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Celebrating 20 years of Community Impact with the Hospitality Industry

By October 27, 2022November 7th, 2022DineSmart, News, StreetSmart News

StreetSmart’s first ever campaign, DineSmart, celebrates its 20th year this December. The hospitality industry led campaign has brought together hundreds of restaurants and their diners, helping StreetSmart raise over $10 million for their local homeless charities. As we encourage restaurants to sign up to DineSmart 2022 now, we take a moment to reflect back on how everything started back in 2003…

From day one DineSmart has been built on the generosity of restaurateurs and diners and action by hospo staff. I started by wearing out a lot of shoe leather walking the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs, knocking on kitchen doors between 3-5pm and talking to owners, chefs and managers about the idea and how we could help people they were seeing sleeping on the streets of the city.” said Founder of StreetSmart, Adam Robinson (pictured below)

(Photo Arianna Leggiero, Broadsheet)

“We needed early adopters to get involved quickly and back the campaign. Leading restaurateurs Dure Dara, Simon Denton, Martin Pirc and Cath Claringbold all jumped on board straight away, and we were off! Many restaurateurs went the extra mile and have held fundraising dinners, donated time to help develop our strategies and even drove me around to help recruit new participants.”

This annual campaign has provided vital support to vulnerable Australians, including (but not limited to), food & meals, accommodation, seed and early funding for grassroots projects (e.g. HoMie Melbourne, Orange Sky Laundry, The Big Issue and Street Socceroos, to name a few), material and emergency relief.

It is with the combined efforts of so many of our socially conscious partners that we are able to bring DineSmart to the tables of some of the best restaurants every year. Close to 1,000 venues have been involved in the event, but today, we would like to introduce some of the partners that had a massive role in DineSmart over the years, and without whom we wouldn’t be able to celebrate this incredible milestone!

20 Years.
20 Ambassadors.

Simon Denton holding DineSmart poster

SIMON DENTON

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Simon helped kick start the campaign in the first year, and since then he has connected all his venues including Verge, Kappo, Izakaya Den 2029 and he encouraged many of his friends to join the initiative, including the crew at Hero ACMI. It goes without saying, this industry legend has a heart of gold and has helped connect DineSmart into his industry peers, enabling growth and consistency for the initiative.

"I am proud to support DineSmart every year because of how huge the impact of such a simple initiative is. It's never disrupted our service, and it allows us to provide vital support to the people in need around our area"

Martin Pirc

MARTIN PIRC

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Martin’s venue Punch Lane is one of the originals and has been helping raise funds for community projects every single year, from day one. We applaud Martin and his teams at Punch Lane and Waygood, who connect their diners with DineSmart whilst being a true DineSmart advocate and leader.

"DineSmart is an important event, giving us all a simple way of helping make things just a little easier for those in our community who need our help."

SAM CHRISTIE

DineSmart Supporter since: 2006

Sam was our first NSW Ambassador and supporter with his venues Longrain, Longrain Melbourne, and then The Apollo and Cho Cho San. He drove Adam around the city, introducing him to other restaurateurs, chefs and other hospitality people, to help grow the event (and therefore the impact) of DineSmart in Sydney!

"We have been taking part in DineSmart since 2006. We think it is important for business to give back to the community – so raising funds to support local services that are out there doing the hard work was a simple decision for us. It is such a simple way to effect meaningful change in people’s lives."

ANDREW GRINTER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2007

Andrew gets DineSmart. He takes the initiative and adapts it to his venue, diners and the busy season, by often hosting additional fundraising lunches and dinners. A dedicated, humble individual who has provided long standing, crucial funds for his local community - through Pizza D'oh!

"I am always on the look out for new ways to fundraise for DineSmart. My goal is to bring our customers and community together to enjoy good food, good wine and raise vital funds for the charities in our local area."

LUIS HERRERA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2010

On the upper level venue on Collins, Mamasita has connected their diners to DineSmart for years. The iconic restaurant, and its sister venue Hotel Jesus have generated vital donations for those in need around Melbourne. Luis continues to lead the initiative with his team and we couldn’t be more thankful.

"We’re based in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and we have seen a real rise in the number of people sleeping rough right on our doorstep. It is easy to feel powerless, but our work with StreetSmart is such an important and tangible way to make a difference."

NICOLE PAPASAVAS

DineSmart Supporter since: 2013

Nicole and her team at the iconic Stalactites are celebrating their 10th year of participation! Their fundraising efforts go over the moon every year!

