The leader of the Australian branch of the organisation defended their actions, but added that they would “absolutely learn from this”
The leader of the Salvation Army in Australia has defended the organisation after his daughter was given tickets for a Sir Paul McCartney gig which had initially been reserved for homeless people.
Seven tickets for McCartney’s show at AAMI Park in Melbourne on December 5 had been put aside for homeless people thanks to a donation by Chris McDonald, who donated the tickets directly to the Salvation Army.
However, two of the seven ticketholders were unable to attend the show and returned the tickets to the organisation – which were then passed onto Ash Nottle, the daughter of Salvation Army major Brendan Nottle.
“At the last minute, two tickets were returned and [a manager] made the decision to give them to my daughter. It had absolutely had nothing to do with me,” Nottle told 3AW. “The manager did the ring-around of other homeless people and volunteer staff and wasn’t able to move them because it was so late.”
Nottle said that his daughter had accepted the tickets under the premise that she and her partner would “look out for” the five homeless people who actually attended the gig.
The Salvation Army will now reimburse McDonald for all seven tickets, with Nottle adding that gig tickets were not an appropriate donation for the homeless.
“When you’re working with homeless people, to be blunt, do homeless people need tickets to Paul McCartney or do they need a roof over their head?” he said. “Do they need assistance with mental health issues or trauma or do they need food in their belly? I think the answer’s pretty obvious.
“We are not Ticketmaster, we are not concert promoters, we don’t do that stuff and we get it wrong sometimes, you know.”
Nottle said that the organisation would “absolutely learn from this”.
“The tragic thing is the daughter that’s involved is one of the most giving people I know. In this work you don’t do this stuff for the kickbacks.”
McDonald said that he still supported the Salvation Army, revealing that he had once been a recipient of the relief they provide.
“They do an awful lot of good for people and for the homeless. I have been a recipient of their relief so I know how important the work they do is, but the golden rule is never to dip your hand into the donations – it calls the integrity of the entire organisation into dispute.”