The 6th Annual Hymans Lunch
9th September 2021
After missing out last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were so excited to be able to hold the 6th Annual Hyman’s lunch in support of HELP Enterprises at the Brisbane Hilton Hotel in August 2021.
Ian Hyman OAM, has been organising events like this for 28 years, with each one being a resounding success in raising funds and awareness for the host charity.
The latest event, supporting HELP’s mission to enhance the lifestyle, independence, and ambitions of people with disability, was no exception.
Special guest speaker this year was Noel Pearson, whose frank and passionate insights, highlighted the need to create fulfilling jobs for disadvantaged Australians.
Following what Noel calls a “completely privileged education”, he is grateful for the many opportunities he has been given and is also acutely aware that not everyone has such good fortune. It is for this reason he is passionate about helping disadvantaged people have access to meaningful employment and training.
He feels strongly that gainful employment enables people to build their capabilities, grow their confidence and strive for more physical and financial independence.
Noel’s thoughts are mirrored by Ian Hyman who stresses that the “Financial independence, confidence and fulfillment that paid work provides for people with disability is one of the greatest gifts that any business can offer. It is life-changing.”
In 2017 a report from the productivity commission highlighted the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people in Australia in a situation of inequality. Noel calls them, collectively, the “bottom million”. These are the people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those struggling with mental health issues.
Noel’s formula for success includes “personal responsibility and opportunity”. That means true opportunity for people who want jobs, to be given access to jobs with a minimum wage, that will help progress the change that we need to see.
He says we need to “be real about opportunity … honest about opportunity. Completely clear about opportunity. And the opportunity that the bottom million need is the opportunity of a job. Not the promise of a job, not the chance of a job - a job.”
It is people like Noel Pearson and Ian Hyman, who advocate for the rights of the “underclass Australians”; and organisations such as HELP who provide the support, employment, and training opportunities, that will lead to the changes needed to see equality of employment for all Australians.
But it is also cultural change, societal change, and the support of the Australian Government agencies such as the NDIS, along with private businesses who are willing to offer real opportunities to those in need, that will help make the ultimate impact.
We are grateful to have so much support from everyone involved at this lunch, and especially for the generous time given to us by Noel Pearson. In Ian’s words, “Noel is the only person in Australia that meets the definition of a statesman. Not only is he a wonderful spokesperson for his people, but he is also a spokesman for all of us. He is a man of ideas and action. His views on welfare, unemployment, and Australia Day will inspire you.” (View Noel’s full interview with Leisa Goddard here).
HELP is proud to support people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in finding meaningful and rewarding employment. We offer a variety of direct employment opportunities across our organisation, as well as assistance in gaining and sustaining work in open employment.
If you’d like to find out how to support HELP in our many endeavours, or are in the position to offer employment opportunities, contact us today.