Monday, April 28, 2008

A test of their faith, by Andrew Hornery - The Sydney Morning Herald - 26th April 2008

When Sydney's most influential types get caught up in a scandal, they usually go to ground, as witnessed this week when the high-profile names involved in the saga surrounding the Just Enough Faith charity seemingly vanished.

Last weekend, allegations the founder of Just Enough Faith Jeff Gambin had mismanaged the charity's finances sent shockwaves through some of its biggest supporters, including the Packers - in particular Gretel Packer - Alan Jones and Russell Crowe, who had all thrown their support behind the charity which feeds hundreds of Sydney's homeless each night.

And while neither the Packers nor Crowe would talk about it - though friends say they are bitterly disappointed by the allegations - Jones, who hosted a high-profile charity fund-raiser for the cause at the Hordern Pavilion three years ago, reluctantly told PS of his concern.

"I was concerned by what I'd read but that was all I knew. Against that, it's undeniable that this man [Gambin] has done a phenomenal amount of good for destitute people in this city. The task of feeding hundreds and hundreds of people every night for years is certainly beyond my comprehension. And what's to happen to those people if this charity is torpedoed, I don't know."

However, Jones said that while he had been a public supporter of the charity, his dealings with Gambin were minimal.

"If people ask me to assist with charitable causes and I can, I will. That's how I came to be at the function at the Hordern Pavilion. Beyond that, I've had little contact at all with Jeff Gambin except on one occasion I remember having him and his wife to a meal when he wanted to discuss with me some aspect of the charity. I have forgotten the detail."

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