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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13249

Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (21:37): The 2012 Members of Parliament National Volunteer Awards have given me the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution that many Stirling residents have made to our local community through various forms of volunteering.

This year it was my honour to award the MP national volunteer award to Pat Luca. I have known Pat for many years in my capacity as the federal member for Stirling and am grateful to have the opportunity to recognise the extraordinary contribution that Pat has made to the Stirling community. Pat has always been an advocate for keeping young people off the streets and making them proactive members of the Stirling community. As the President of the Balcatta Soccer Club and a prominent member of the Western Australian Italian Club, Pat has utilised this network to help fundraise for many local campaigns. One example was after the tragic death of the 17-year-old Balcatta Soccer Club player Luke Beyer, who was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Pat helped to establish a foundation to create awareness of the dangers of drink-driving and also organised fundraising events to raise money for the Beyer family. Pat has also been instrumental in providing used uniforms and sporting equipment from the Balcatta Soccer Club to children at an orphanage in El Salvador. Pat is also very passionate about encouraging young women to get involved in sport and has successfully established many women's teams at the Balcatta Soccer Club. These are just a few of the examples of Pat's generosity and dedication to helping others in the Stirling community, and he is a very deserving recipient of this award.

Mr Conrad Liveris, of Carine, is the winner of the Young Volunteer Award for his work with a variety of community, government, commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Conrad does volunteer work for the Left Right Think-Tank, the Student Association of the University of Notre Dame Australia, the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and Street Smugglers and has previously been involved with over 15 different community organisations. With his brother and friends, Conrad founded Street Smugglers, an organisation that seeks to engage young people in combating homelessness in Perth. As the Chief Policy Officer of the Left Right Think-Tank, Conrad is responsible for overseeing more than 50 volunteers around Australia, as well as directing policy creation, national strategy and advocacy plans for state teams.

This year's Senior Volunteer Award went to Mr Anthony Fowke, of Karrinyup, for his tireless advocacy for mental health carers in our community. A solicitor by profession, Tony has used these skills to raise awareness of mental illness on a local, national and international level over several decades. Over the years, Tony has also been a member of many committees and boards that champion the cause of mental health carers, including being President of the World Federation for Mental Health and a member of the Western Australian Mental Health Review Board. As a result of Tony's tireless efforts, carers and families are now seen as pivotal stakeholders in the treatment of loved ones, and he has helped to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness in the wider community.

Ms Phylis Robertson, of Balga, is the recipient of the Environment Volunteer Award for her ongoing work championing a wide range of local environmental causes. Phylis has volunteered for many different environmental organisations over the years, including the Balga Action Group, the Perth Zoo, the Rottnest Island tourism guides, the WA Herbarium and the royal agricultural show, to name only a few. Phylis is also an honorary member of the WA Gould League, a member of the North Suburban Historical Society and Honorary Curator of the Mount Flora Regional Museum. Her aim has always been to help other members of our community to see the environment as a valuable asset that must be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

It was my pleasure to award a Long-term Commitment to Community Service Award to Mrs Dianne Buckles, of Dianella. Dianne is a long-serving Red Cross volunteer and has been an active team member of the emergency services team for more than seven years. In this role, Dianne manned the phones during the tsunami crisis and volunteered during the Victorian bushfires, the equine disaster in Queensland, the Margaret River bushfires and the Lebanon evacuation. In addition to this, Dianne is also a volunteer for the migration support team.

Another worthy recipient of the Long Term Commitment to Community Service Award is Ms Prue Sheldrick of Mosman Park. For the last 20 years, Prue has raised in excess of $50,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation patient care program. On top of this, Prue has renovated four bedsit units, including new kitchens, flooring and painting, giving regional patients a warm place to call home whilst they undergo treatment in Perth. Prue also organised for a backyard makeover for the external area of each of these units, which was carried out by Bunnings team members.

All the winners need to be congratulated for their tireless efforts of giving back to our community and making a real difference to people's lives, particularly the lives of people around them. Our community relies heavily on the contribution of volunteers and I congratulate all of the recipients as being very worthy. (Time expired)