Half a million donated to Salvos: Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation head Ralph Kelly hits back at salary claims
The director of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation (TKYF), Ralph Kelly, has rubbished claims his salary accounted for more than half the funds raised by the charity.
Mr Kelly was paid $125,574 last financial year, roughly 51 per cent of the $243,373 in revenue raised by the foundation, according to its latest annual report.
But the figures did not reflect more than half a million dollars paid to the Salvation Army by charity sponsors to run the charity's cornerstone program, Mr Kelly said.
Mr Kelly confirmed his salary was over $125,000 but the charity's reported revenue did not provide an accurate picture of the funding the charity generated.
"My salary was approved by all of the [TKYF] board members all of the directors and it was disappointing to see that [the Daily Telegraph] reported that without waiting to speak to the directors or myself," Mr Kelly said.
Ralph Kelly set up a foundation in Thomas' name after he was killed in a one punch attack.
"It undermines all of the good work the foundation does and puts doubt into people's minds," he said.
Between December 2014 and February 2016 the Salvation Army has received $540,000 to operate the Take Kare Safe Spaces in the Sydney CBD and Kings Cross, Mr Kelly told Fairfax Media.
"The majority of these funds are paid directly to the Salvation Army under an arrangement with TKYF and its sponsors," TKYF chairman Philip Crawford said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the Salvation Army said the organisation "receives funding directly to run the Take Kare Ambassador & Safe Space Program," but were unable to confirm the exact amount by deadline.
Funded by the NSW Government, the City of Sydney, the Macquarie Group Foundation and the Crown Resorts Foundation, Take Kare Safe Spaces operates every Friday and Saturday night providing assistance to young people who may run into trouble on a night out.
"To date the Take Kare Safe Space has trained 273 volunteers who, along with the Salvation Army, have staffed the Take Kare Safe Spaces for over 15,000 hours and helped 13,600 people in 2015," Mr Crawford said.
"TKYF has in place a governance structure to ensure that the foundation is managed prudently and that funds raised are earmarked in accordance with their purpose."
Mr Kelly and his wife Kathy established the TKYF after their son Thomas was killed in a one punch attack in Kings Cross in 2012.
His family and staff have received numerous threats since an article decrying the lock outs laws went viral earlier this month.
Following the publication of his salary, Mr Kelly said he was forced to temporarily shut down the foundation's website and Facebook page after they were inundated with abusive messages.
"If what I read in the [Daily] Telegraph is true, you payed [sic] yourself $150 000, you are a piece of s---. You should be ashamed of youself [sic]. You're the one that should get a good smack in the head. F--- your charity and f--- you , you theiving [sic] bastard," read on message posted to the TKYF website.
"You start to think if we are going to be targeted by death threats we should stop, but then you know it is going to make us stronger," Mr Kelly said.
"The foundation is working with all sorts of organisations, the City of Sydney, the Australian Hotels Association, the police, hospitals - to make this city safer, which should be everyone's focus," he said.
St Vincent's Hospital reiterated its support for Mr Kelly on Monday.
The hospital's emergency department receives the majority of alcohol-fuelled violence victims from Kings Cross, and its director of emergency services is also one of the TKYF directors.
"St Vincent's is confident that the TKYF has in place a thorough and transparent governance structure to ensure that the Foundation is managed prudently and that its funds raised are earmarked in accordance with their purpose," a spokesperson said in a statement.
"St Vincent's is proud of the impact that the TKYF is having in reducing the amount of harms the hospital has long had to contend with," the statement read.
Source: SMH, 22nd February, 2015 - Kate Aubusson