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Madelin Tomelty

Community. It’s not a word that is used with the same regularity of yesteryears – much like ‘neighbour’ with its images of men mowing the lawn and women borrowing cups of sugar. But for Sydney Homeless Connect, community is at the very core of everything this pioneering foundation stands for.

A not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, Sydney Homeless Connect functions as the middleman between those that are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and the services that can help them to get back on their feet. It’s a job that never stops, and it culminates once a year on a sunny June day at Sydney Town Hall.

The Annual Day of Free Service is a time when Sydney’s struggling citizens become our guests, where they can be connected with community and government services that offer guidance and support to help improve their lot in life. In its fifth year, 100 organisations took part in the 2014 event and volunteered their time to treating our disadvantaged Sydney-siders to everything from new clothes, a massage and a hot lunch to advice on housing, health, employment, as well as social, financial and legal aid.

Also on the menu of services? Haircuts, and lots of them. Enter Murphy Gozzard Directors Brett McKinnon and Brett Albury, who alongside students from the Australasian College Broadway, executed no less than 400 mop-chops to those in need of a little TLC. When you consider that those struggling day-to-day can’t even afford a roof over their head, let alone be able to tend to their appearance, it becomes apparent how such simple paid services are taken for granted in our society, and what a profound impact those services can have on the less fortunate.

Big believers in the importance of community in both a hairdressing and general context, the Murphy Gozzard stylists along with their hairdressing comrades used hundreds of donated L’Oreal Professionnel products along with their scissoring skills to bring a smile to thousands of dials.

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