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1400 Volunteer organisations to share $3m in grants.



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MEDIA RELEASE Senator Amanda Vanstone Minister for Family & Community Services Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women 104.03 25 September 2003 1400 Volunteer Organisations To Share $3m In Grants Australia’s 4.4 million volunteers selflessly contribute over 700 million hours of unpaid work each year. There is no better example of the Australian spirit shining through. Today the Government is announcing the 1400 organisations that will share in $3 million worth of small equipment grants to help them carry on with their vital work. The grants of up to $5,000 will be used to purchase equipment ranging from UHF handheld radios for the Murray Bridge St John’s Ambulance Service in South Australia to a desktop computer for the Hurstville Meals on Wheels in Sydney. Other examples include urns, microwaves, folding chairs and tables, toasters, mini-fridges, pumps, shade sails, wheelbarrows, post hole diggers, trolleys and air-conditioning units. (see attachment for more detailed examples) Each purchase will be making a significant difference to the work of volunteers, particularly as they may not have been able to afford the equipment otherwise. This year, the Volunteer Small Equipment Grants have had a particular focus on organisations that provide family support and strengthen local communities. Whether it's the local Neighbourhood Watch, country fire and rescue teams or services to help families with disabled children, they all do a fantastic job and deserve our support. This latest major allocation of funds is the fourth time the Australian Government has committed its financial support directly to volunteers since 2001, bringing the total funding to $15.4 million that has been distributed to approximately 6,500 community organisations. Minister’s Media Contact: Damon Hunt 0419 691 944

Attachment

Victorian State Emergency Services, Wonthaggi Unit

Wonthaggi is located 132 km south-east of Melbourne via the South Gippsland and Bass Highways. The rural Wonthaggi State Emergency Service provide a very important role in the community by providing a rescue service for either road crashes,

ocean and water way rescues, weather damage and other services in the local community. The Wonthaggi State Emergency Service received $1,797 to purchase a b500 Pager and a Pole Saw. The pagers allow a quicker response in an emergency and define the areas of operation. The Pole Saw is a device that permits the volunteer operator to trim dangerous branches from a safe distance. The equipment will help Wonthaggi Emergency volunteers to respond more quickly in an emergency to the needs of the local community and to help them to work in safety.

Early Development Program for Children with Multiple Disabilities (South Australia)

This South Australian organisation provides educational and home based development programs for children up to 12 yrs of age. It provides support to parents of children with multiple disabilities with supports in community facilities (e.g, child care), parental support groups, toy library and other services. The Early Development Program received $1,486 for child car seat and child booster seats. These will be used by volunteers who transport children with severe disabilities and the organisations says the grants will reduce stress and anxiety from exhausting trips on public transport with additional equipment such as Oxygen cylinders and buggies.

The Araluen Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (NSW)

The Araluen Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade helps the community by protecting them and property from disaster and also helps in the aftermath with arranging clothing and accommodation for those who have lost their homes and longer term moral support for those in recovery from such an event.

The grant of $4,829 will be used to buy equipment which will allow volunteers to undertake their duties in the field and to be self sufficient in remote areas. Some equipment will be used at the fire shed to support meetings and to provide facilities for the volunteers to have refreshments and clean up on return from duty. This will also be useful for and utilized by visiting crews. The equipment to be purchased includes winch recovery gear, a water pump, a wind meter, urn, and portable stoves for support of volunteers at the scene.