“We love being part of DineSmart. It's a great concept that assists small, grassroots charities. It's simple to administer and all our customers are very supportive as it gives them an opportunity to contribute, that they may not of otherwise had.”

MELISSA and MARCO GJERGJA

DineSmart Supporters since: 2016

Melissa and Marco from Port Phillip Estate Dining Room have been DineSmart leaders and pivotal in raising support for the Mornington Peninsula community projects. They make great wine, but they also make great DineSmart champions.

"We are proud to participate in DineSmart. I know that lots of homelessness services are struggling with more people who need their help, and cuts to their funding. I think most people want that to change and through DineSmart we can help make a difference"

Cath Claringbold

CATH CLARINGBOLD

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Cath was instrumental early on supporting DineSmart through Mecca, Mecca Bah and Livebait. Cath was a vocal supporter across the industry and was happy to speak to the media about how vital the campaign was and why restaurants could help drive its impact.

"It's been a pleasure to get involved with DineSmart and bring the initiative to my restaurants' tables. Our diners always welcomed the idea, and a small donation can go a long way when the industry gets behind it. I encourage all restaurants to jump on board this incredible initiative!"

Andrew McConnell

ANDREW MCCONNELL

DineSmart Supporter since: 2004

Andrew has been involved from the very beginning and has helped shape DineSmart to be the initiative it is today! Looking back at the restaurants participating, you will see Mrs Jones, Three one two, Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Builders Arm Hotel, Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and Marion. Andrew and his passionate team at Trader House are a delight to partner with and genuinely care to make a local impact to their community.

"DineSmart is the perfect opportunity to engage with our customers over a great cause, and the staff love being a part of it. Year on year, we succeed in bringing meaningful impact to our local communities and even after 20 years, this initiative is more important than ever."

Vanessa Pollock

VANESSA POLLOCK

DineSmart Supporter since: 2006

Vanessa has been our DineSmart Ambassador on Brisbane grounds for many many years! She is incredibly passionate for hospitality and is equally committed to help us tackle the issue of homelessness!

"The positive and lasting impact DineSmart has had on so many is truly unfathomable. I’m often so heartened to hear of staff who volunteer with local support services directly following their participation in the DineSmart campaign. The awareness, empathy and understanding of the issue of homelessness that DineSmart spreads is not only far reaching, but long lasting.
It’s just such a damn good thing for teams to be involved in… In so many ways."

Sean Kierce

SEAN KIERCE

DineSmart Supporter since: 2008

Sean is another Melbourne legend! Helping us raise funds at both his venues, Ladro Gertrude and Ladro TAP. His support goes beyond our DineSmart event as he donates the proceeds from Monday BYO nights every-single-month!

"Through DineSmart we have helped to fund some fantastic local organisations that are literally a stone's throw from our restaurant. It's really great to be able to tell our customers exactly where the money goes, that it benefits local people."

BEN COOPER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2011

Ben and the crew at the Lucas Group have been incredible supporters and amazing at getting their teams behind the event, including Chin Chin Melbourne, Chin Chin Sydney, Hawker’s Hall, Kong, Baby Pizza.
And almost every year, they have been crowned as the Top Fundraising Champs!!

“We’re proud to have supported DineSmart ever since the first year we opened our doors at Chin Chin over 10 years ago. We love the event and that it really does make a difference. It’s always humbling to be in a position where you’re able to support those less fortunate than yourself, and it’s amazing to see our guests so happily supporting this initiative alongside us.”

Nathan Toleman

NATHAN TOLEMAN

DineSmart Supporter since: 2013

Nathan, the leading force behind The Mulberry Group, has been a strong supporter not only of our DineSmart campaign, but also our CafeSmart event, getting involved with all their venues including Higher Ground, The Kettle Black, Top Paddock, Liminal, Hazel and Dessous.

"We are long term supporters of StreetSmart, and their hospitality campaigns! DineSmart is easy to run and makes a real difference to people's lives - and our staff and diners love to get behind it."

Dure Dara

DURE DARA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

When DineSmart launched Dure was a highly respected restaurateur, owner of the Nudel Bar and Chair of the Restaurant and Catering Association. She initiated StreetSmart's close working relationship with the Association, enabling the early growth of the event.

"20 years is something definitely worth of celebrating, especially when it involves having a positive social impact and doing good"

Teage Ezard

TEAGE EZARD

DineSmart Supporter since: 2005

Teage jumped on board with his venue Ezard and later on with the Melbourne icon, Gingerboy. He has also been a key partner organising several fundraising dinners along the years which brought together the hospo industry and community partners in one (dining) room.

