September 21, 2022

Vale: Ken Morgan OAM

It’s incredible to think that one man’s passion and commitment to young people could make such a life-changing difference to the lives of so many.

Ken Morgan was a much loved and admired figure within the automotive industry. But more than that, he was man of deeply generous spirit with an innate drive to improve the lives of people who – for whatever reason – had fallen on tough times.

At age 16, Ken hitch-hiked from Melbourne to New South Wales to escape an often crowded and turbulent life at home. He soon found himself adrift and without a place to call home. When a police officer found Ken sleeping in a park, he told Ken he could either continue on the path to homelessness or go home and “make something of himself”. Ken ‘s decision to return home, reconnect with family and find work was a decisive moment in his life; one that compelled him to create similar turning points for others.

Years later, the findings of an inquiry into youth homelessness inspired Ken to take action. So appalled was he at the numbers of homeless young Australians, he set about raising funds to provide more housing for those in need. The first tenant of the first house his funding built was a mother who’d been sleeping in her car.

This passion to create change led to the founding of Kids Under Cover which has since housed thousands of young people but, equally importantly, kept them connected with their family, their support networks and their homes. Ken’s dedication to helping prevent youth homelessness came from such a pure place in his heart. He was driven by the simple notion that by creating stability and opportunity we could enable young people to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Ken’s friendships extended far beyond the sales yard where he had enjoyed so much success. His charity led him to forge strong bonds within the entertainment industry and beyond where he was acknowledged by so many for his will to make a difference.

This month, the Kids Under Cover family mourn the loss of our founder. Yet we feel privileged to be able to build on the foundation he laid more than 30 years ago. Ken’s legacy will live on through the generosity of supporters like you and through the success stories of the families and young people for whom he cared so deeply.

“It is with sadness that I took the news of Ken finally going to be with God. But I know that my appreciation of such a friend will always bubble up in my life and remind me not to be afraid to reach out and try to help anyone in need, particularly children in trouble.

Ken showed me love, understanding and a kindness that helped me raise the standards of every part of my personal and professional life.  He encouraged me to step out and be accountable for the need that was in front of our eyes. And to do something with the fortunate position I was in to be effective! I could tell you of the many times we reached out to each other for help and were part of a great team at Kids Under Cover.

Ken and his family were always solid people in my life and I say “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart. Rest up Ken, we love you and thank you for your awesome commitment to all in need.”
– Tommy Emmanuel OAM

“It’s rare that a person’s selfless drive to make real change touches the lives of so many. The number of young people at risk who might have become homeless without Kids Under Cover’s support is difficult to measure, but there’s no doubt the work Ken started over 30 years ago has provided enormous relief for thousands of families over that time. Ken’s vision has enabled young people to focus on education, lifted their self-confidence and in many cases kept family units together. Out hearts go out to Ken’s family and his memory will love ling through our work and the successes of the young people we worth with.”
– Heather Fisher, Deputy CEO, Kids Under Cover

“On behalf of the Board, staff and the thousands of young people and families touched by Ken’s passion, vision and generosity that formed Kids Under Cover over 30 years ago, we honour and thank him.   While the community was in shock about the extent of the youth homelessness problem following the Burdekin Report published by the Federal Human Rights Commissioner in 1989, Ken responded with a call to action that lives on today.  Ken had a huge heart and he will be sorely missed by those who were lucky enough to know him. He is an inspiration and a role model.”
– Nathaniel Popelianski, Chairman, Kids Under Cover