Brown Family Bequest Fund

Established by Hon Alan Brown AM to assist people who are displaced, homeless or separated from family for whatever reason who reside in Richmond.

About this fund 

Alan started the Fund in memory of his grandparents, John (pictured below proudly holding a young Alan) and Isabella Brown, and to perpetuate the family’s connection to Richmond. During the Great Depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s, severe hardship was inflicted on families and individuals throughout Australia and worldwide. Many families struggled to feed their children and poverty was endemic. John and Isabella and their ten children were forced to live apart during the Great Depression, because of no prospect of employment in the coal mining town of Wonthaggi.

To provide better opportunities, Isabella and five children moved to Richmond and rented a house in Lennox Street for forty years while John and the other children remained behind. Although there were visits on an irregular basis, the sadness for the family, which still lingers, is that John and Isabella, although remaining married, were never again re-united under the same roof. Four generations later, the Brown family still hold a warm regard for Richmond and its surrounds by following the Richmond Football Team and occasionally visiting the original sons’ favourite watering hole, the Kingston Hotel in Richmond, just around the corner from the family house.

Just like the Brown Family Bequest, a Named fund can acknowledge a life well lived spirit, or a proud achievement, and provides community assistance at a grass-roots and personal level.

What the evidence tells us

On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are homeless.  To be homeless is not necessarily to be ‘roofless’ or ‘sleeping rough.’  A person is considered homeless if they live in an inadequate or insecure housing or if their living arrangements do not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations. 

Homelessness is a complex issue.  The factors that can increase a person’s risk of becoming and remaining homeless can include:  poverty, unemployment, poor physical or mental health, family breakdown and domestic violence.

Children are particularly vulnerable.  Of the over 105,000 people defined as homeless in Australia, over a quarter of them are children under the age of 18.   This experience impacts significantly on their physical and mental health as well as their access to and participation in school is significant.

In our region there are several organisations like Lighthouse Foundation, Kids Under Cover and the YWCA working towards the prevention of homelessness and providing support to those who are without secure housing.  Lighthouse Foundation supports homeless young people through programs to identify stable and supportive accommodation and reengage them with their ongoing learning. YWCA Housing focuses on the development and acquisition of affordable housing solutions for women as well as providing other assistance and support. 

Your contribution to the Brown Family Bequest fund will assist those affected by homelessness to seek new directions and rebuild their lives.