“Being one of the first supporters, I am proud to be an ambassador and supporter of the DineSmart program. It has been integral in ensuring we can assist the crisis which we have seen grow in the streets of Melbourne. Our diners have been so generous and understand how their support can make the change."

CAROL AND THIERRY GALICHET

DineSmart Supporter since: 2007

Top Brisbane hospitality couple Thierry and Carol introduce the event to their diners at Montrachet and they ran it for 8 years, when they started a new French venture with La Cache a Vin and ran DineSmart for another 4 years!

"DineSmart is a powerful campaign that provides incredible support to our local charities. Together with our diners we have funded so many organisations and projects in our community. And it's all just $2 at a time!"

ALEX BOLAM

DineSmart Supporter since: 2009

Alex and the amazing team at Cafe Sydney have been championing the event every single year since 2009. Situated at one of the most picturesque locations, in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge, they have had a huge impact in their local community thanks to their incredible fundraising efforts.

“We have proudly partnered with Dinesmart for the past 12 years. It is a wonderful initiative, offering our team and diners the opportunity to support, create change and connect with the local community.

Nick Shelton

NICK SHELTON

DineSmart Supporter since: 2012

Nick has been a key partner for us in helping us promote all the incredible restaurateurs that get behind the campaign every year. For more than a decade, Nick and his team at Broadsheet have help us promote all the venues that are stepping up and doing good; while letting diners know how they can get involved and support the campaign too!

"DineSmart is a fantastic initiative that Broadsheet has been proudly supporting for over 10 years. I encourage all restaurants to jump on board, and inspire your diners to help end homelessness."

Nicholas Coulter

NICHOLAS COULTER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2015

Nic, and everyone at the Commune Group, are long-standing supporters. They bring DineSmart to the tables of Tokyo Tina, Hanoi Hannah, Firebird, Neptune and New Quarter. And this year there will be the exciting addition of Moonhouse to the list!

"DineSmart is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness. When most of the press around homelessness is focused on the lack of funding, while people are really suffering - it is great to be able to positively engage - and take practical action."

Alejandro Saravia

ALEJANDRO SARAVIA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2017

Alejandro has helped us raise funds at all the venues he’s been connected to, including Pastuso, San Telmo, Palermo, Asado and his Melbourne stunning venues Farmer’s Daughters and Victoria. This industry leader even keeps us on our toes, but spreading the word any chance he gets, highlighting DineSmart in TV and radio interviews.

"For the past 5 years it has been a privilege to be part of the DineSmart program, helping raise much needed funds that will help the ones in need. The opportunity that DineSmart provides to all of us to help raise awareness and work with our communities to help others has proved to be more than successful by obtaining the highest percentage of engagement and donations."

Simon Denton holding DineSmart poster

SIMON DENTON

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Simon helped kick start the campaign in the first year, and since then he has connected all his venues including Verge, Kappo, Izakaya Den 2029 and he encouraged many of his friends to join the initiative, including the crew at Hero ACMI. It goes without saying, this industry legend has a heart of gold and has helped connect DineSmart into his industry peers, enabling growth and consistency for the initiative.

"I am proud to support DineSmart every year because of how huge the impact of such a simple initiative is. It's never disrupted our service, and it allows us to provide vital support to the people in need around our area"

Cath Claringbold

CATH CLARINGBOLD

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Cath was instrumental early on supporting DineSmart through Mecca, Mecca Bah and Livebait. Cath was a vocal supporter across the industry and was happy to speak to the media about how vital the campaign was and why restaurants could help drive its impact.

"It's been a pleasure to get involved with DineSmart and bring the initiative to my restaurants' tables. Our diners always welcomed the idea, and a small donation can go a long way when the industry gets behind it. I encourage all restaurants to jump on board this incredible initiative!"

Dure Dara

DURE DARA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

When DineSmart launched Dure was a highly respected restaurateur, owner of the Nudel Bar and Chair of the Restaurant and Catering Association. She initiated StreetSmart's close working relationship with the Association, enabling the early growth of the event.

"20 years is something definitely worth of celebrating, especially when it involves having a positive social impact and doing good"

Martin Pirc

MARTIN PIRC

DineSmart Supporter since: 2003

Martin’s venue Punch Lane is one of the originals and has been helping raise funds for community projects every single year, from day one. We applaud Martin - and his teams at Punch Lane and Waygood - who connect their diners with DineSmart whilst being a true DineSmart advocate and leader.

