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Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Page: 2872


Mr WOOD (La Trobe) (10:05): On Saturday 18 October I had the privilege of hosting the inaugural La Trobe Community Awards. The awards were designed to acknowledge the quiet achievers—the volunteers in my seat of La Trobe. The people nominated for the awards simply amazed me. They were dedicated people in our community, giving countless hours of their time, with many volunteering at more than one organisation. They were a true credit to not only my electorate but all Australians.

The awardees included: Karl Herring, who joined the Narre Warren Scout Group in 2007 and has continued to develop as an outstanding hardworking community leader; Jan Incoll, an active member of the Friends of Sherbrooke Forest for an incredible 20 years, having served on the committee for 12 years; Michelle Jankovic, the director of Helping Hand Is Here, which connects people with disabilities, their carers and families to disability support services in our community; Diane Kueffer, a longstanding member of the Dandenong Ranges branch of the National Trust for 22 years—a group of which she was a founding member; Jenny Mathews, who has become a much loved and vital member of the Upwey Primary School community, doing amazing work there; Heather Maxwell, who started working at Emerald Secondary College in 2011 as a Quicksmart coach and who has continued to support students with low level numeracy skills as a volunteer, having incredible results; Adam MacDonald, a 17-year-old and very dedicated volunteer at the 1st Berwick Scout Group, participating in both the Joey and Cub sections of the scout group on a weekly basis; Vivienne O'Brien, a dedicated leader of Mater Christi College and member of the Year 10 council, in which she has become a great asset as a regular contributor to many leadership and council projects; Colleen Peele, an exceptionally dedicated and enthusiastic member of the Belgrave Heights Christian School community and a passionate advocate for the environment; and Clem Thompson, the leader of the potting centre at Wilson Botanic Park, who spends many hours in the park undertaking roles such as watering, electrical and general maintenance jobs—a true great supporter of the gardens.

Two organisations also received awards. The Narre Warren SES unit, represented by Erin Bradshaw, Tim Howell, Tony Jackson, Bill Knight and Mark Russenaers, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary next year, has responded to over 9,000 requests for assistance from the city of Casey. I congratulate all of these award recipients. The final one was the Olinda Rural Fire Brigade. Fantastic work by all.