Wednesday, 2 August 2023
Eden-Monaro Electorate: Volunteers
I rise today to talk about volunteers, who make such a valuable contribution across Eden-Monaro. I see so many people across Eden-Monaro giving up their time, and their money, in so many circumstances, to contribute back to the community. What is consistent across Eden-Monaro is that it is something that people love to do. In Eden-Monaro, nearly 20 per cent of our population volunteer in some capacity, which is far above the state average of 14 per cent, and we can see the real, positive impacts that that has on community groups across our electorate. On average, volunteers contribute about 180 hours a year. Twenty per cent of our volunteers contribute more than 250 hours a year, which is extraordinary.
Recently, I had the great honour and pleasure of distributing some volunteer grants to organisations across Eden-Monaro. They included—to name just a few—Adelong Preschool, Jerra Joeys Netball Club, the Merimbula Knights Cricket Club, Binalong Swimming Club, Cobargo Community Access Centre, Monaro Art Group, Dalgety Show Society, Narooma Surf Life Saving Club, Meals on Wheels Queanbeyan, the AMA motorbike Bombala branch, CWA Yass and Cycle Tumbarumba.
I wanted to highlight some of the extraordinary contributions that people make. We know people don't volunteer for recognition, but I would note that the Centre for Volunteering does do awards every year. Even though nominations for 2023 are closed, please think about nominating a volunteer in the future.
In 2022, Daryl Dobson was named the Senior Volunteer of the Year for the South Coast. He has worked with Pambula Rotary Club for 20 years. He has built walkways, access points and amenity blocks and did so much work during the bushfires.
In 2022, Jake Mason was the Young Volunteer of the Year for the southern inland. He has volunteered over 600 hours for St John Ambulance Cooma Division. He has a bright future, and I know how proud of him his branch are.
I also want to congratulate former editor and custodian of the Gundaroo Gazette Alan Cummine, who recently received a good citizen award. He has put countless hours and extraordinary effort into the local paper. As his good citizen citation reads, in part: 'In that role, he has provided much of the glue so necessary to bind a vibrant community together, by keeping it informed of what is happening and what should be happening in and around the village of Gundaroo.' Can I express my personal acknowledgement of his achievements, which have helped to enrich the Gundaroo community. He was one of the first people I met in the Queanbeyan office after I became the member for Eden-Monaro, and I was so impressed with his commitment to the community.
I also want to acknowledge our service clubs. Lions and Rotary clubs across Eden-Monaro do such a fantastic job. In June, I had the pleasure of attending the Lions Club's annual changeover dinner in Queanbeyan and the Rotary annual changeover dinners in Narooma and Cooma. Keep up the good work. Thank you for what you do for our community. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with you.