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Monday, 18 March 2013
Page: 2451

Mr LYONS (Bass) (22:19): Important needs in the community are often filled by volunteers—people working for the common good of others. I like to highlight these individuals and often in the House thank them for their contribution. These individuals, groups and organisations are essential to the wellbeing of communities. Philanthropists should also be included in this group of people, as their generosity can create great outcomes for the community. Some donate quietly, and the person I wish to highlight this evening is one of those people. He does much for the community without making a fuss. It is also important to note that philanthropy is not simply throwing money at a problem but, far more important, it is the actions of private citizens and organisations that have made, and continue to make, a genuine difference.

I rise in the chamber tonight to talk about and recognise a member of the Launceston community who has made a huge difference in Tasmania, Brian Faulkner. Brian Faulkner has been a generous donor to Launceston Church Grammar School in particular. As an old boy of the school, he has a great love for the school community and the great things that that school achieves. I am told by the Principal, Steven Norris, that Brian Faulkner's sons and daughters also attended the school, as well as six grandchildren, four of whom are still students. Founded in 1846, Grammar is the oldest continuously operating Anglican co-educational day and boarding school in Australia and it has a distinguished reputation of providing outstanding education in Tasmania. Grammar is well-known for its excellence in academia, community links and sport. Brian Faulkner has made a significant monetary contribution to the school's playing fields at Stephensons Bend, as well as many other projects at the school. On Saturday, 16 March the playing fields were named after Brian and are now called Faulkner Fields. Stephensons Bend is situated along the East Tamar Highway and provides additional sports fields for Grammar. The development of this site has significantly improved the northern entrance to Launceston and, as the principal notes, it is a fantastic area that is open to the community. A key focus of this area was to demonstrate a commitment to the environment through rehabilitation and conservation projects, with particular attention to improved sustainability of soil, vegetation, water and energy. The fields are flat and well drained, and the installation of a solar system adds to Grammar's list of green initiatives at the site. Principal Stephen Norris said the new pavilion and sporting fields are a 'great step forward for the school', and that Brian and Wendy Faulkner have been wonderful supporters of Launceston Church Grammar School.

Brian is an inaugural member of the Launcestonians, a group of individuals who donate and fundraise to improve the educational and sporting facilities of the school, to keep up with the changes in modern teaching methods, and to ensure Grammar's continued independence. I thank each member of the Launcestonians for all the work that they do. Brian and his wife Wendy have also made significant contributions and volunteered their time to other projects and other organisations in Tasmania, such as various aged-care facilities, the UTAS Foundation, The Benevolent Society and many others. Our community is a better place because of people like Brian. Whether you can give in a financial way, or by donating your time or your skills, I encourage all Australians to be involved in their community and to help out with their local school, charity or community group. There are great things to be achieved when you participate and have a go. Volunteering is the perfect vehicle to discover something that you are good at, or to develop a new skill. No man or woman is an island. We sometimes take for granted the existence of the community we live in. I have been an active member of my community for my entire adult life, and I have encouraged my daughters to do the same. The sense of achievement and fulfilment gained from helping your community is second to none, and there are so many ways you can do this. There is no better example of this than the Faulkner family. In closing, I wish to once again thank Brian Faulkner and his family for their generosity and commitment to education, to the community in general and to the Launceston Church Grammar School in particular.