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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 12897


Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan) (09:30): Meals on Wheels is a familiar name to all Australians and it is at the heart of many communities across the country, including the Ryan electorate. Meals on Wheels has been active across Australia for more than 50 years, helping the frail and elderly, and younger people with disabilities and their carers, stay in the comfort and security of their own homes. That is the organisation's main aim.

Meals on Wheels volunteers go beyond just providing a nutritious meal for clients. A friendly smile every day, a chat about the weather or simply knowing someone will drop by to say hello can make a real difference to the lives of many Australians who would otherwise have limited contact with others in the community. But it is not just the clients who value this contact; ask any Meals on Wheels volunteer and they will tell you that reaching out and brightening someone else's day makes their day better too.

Independence is something we all value, and to have that taken away through not being able to go to the shops for groceries or to cook regular meals should not be an obstacle to autonomy. As someone who remembers doing meals on wheels in the school holidays with my mother, I was delighted to attend the 40th anniversary celebrations for the Mitchelton Meals on Wheels, with local state members Tim Mander and Dale Shuttleworth, Brisbane City councillor for Enoggera Ward Andrew Wines and Moreton Bay regional councillor Brian Battersby.

Mitchelton Meals on Wheels delivers meals to more than 200 people across the north-west of the Ryan electorate. With an extensive catchment area, the fantastic volunteers at Mitchelton Meals on Wheels deliver, on average, 125 meals a day across nine delivery runs, Mondays to Fridays, including most public holidays. Six volunteers work in the kitchen each morning assisting the full-time kitchen manager. As a result of a group of exceptionally skilled kitchen managers, Mitchelton Meals on Wheels is able to provide quality meals for only $7 per meal for their clients.

Mitchelton Meals on Wheels is one of the most highly regarded volunteer organisations in their community. From humble beginnings with a handful of volunteers delivering meals to 10 clients out of premises in Wakefield Street, Alderley, the organisation has grown into one whose achievements have been recognised in the Quest Business Achiever Awards over many years, and they have now reached the highest level possible, having been inducted into the Gold Hall of Fame after winning the award eight times.

The organisation's recent celebration was a great opportunity for volunteers past and present to come together and discuss their 40 years of service to the community. It was inspiring to hear just how far they have come over the past four decades and to listen to anecdotes from Rosemary Costello about some of their early challenges. It was a privilege to join with the volunteers in their Mitchelton Meals on Wheels 40th anniversary celebrations. I commend the work of the management committee under the watch of president Harold Brown and treasurer Anne Huggett, who are moving the organisation from strength to strength. Mitchelton Meals on Wheels are just one of many outstanding community volunteer organisations at the heart of the Ryan electorate. I congratulate them on their 40 years of service to the Ryan community and wish them well for the next 40 years.