their reading skills by pairing them with older ‘reading buddies’, as well as our after-school Learning Clubs and the iTrack online mentoring program.

We are seeing great outcomes for the young people participating in our programs. For example, in 2017, 96 percent of primary school students improved their reading ability through the student2student program, while 86 per cent of students agreed that going to a Learning Club helped them do better in class. Another 85 percent of high school students said their iTrack mentor helped them feel more confident about their future job, career or study options.

All of these key programs rely not only on generous donations from the public but also volunteering support from the communities in which we operate. To everyone who has given their valuable time and dollars to support our work, we extend a huge thank you.

It is heart-warming to see people responding with great care to this large-scale issue of poverty in Australia, which is affecting so many of our young people. With this support, we can help more children in need break the cycle of disadvantage and create better futures for themselves.

Yours sincerely, 

Anton Leschen

General manager – Victoria

The Smith Family