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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3845

Mrs ANDREWS (McPherson) (09:48): I am very pleased to speak today about the McPherson Community Achiever Awards which I hosted last year and am hosting again this year. It was one of my top priorities upon my election to each year acknowledge those exceptional locals on the southern Gold Coast who have selflessly given their time, energy and so much more to our community.

These community achievers are individuals who contribute to the local area by giving up their own time to charities, churches, veterans' groups, sports clubs, surf clubs and various volunteer organisations. It is a great experience to have the chance to read the stories of our nominees and winners of these awards and understand exactly what they have achieved and done for others.

Last year the McPherson Community Achiever Awards ceremony was held at the southern end of my electorate at the Currumbin RSL. At this ceremony I had the great pleasure of presenting 23 outstanding individuals with an award for their wide-ranging efforts in supporting the community in the areas of neighbourhood watch, surf lifesaving, Lions, veterans support, schools, supporting at-risk youth, sports, helping the homeless; seniors and aged care, as well as medicine. Each recipient of these awards received a certificate and a special medallion recognising their contributions to our community. I would like to acknowledge again each of those recipients: Merve Rose, Reverend Colin Batt, Joe Gates, Mark Goodwin, Les Brodie, Natalie Tree, David Smith, Aruni Abeywardena, Bobbie Matheson, Ian Grace, Katrina Casaclang, Marea Ryan, Ron Martinenko, Ena Slyp, Toula Singer, Cynthia Munro, Neville and Dulcie Free, Norma Wright, Violet Langan, Antoinette Badenoch and Phil and Doreen Barnes.

This year, on 18 April, the awards ceremony will be held at the northern end of the electorate, at the Burleigh Waters Community Centre. Already there have been many nominations—they have been coming in thick and fast—and I have no doubt that the 2012 McPherson Community Achiever Awards will have more nominations and more recipients than we had last year.

The nominees this year are again being nominated for a diverse range of community contributions and, to name several just briefly, these include volunteer work for Crime Stoppers Queensland, assistance with local Anzac Day ceremonies, special needs education and, once again, surf lifesaving. Recognising the achievements of exceptional locals should not go unnoticed and I believe that, through the McPherson Community Achiever Awards, many of these individuals will receive the accolades that they well deserve.