House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Constituency Statements

Red Frogs Australia, Petrie Electorate: Good Samaritans

Photo of Luke HowarthLuke Howarth (Petrie, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to read a quote, and the quote reads as follows: 'Thank you so much for looking after me and offering to hang. I appreciate it so much. Don't know what I would have done if the Red Frogs crew weren't there for me. So thank you.' This was a text message written by a young person who found themselves vulnerable at Schoolies Week last year. It was written to a young Red Frogs volunteer in my electorate. This is why the Red Frogs Australia movement has gone from 17 volunteers in 1997 to nearly 4,000 today—young people helping young people—and the movement has gone global.

A young woman in my electorate, Danielle, who has just bought her first home, is part of the Citipointe Church, where the movement began through one of the young pastors, Andy Gourlay. Andy hit Schoolies Week on the Gold Coast with his skateboarding mates back in the 90s and realised the need for a designated sober person at the alcohol- and drug-fuelled parties. Twenty-four years later and one of those troubled teens who was helped by the Red Frogs has become a volunteer to return the favour. Danielle said she knew from firsthand experience how lifesaving the early intervention strategies can be to reduce the risk of harm. Red Frogs volunteers are operating in all major universities in Australia, distributing around 10,000 donuts.

Sitting suspended from 10 : 53 to 11 : 04

As I was saying, Red Frogs volunteers are operating in all major universities in Australia, distributing around 10,000 donuts, 5,503 icy poles and 74,132 cups of water. They offer direct relief and support at festivals with hydration tents and roaming teams, they speak at various high school education events—in fact, my son, who finished Year 12 last year, mentioned they spoke at his school—and they hand out 1,784 kilograms of red frogs and 147 litres of sunscreen at various sports events throughout the year. Red Frogs is one of the largest harm minimisation programs in Australia. I thank them all for the help they are giving our young people, and I encourage every member to get involved with Red Frogs. They are pretty well in very university.

I will read an email I received from a good samaritan in my electorate, Jim Evans. I would add that this is not the first time Jim has helped someone in need. Jim writes: 'I met a person along the road collecting cans on his bike and trailer. He has a small government unit that he is renting at Margate. He has a speech impediment and has battled addiction in past. He wants to work, even if it is fruit picking, but due to his speech finds it difficult. I have seen him work at the men's shed and he is very smart and a hard worker. If you have the time to hear him out and see what government schemes are available to help him, that would be great.'

I have just learnt that he has been offered a job with one of the businesses in my electorate that we reached out to, and he will start as a metal polisher today. The rest is up to him now, and. I wish him well. Thanks to Jim Evans for being a proactive member of the Petrie community.