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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 217


Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (16:30): I want to place on record my appreciation of and thanks to the hardworking volunteers at St Joseph's Workshop in West Gosford. The volunteers at St Joseph's have served our community for 18 years now. Every week, around 60 local volunteers from Woy Woy, Ettalong, Terrigal and many other suburbs around the coast give selflessly of their time, sometimes up to six days a week in the workshop, for the benefit of others less fortunate in our community.

So it was a real honour to be able to join them last week for morning tea and to see firsthand their craftsmanship and their expertise in turning recycled offcuts of wood and materials into really beautiful furniture and toys. They take orders from Saint Vincent de Paul shops around New South Wales, where their furniture sells for a fraction of what you would pay at a large retail outlet and where every cent raised goes towards the work of St Vincent de Paul in our community. Each year, they raise around $60,000 to $70,000 by producing around 1,000 outstanding individually made pieces.

I really want to pay tribute to Charlie, who has been involved in the workshop since its inception and who, to this day, continues to make wonderful taxis, trucks and wooden cars for children. Joe Everett and Steve Hood showed me how to make chests of drawers and told me about the enormous satisfaction they get, making a difference through their skills and their time while volunteering at St Joseph's. Ken Wilson, Bob McGrath, Mike Emmett and Ray Robinson also do wonderful work in this community. I thank them all.