"DineSmart is an important event, giving us all a simple way of helping make things just a little easier for those in our community who need our help."

Andrew McConnell

ANDREW MCCONNELL

DineSmart Supporter since: 2004

Andrew has been involved from the very beginning and has helped shape DineSmart to be the initiative it is today! Looking back at the restaurants participating, you will see Mrs Jones, Three one two, Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Builders Arm Hotel, Cumulus Inc, Cumulus Up and Marion. Andrew and his passionate team at Trader House are a delight to partner with and genuinely care to make a local impact to their community.

"DineSmart is the perfect opportunity to engage with our customers over a great cause, and the staff love being a part of it. Year on year, we succeed in bringing meaningful impact to our local communities and even after 20 years, this initiative is more important than ever."

Teage Ezard

TEAGE EZARD

DineSmart Supporter since: 2005

Teage jumped on board with his venue Ezard and later on with the Melbourne icon, Gingerboy. He has also been a key partner organising several fundraising dinners along the years which brought together the hospo industry and community partners in one (dining) room.

“Being one of the first supporters, I am proud to be an ambassador and supporter of the DineSmart program. It has been integral in ensuring we can assist the crisis which we have seen grow in the streets of Melbourne. Our diners have been so generous and understand how their support can make the change."

Vanessa Pollock

VANESSA POLLOCK

DineSmart Supporter since: 2006

Vanessa has been our DineSmart Ambassador on Brisbane grounds for many many years! She is incredibly passionate for hospitality and is equally committed to help us tackle the issue of homelessness!

"The positive and lasting impact DineSmart has had on so many is truly unfathomable. I’m often so heartened to hear of staff who volunteer with local support services directly following their participation in the DineSmart campaign. The awareness, empathy and understanding of the issue of homelessness that DineSmart spreads is not only far reaching, but long lasting.
It’s just such a damn good thing for teams to be involved in… In so many ways."

CAROL AND THIERRY GALICHET

DineSmart Supporter since: 2007

Top Brisbane hospitality couple Thierry and Carol introduce the event to their diners at Montrachet and they ran it for 8 years, when they started a new French venture with La Cache a Vin and ran DineSmart for another 4 years!

"DineSmart is a powerful campaign that provides incredible support to our local charities. Together with our diners we have funded so many organisations and projects in our community. And it's all just $2 at a time!"

ANDREW GRINTER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2007

Andrew gets DineSmart. He takes the initiative and adapts it to his venue, diners and the busy season, by often hosting additional fundraising lunches and dinners. A dedicated, humble individual who has provided long standing, crucial funds for his local community. Last year, Pizza D'oh hosted a local artist artwork exhibition, with drinks and nibbles to raise funds for DineSmart!

"I am always on the look out for new ways to fundraise for DineSmart. My goal is to bring our customers and community together to enjoy good food, good wine and raise vital funds for the charities in our local area."

Sean Kierce

SEAN KIERCE

DineSmart Supporter since: 2008

Sean is another Melbourne legend! Helping us raise funds at both his venues, Ladro Gertrude and Ladro TAP. His support goes beyond our DineSmart event as he donates the proceeds from Monday BYO nights every-single-month!

"Through DineSmart we have helped to fund some fantastic local organisations that are literally a stone's throw from our restaurant. It's really great to be able to tell our customers exactly where the money goes, that it benefits local people."

ALEX BOLAM

DineSmart Supporter since: 2009

Alex and the amazing team at Cafe Sydney have been championing the event for over a decade.

“We have proudly partnered with Dinesmart for the past 12 years. It is a wonderful initiative, offering our team and diners the opportunity to support, create change and connect with the local community.

LUIS HERRERA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2010

On the upper level venue on Collins, Mamasita has connected their diners to DineSmart for years. The iconic restaurant, and its sister venue Hotel Jesus have generated vital donations for those in need around Melbourne. Luis continues to lead the initiative with his team and we couldn’t be more thankful.

"We’re based in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, and we have seen a real rise in the number of people sleeping rough right on our doorstep. It is easy to feel powerless, but our work with StreetSmart is such an important and tangible way to make a difference."

NICOLE PAPASAVAS

DineSmart Supporter since: 2010

Nicole and her team at the iconic Stalactites are celebrating their 10th year of participation! Their fundraising efforts go over the moon every year!

