Come to Ballarat's aid, says Father Bob

ONE of Australia’s best-known religious figures, Father Bob Maguire graced the Ballarat community last night with his wit, humour and down to earth view of society.

Leadership Ballarat & Western Region held a forum with the popular Catholic priest at the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts which was attended by more than 300 people.

Through his 78 years, community has come to mean a great deal to the South Melbourne resident.

“The reason for the conference is to appeal to everyone to come to the aid of the city of Ballarat,” he said. “The simple solution to social chaos is us.”

The Triple J co-host appealed to the leaders of Ballarat to recreate our city with a heart.

“Leadership is in the minds and hearts of our leaders,” he said.

“I want you to show guidance and support each day.”

The forum, which was a free event, focused on the ripple effect being the key to saving our neighbourhoods and communities.

Father Bob referred to the audience as the “ones we’ve been waiting for” to make changes within society.

“You are the rock which we throw into Lake Wendouree and watch ripple away,” he said.

He spoke of education as one of the main keys in connecting a community.

“Every kid can be saved through education. School has to become a home away from home,” he said.

Father Bob also apologised to the community of Ballarat during his visit.

“I’m trying to make up for the sins of the fathers. Sorry for what we’ve done to you, especially to Ballarat.”

Finishing the night off, among many jokes, the advocate of the poor said, “Ballarat’s salvation is in their own hands”.