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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1644


Mr MATHESON (Macarthur) (13:51): Today I acknowledge some hardworking volunteers in my electorate who were recognised in the Macarthur 2011 National Volunteer Awards. I was very pleased to take part in these awards by hosting a ceremony at the Australian Botanic Gardens in Mount Annan on 5 December.

I firstly thank all the people of Macarthur who nominated a volunteer from their organisation or local community. Thanks to them, I was able to present 10 special awards to volunteers who have made an extraordinary contribution to my electorate. I have always said that volunteers are the backbone of the Macarthur community, which is why I took part in a nationwide campaign to recognise our most dedicated volunteers.

I am very proud to say that, at 80 years of age, Robert McCaughan received the 2011 MP's Volunteer of the Year award for his work with Camden Meals on Wheels, the Camden District Activity Centre, Angus Bristow Retirement Village and Narellan Congregational Community Care. Robert is a fantastic member of our community who volunteers for more than 30 hours per week to help several organisations in my electorate. He is a lovely man who is passionate about helping others, which makes him a great role model for the rest of us. The other award recipients included Sheena Funnell, Andrew Macdonald, Jan Lepherd, Noel Lowry, Peter Standen, Jean Olsen, James Anderson, Helen and Keith Evans and the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living volunteer group. I was delighted to be able to pay tribute to all these worthy recipients. I realise that most of them do not give up their time to receive thanks or praise, but it is important to recognise the great things they do in our community. I would also like to thank my fellow judges for helping me choose the winners. They were: David Cadden from the Macarthur Credit Union, Iliana Stillitano from the Camden Narellan Advertiser and Amanda Partridge from the Macarthur Chronicle. With their help it was fantastic to be able to celebrate our volunteers and show them how much our community appreciates them.