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Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Page: 11373

Mr KEENAN (9:48 AM) —Volunteering is the lifeblood of our community and no more so than in my electorate of Stirling. Stirling volunteers play a vital role in maintaining the quality of life that we often take for granted. From the lifesavers at the two surf clubs, Scarborough Surf Life Saving club and Trigg Island Surf Lifesaving Club, to scout masters and the committed teams of workers preparing and delivering meals for our seniors, volunteers play an important role in all of our lives. It is because of the commitment of our volunteers that our children are able to enjoy and compete in organised sport, our ageing parents are able to engage with the community and our schools are able to offer a diverse range of support for our students. Without dedicated volunteers giving freely of their time and skills to fundraise, how would these extra costs be met? Our volunteers are helping to meet social and financial needs in our community every day.

The benefits of becoming a volunteer and engaging with the community are many. The satisfaction and pride that come from giving to others is not to be overlooked or undervalued. Becoming a volunteer gives you the opportunity to make a contribution from a very young age. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people, build self-confidence, share life experiences and, most importantly, give back to your community.

I have already listed some of the most recognised volunteer organisations, notably the surf lifesavers, but not all volunteer groups enjoy such a high profile and volunteers often go unrecognised despite the valuable contribution they make. Today I want to acknowledge the great work of the volunteers in Stirling and thank them for what they do. At the same time I would like to help promote their cause so that many people will be encouraged to participate in and experience the rewards of volunteering.

Books on Wheels, a volunteer service operating from our city library, delivers library materials to housebound patrons, giving everyone the opportunity to share in the extensive range of resources on offer at the Karrinyup, Scarborough and Osborne libraries. New migrants in the Stirling electorate enjoy the great service provided by the volunteers at Mirrabooka’s Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre. Uniting Church Homes in Karrinyup relies on its dedicated volunteers to work with occupational therapists to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of residents through activities such as craft, bingo and vocal exercises. The School Volunteers Program recruits, trains and supports volunteers to act as mentors to primary and secondary school students not just in my electorate of Stirling but right across Western Australia. The Riding for the Disabled Association of Western Australia in Carine is run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers that provide equestrian sport for disabled persons. Volunteers at the Animal Care Facility at the city of Stirling help find new homes for stray and unwanted animals while extending the message of responsible pet ownership throughout the community. Without the volunteers the Mount Flora Regional Museum would not be able to keep its doors open, Anglican Homes would be without their bus driver and the Salvos shop in Balcatta would be forced to close. Unfortunately I do not have time to list all of the fantastic volunteer groups in my electorate, but I would just like to say that I am very fortunate to live in a community where there are so many people who are so willing to freely give of their time and resources.