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Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Page: 1015

WYATT ROY (4:32 PM) —We have heard a lot about volunteers in Queensland over the past weeks. An army of volunteers has helped the most in need during the natural disasters of this summer, and we will long remember their contribution when Queensland needed it most. Our community showed up, it showed its true colours, and those who have had their lives turned upside down found some hope and comfort in the kindness of strangers. At a time when all seemed lost, those in my community knew they could lean on the shoulders of their neighbours.

But it is important to recognise that there are many members of our community who work quietly all the time to selflessly help those less fortunate than themselves. They turn up all the time when it is inconvenient and difficult for them to give of themselves and lend a hand. They are the carers who give until there is nothing left and still they find more: the Red Cross volunteers, the parents who give their time at schools, those who help at sporting clubs, those who give their time to raise money for aged-care facilities and many more.

These people show up not just in times of crisis; they show up every day in my community, and it is their efforts and generosity I would like to acknowledge today. Last week I attended the creative activities program run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to thank Dulcie and Lew for their tireless volunteering efforts, both for coordinating the creative activity sessions and for other help they have also so selflessly provided over many years. The Caboolture Historical Village is another example of a community organisation which would not exist without the effort of volunteers such as Mr Len Turner, one of the key organisers of the Australia Day citizenship ceremony. These people form the backbone of our community, and we have many of them in my electorate of Longman.

It is the effort of volunteers such as these that I will be recognising when I award the Longman Awards. The Longman Awards are about locals who make a significant contribution to the community. They are about recognising the local achievers who contribute positively to the Longman community, whether they be volunteers, community groups, youth achievers, senior achievers, environmentalists, young people who excel in sport or music, members of our community who help to look after our natural environment or community groups who provide tireless support to the less privileged in my electorate. I encourage my constituents to nominate any individual or group who they believe has played a role in the community. During National Volunteers Week in May I will recognise all these people who make Longman the great community that it is. Already I have received many nominations and heard many stories of unfaltering commitment. I look forward to meeting these individuals and thanking them for their service to Longman. Longman is the best place in the country to live, not only for our beautiful natural landscapes but because of our strong, binding sense of community spirit.