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Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Page: 5348

WYATT ROY (Longman) (19:11): I acknowledge the member for Newcastle. We all acknowledge the importance of volunteers across our nation. Last week as part of National Volunteers Week, I held the Longman awards to celebrate achievers in the Longman community. On Friday night, 60 individuals were recognised for their work. I would like to take this opportunity to share with the House the stories of the finalists from the Longman awards.

A young man from Burpengary Meadows State School single-handedly raised $600 for cancer research as part of this year's Shave for a Cure. This young man, Billy Setter, won the Youth Achievement Award. Billy's remarkable determination and effort is a lesson to all of us. Our other young finalists have also achieved great things—Brooke Tytherleigh in her dancing; Daniel Thompson, Jayden Donald and Kaylee McKeown in their sports achievements. My region has many talented young athletes including Benjamin Brown, Braden Lockyer, Troy Guenther, Jessica Bayliss and Mitchell De Rossi.

One person stood out from the crowd that were nominated for the sports achievement award. That was a young lady by the name of Nicola Crook. Nicola is not only an exceptional team player chosen to play representative softball at the national level but she also plays a valuable role in mentoring the next generation of sports stars by coaching young softball teams. Nicola's willingness to pass on her invaluable skills is the kind of positive sport role model that other young sports stars should be able to look up to, and was the basis for her winning the Sports Achievement Award.

Another community role model is Howard Walter, winner of the Volunteer Achievement Award. Walter is affectionately known as the mayor of Wamuran for his indefatigable commitment to the Wamuran community. Howard retired in 1999, only to become Treasurer of the Wamuran Sporting Association and to volunteer with Neighbourhood Watch as a 'blockie'. Howard gives freely of his time, expecting nothing in return, and is the epitome of a community achiever.

The list of volunteers who were nominated for this year's awards and their many years of service to the community are simply phenomenal. I would like to recognise the efforts of: Kim Barton, Jenny Butler, Fay Cartiridge, Ellen Corrick, Noelene Davis, Betty Farren-Price, Dale Hennessey, Margaret Kelly, Leonie McGee, Tony Moronejt or 'Top Hat', Janette Norquay, Coral Padget, Heather Phillips, Ken Piva, Cluny Seager, Dawn Sharp, Shirley Styman, Lesley Timmers, Christine Tindall, Jenny Tompkins, Anthony Vohland, Jenny Walters, Nonie Watt and Bette Webb.

Longman is home to some of the most dedicated and committed environmental groups in our region. This year's Environmental Achievement Award went to the Wallum Action Group for their endeavour to support revegetation of the region with native plants, but also because of the financial support that the group provides to other local environmental groups through their sale of native plants. Without this financial support, many of the other groups such as one of the other finalists, Bribie and District Wildlife Rescue, could not continue to do the wonderful things that they do. It is also important to acknowledge the volunteers in these environmental groups who make it all happen, including our environmental award finalists, Alan Kerr, Robbie Thompson and Wal Corney, as well as our ecowarriors, Anna and Connor McHugh.

This year the Longman Awards included a Small Business Achievement category. This was a chance to recognise those local businesses who feel that part of their responsibility is to give back to the community that supports them. Our finalists, Martin Jonkers Motors and the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, both deserve to be recognised for the ways that they quietly give back. So too does Devin's Windscreens, which was awarded Small Business Achievement winner. Devin and his team work with the Queensland department of justice to give at-risk youth a second chance, an opportunity to learn new skills and a brighter future.

One of the most touching stories was that of Dawn Worley, who was this year's Seniors Achievement Award winner. Dawn has worked tirelessly for the past four years to establish Dragons Abreast Bribie Island, a group which facilitates dragon boat racing as a physical therapy for breast cancer survivors. The paddling involved in dragon boat racing provides important exercise of the muscles, and by establishing this group Dawn has been instrumental in creating a support network for the individuals, families and friends of breast cancer survivors. Dawn has touched the lives of many survivors, helping them through what can only be described as the most difficult challenge of their lives.

Dawn is not alone; Doris Thwaite, George Grant, Janet Ross and Margaret Courtney were all also worthy finalists in this category. This year many community groups were put forward to be acknowledged under community group achievements. The Going Cheap Project, the Pinkaboutit team, Global Care Bribie Island, Lions Club of Narangba, Pink Pythons Under 15s and the Wamuran and District Men's Shed are all doing fantastic things for our community. I want to take this opportunity to thank my community for the opportunity to humbly represent them. (Time expired)