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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11519

Ms HUSAR (Lindsay) (17:55): I follow the member for Macarthur in thanking the wonderful volunteers in his community. I'd also like to thank the member for Bonner, who brought this volunteer motion forward. I rise very proudly today in this House to pay tribute to some of the tireless volunteers in my electorate of Lindsay, which I'm so privileged to represent. Lindsay is an exceptional part of the world. Over 20,000 people in my electorate volunteer. From sporting clubs and service groups to school canteens and reading groups, we have it all—and lots and lots of it. It's that special glue, that magical glue, that makes a place a home and fills you with a sense of purpose and belonging.

Volunteering is part of the fabric of Australia. We get in, give a hand and get it done. Research has also shown that volunteering is a two-way relationship. The OECD Better Life Index found that volunteers enjoyed life more due to the sense of satisfaction that comes from interaction, goal setting, achievement and learning new things. Giving makes you happy. There is scientific research to prove it. People who give time or money are 42 per cent happier than those who do not.

I love the term prosocial behaviour. It's often the crux of volunteerism. There are a number of organisations in Lindsay, like the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce. They have recently been given new life thanks to the outgoing president, Wayne Willmington, and his board. I'd like to personally thank Wayne and the team at Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce for their generous support of our business community. I would also like to congratulate the incoming board, made up of Simon Gould, Anil Puri and Mary Donnelly—big shoes to fill, but I know you're up for the challenge.

On Melbourne Cup Day, I was thrilled to attend the fundraising breakfast for the Penrith Community Kitchen, organised by Julie Lonard from the Nepean Business Network. This amazing event almost raised $40,000 to keep one of the volunteering institutions of Lindsay pumping out over 2,000 meals for the homeless every single week. This is no mean feat from either of the organisations involved, and I'm so filled with pride for both of these organisations. They are both organised and supported by volunteers, and both will be seen into the future by volunteers.

Last week I was thrilled to be able to secure and distribute some federal grants for some of the wonderful local volunteer groups in my community. The Luke Priddis Foundation, which supports children with autism and their volunteers and therapists, will now have a new kitchen to teach kids life skills thanks to the grant we were able to secure.

Paying it Forward is a charity that I have personally volunteered with for many, many years, headed up by Gen and Rob Jagt, the founders of this charity. It was my pleasure to help them fund a vehicle which will enable them to continue to expand on their support for the most socially marginalised through delivery of goods and services using their new wheels.

We also have the Nepean Food Services in my electorate, possibly the largest volunteer organisation, who now have a new family table to share many delicious and happy meals from. They provide countless meals to older people in our community and also those who are on the fringes. I want to say a massive thank you to Nepean Food Services for all that they do and thank every single one of the volunteers I've been proud to interact with over the last three years.

Mama Lana's Community Foundation, who was recognised as New South Wales Volunteer of the Year in 2017 for her work in my electorate helping to feed the homeless and vulnerable, has received a commercial-grade fridge and freezer, allowing them to increase the ability to accept donations and keep them fresher for longer. Thank you to Lana and Roger Borg, the founders of Mama Lana's Community Foundation.

Nepean Multicultural Access requested and received computers to help provide training and program access for new Australians and migrants into a community, helping them to get on their feet, to find work, to find social services and to be connected. I want to thank Laura Sardo and all the team at NMA for all of the work that they do for our marginalised new migrant communities and for reaching out and giving support where it's most needed.

Our volunteer sporting groups around the Nepean Valley regional sports centre will finally be able to put their feet up for a well-deserved break after another huge year of coaching, reffing and all-round organising through thousands of hours of community support for new outdoor seating. I was sitting on it just at the weekend and am pleased to know that I've been instrumental in being able to secure some new furniture after I copped a splinter in the leg from the old stuff that has been there since I was little. The equipment—even more proudly am I of this—was manufactured from 360,000 plastic bags, so we have the added benefit of saving all that plastic from landfill as well as not getting splinters on the backs of the legs of mums and dads sitting down there at training every week.

I am incredibly proud of the 20,000-plus volunteers of Lindsay and the selfless devotion that they have to their causes. You are the heroes of our community. I will leave you with a quote from Winston Churchill that probably sums up the heart of volunteerism: 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' Happy Volunteer Day!

Debate adjourned.