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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5955

WYATT ROY (Longman) (16:12): On Friday night I held the Longman community awards, acknowledging and honouring the outstanding contributions and achievements of members of my local community. Over 320 people of all ages joined me to celebrate the hard work and achievements of our 60 Longman Award finalists and to recognise our local service men and women for their contribution to our nation in times of conflict. Our communities are vibrant and rich because of the investment of time, energy, blood, sweat and tears by volunteers. Without the effort of these quiet achievers, our community groups would not have the capacity to serve our community. I am proud that the Longman Awards celebrate these quiet achievers. These individuals do not look for recognition but go about their work driven only by a desire to help others.

The community nominations for the Longman Awards revealed some amazing stories of commitment—stories about individuals taking the initiative to meet committee needs in new ways, stories about selflessness during the January floods and stories about fundraising to support those in our community who are most vulnerable. The 60 Longman Awards finalists were all worthy individuals and it proved very difficult to select just one winner for each category. I would like to again offer my congratulations to all seven winners: Jordan Quinn Ah-sam in youth achievement; Maureen Hall in seniors achievement; Liam Wilson in sports achievement; Colleen Ogilvie in environmental achievement; the House of Happiness as Community Organisation of the Year; as well as Michelle Knight and Betty Lynford as joint winners of the volunteer achievement award.

I would like to share just a couple of the remarkable stories of our Longman Award winners. Betty was awarded the Longman Award for her dedicated volunteer work as a court support worker. Betty volunteers at least two days each week offering assistance to those appearing before domestic violence courts who often do not have any other assistance available to them. Each year Betty travels to Vietnam to volunteer for the Christina Noble Children's Foundation as a nurse. But, if that were not enough, Betty spends her spare time supporting the Bribie Island Information Centre. Michelle was awarded the Longman Award for her commitment to the Woodford community. Michelle volunteers in her spare time to organise events for the residents of Wamuran Park Home, an assisted living residence. The residents have shared with me just how much happiness these events bring to their days. During the Queensland floods in January, Michelle worked tirelessly at the flood evacuation centre. She did not go home until the centre had closed—a true commitment to helping those in our community.

As I have said in this place before, Longman is the best place in the world to live, not only because of our beautiful natural landscapes and enjoyable lifestyle but because of our binding sense of community. Again, I offer my congratulations to all of the finalists and winners of the Longman Awards and thank them for their dedicated efforts, which make our community the best place in the world to live.