“We love being part of DineSmart. It's a great concept that assists small, grassroots charities. It's simple to administer and all our customers are very supportive as it gives them an opportunity to contribute, that they may not of otherwise had.”

BEN COOPER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2011

Ben and the crew at the Lucas Group have been incredible supporters and amazing at getting their teams behind the event, including Chin Chin Melbourne, Chin Chin Sydney, Hawker’s Hall, Kong, Baby Pizza.
And almost every year, they have been crowned as the Top Fundraising Champs!!

“We’re proud to have supported DineSmart ever since the first year we opened our doors at Chin Chin over 10 years ago. We love the event and that it really does make a difference. It’s always humbling to be in a position where you’re able to support those less fortunate than yourself, and it’s amazing to see our guests so happily supporting this initiative alongside us.”

SAM CHRISTIE

DineSmart Supporter since: 2012

Sam was our first NSW Ambassador and supporter with his venues Longrain, Longrain Melbourne, and then The Apollo and Cho Cho San. He drove Adam around the city, introducing him to other restaurateurs, chefs and other hospitality people, to help grow the event (and therefore the impact) of DineSmart in Sydney!

"We have been taking part in DineSmart since 2006. We think it is important for business to give back to the community – so raising funds to support local services that are out there doing the hard work was a simple decision for us. It is such a simple way to effect meaningful change in people’s lives."

Nick Shelton

NICK SHELTON

DineSmart Supporter since: 2012

Nick has been a key partner for us in helping us promote all the incredible restaurateurs that get behind the campaign every year. For more than a decade, Nick and his team at Broadsheet have help us promote all the venues that are stepping up and doing good; while letting diners know how they can get involved and support the campaign too!

"DineSmart is a fantastic initiative that Broadsheet has been proudly supporting for over 10 years. I encourage all restaurants to jump on board, and inspire your diners to help end homelessness."

Nathan Toleman

NATHAN TOLEMAN

DineSmart Supporter since: 2013

Nathan, the leading force behind The Mulberry Group, has been a strong supporter not only of our DineSmart campaign, but also our CafeSmart event, getting involved with all their venues including Higher Ground, The Kettle Black, Top Paddock, Liminal, Hazel and Dessous.

"We are long term supporters of StreetSmart, and their hospitality campaigns! DineSmart is easy to run and makes a real difference to people's lives - and our staff and diners love to get behind it."

Nicholas Coulter

NICHOLAS COULTER

DineSmart Supporter since: 2015

Nic, and everyone at the Commune Group, are long-standing supporters. They bring DineSmart to the tables of Tokyo Tina, Hanoi Hannah, Firebird, Neptune and New Quarter. And this year there will be the exciting addition of Moonhouse to the list!

"DineSmart is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness. When most of the press around homelessness is focused on the lack of funding, while people are really suffering - it is great to be able to positively engage - and take practical action."

MELISSA and MARCO GJERGJA

DineSmart Supporters since: 2016

Melissa and Marco from Port Phillip Estate Dining Room have been DineSmart leaders and pivotal in raising support for the Mornington Peninsula community projects. They make great wine, but they also make great DineSmart champions.

"We are proud to participate in DineSmart. I know that lots of homelessness services are struggling with more people who need their help, and cuts to their funding. I think most people want that to change and through DineSmart we can help make a difference"

Alejandro Saravia

ALEJANDRO SARAVIA

DineSmart Supporter since: 2017

Alejandro has helped us raise funds at all the venues he’s been connected to, including Pastuso, San Telmo, Palermo, Asado and his Melbourne stunning venues Farmer’s Daughters and Victoria. This industry leader even keeps us on our toes, but spreading the word any chance he gets, highlighting DineSmart in TV and radio interviews.

"For the past 5 years it has been a privilege to be part of the DineSmart program, helping raise much needed funds that will help the ones in need. The opportunity that DineSmart provides to all of us to help raise awareness and work with our communities to help others has proved to be more than successful by obtaining the highest percentage of engagement and donations."

Why is DineSmart still needed?

Keeping donations local has been the core of DineSmart for 20 years. That’s why we love this campaign as it connects people with their local community to provide vital support to smaller community services and groups who are on the frontline.

To end homelessness, and provide care to people in crisis, takes a whole of community approach, and DineSmart is a simple idea that empowers us all to come together and chip in to fund some of the solutions.

This year, DineSmart’s fund will be aim at connecting vulnerable people to hospitality, training and employment programs that are providing these people the tools to be job-ready and lift themselves out of the cycles of poverty and homelessness.