Posted on May 15, 2018

Hawthorn Rotary’s connection with Reclink Australia comes from its support of the Salvo Hawks football team.     Recent guest speaker David O’Halloran is the current CEO of Reclink having spent many years with that group He has a long list of other worthwhile community activities including efforts in co-founding the “Choir of Hard Knocks” and Salvo-Hawks, two such entities now in the Reclink stable. 

Reclink is an Australia wide volunteer organization which aims to help “disadvantaged people” (not necessarily disabled) to regain a meaningful place in society.   Hence those who it helps are typically in need of or seeking rehabilitation from drug abuse. alcoholism, past criminal or stressed circumstances.   Such individuals are perceived to be in need of a purpose and/or have a sense of belonging.   It provides this with numerous arts and sporting programs in which the disadvantaged can participate (for free).   The individuals gain from regular commitment to these pursuits.

The Reclink group which has evolved and grown to an annual budget of near $7 Million (it enjoys significant State and Federal government support).    It has 110 staff and had 105,000 participants last year.

Essentially an umbrella organization. it ties together other volunteer and community groups (as Rotary) with its structure to contribute to the overall cause.   HRC’s direct part funding and participation (on the sidelines!) with the Salvo Hawks players each football match is a classic example of the Reclink approach.   

David’s address on Reclink was inspiring.   Adding flesh to the presentation we had his colleagues Peter and Tehan (the latter is the captain coach of the Salvo-Hawks) giving accounts of their story, and of course most of all displaying that football sweater.   One got the feeling that there will several more HRC observers at the next Salvo Hawks match.