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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3577

Mr MATHESON (Macarthur) (09:49): This week is National Volunteer Week and today I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge some of the hardworking volunteers in my electorate. In the lead up to National Volunteer Week, I visited several community groups in Macarthur that rely on their hardworking volunteers to make a difference in our community. I have said many times in this place that volunteers are the backbone of many organisations in my electorate. Our local volunteers hold a very special place in so many of our community groups and organisations in Macarthur.

This week I was honoured to attend the Macarthur Diversity Services Initiative 2013 Volunteer of the Year awards in Campbelltown. MDSI is a community based charity organisation that provides a wide range of fantastic services for residents of Macarthur, particularly to those from different cultural backgrounds. MDSI has more than 100 volunteers who give their time tirelessly working on a variety of programs such as playgroups, youth groups and aged-care programs to help local families connect with the community.

This year MDSI recognised its volunteers with a continuous commitment to support the great services that MDSI provides in Macarthur. One of these volunteers was Lynn Moore, a compassionate lady who has devoted 30 years of volunteering in Macarthur. During this time Lynn has had various roles assisting frail aged people. Thirty years of volunteering is an outstanding achievement and is something Lynn should be very, very proud of. Jacquelyn Perales was named the 2013 MDSI Volunteer of the Year. Jacquelyn has been a volunteer for MDSI since 2007 and was nominated by the staff for her compassion, understanding and commitment to volunteering for the organisation. She is a lovely young lady who is dedicated to helping others in the Macarthur community.

Last week I also attended the Campbelltown Jubilee Awards organised by Campbelltown Council and hosted by Mayor Sue Dobson. The jubilee awards recognise individuals who live in Campbelltown and who have contributed to the community for 50 years or more. The award also recognises members of Campbelltown's Indigenous community who have volunteered for more than 30 years. I felt very proud to see 23 recipients of the jubilee award this year—a mighty achievement by these outstanding people.

This week I also had the pleasure of attending another fantastic community organisation, Camden Community Connections, at its Bunnings fundraising barbecue. Camden Community Connections runs many services and activities in my electorate, including playgroups, youth drop-in services, seniors groups and young mothers' groups. In the lead-up to Volunteers Week a number of volunteers wrapped Mother's Day gifts at local shopping centres to raise money for Lifeline Macarthur. As a Lifeline ambassador, I am always impressed by the ongoing dedication of its amazing volunteers.

I take this opportunity to commend the dedicated staff and volunteers from all of the charity groups across Macarthur. All of our volunteers have a special place in my community. The people of Macarthur appreciate our volunteers' generosity, dedication, compassion, reliability and tolerance when assisting those with special needs in our community. I look forward to recognising some of those wonderful volunteers in the 2013 Volunteer of the Year awards in December. To all our volunteers in Macarthur, thanks a million.