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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3582

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (10:07): I rise today to raise awareness, as some of my colleagues have, on Volunteer Week. Volunteer Week runs this week from 13 May to 19 May. This year's theme is to say 'Thanks a million'. If it wasn't for our volunteers, there would be organisations in our community that would not survive. National Volunteer Week has been going since 1986. About 36 per cent of Australian people, or just over six million people, volunteer every year in some way or another. They contribute about 713 million hours of unpaid work. It was interesting to find out that the typical age group of volunteers is around 35 to 44, and 65 to 74. But in my electorate, where the median age is about 33, we have a lot of young people who do volunteer work in our community and that is really pleasing.

I would like to pay tribute to all of the volunteers in Darwin and Palmerston for the outstanding work they do in our community. From me to them: thanks a million for the work that you do. We all know that volunteers are the backbone of many organisations and the community; we would not be able to carry out the work we do if it were not for our volunteers.

Volunteers are people who coach kids' sports teams. They deliver Meals on Wheels and provide things like the Northern Territory Field and Game, which is a conservation organisation. They do community work. Sids and Kids, of which I am the patron, has many volunteers, particularly Fiona Peters, who has given up so much of her time. We had the Mother's Day Classic on the weekend where so many volunteers were involved in the event. They helped to organise the getting of about 2,000 people into Darwin, walking and raising awareness of breast cancer.

I would also like to acknowledge Carolyn Reynolds in our community, who is very active and who volunteers in so many different organisations. Bill Miller volunteers for the Palmerston Football Club. Penny Lasette is actively involved in a number of organisations. We have the Kiwanis Group and the Rotarians. Celina Hodge volunteers with Camp Quality and is in the middle of organising a big fundraising event. Elena Gomatos is very active in the Greek community. She was integral in organising Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. Thanks a million to all those many volunteers. (Time expired)