Page 120 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 14 February 2012

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the opportunity now to thank and acknowledge Bob Wilson and his team from Vinnies for the wonderful work that they do. As you may already know, the Vinnies doorknock appeal is held every February, with the aim of raising funds for people in need in Canberra and the region. This year in Canberra Vinnies hope to raise up to $300,000.

This year’s appeal campaign saw a record number of approximately 2,000 volunteers working together to raise money for a very worthwhile cause. This also goes to highlight the wonderful work Vinnies does for our local community, also the fact that we in Canberra live in a very generous community. I think that it is safe to say that many of us have been beneficiaries in some way or another of their worthwhile efforts to serve. I know that was the case with my family many years ago, and it has certainly been a great honour to be able to give something back to Vinnies over the years and have the honour of launching the doorknock. I certainly learnt a lot from having the opportunity to doorknock and support Vinnies over the years, and I see what a wonderful job they do in our community.

The society’s services attract people from diverse backgrounds from within our community. I would like to take the opportunity in the time left to encourage people to volunteer. I think they still do need doorknockers. I encourage people to give generously to Vinnies as they come knocking. Consider giving a little extra this year. If you gave $5 last year, consider giving $10 if you can. Every little bit counts, because Vinnies does such a wonderful job in the community. They have highlighted in recent times some of the extra pressures that are on Vinnies at the moment.

So I commend the doorknock. I commend Vinnies and the wonderful work they do in Canberra and more broadly.

Victims of Crime Assistance League

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.57): I would like to speak tonight about the Victims of Crime Assistance League of the ACT, often referred to as VOCAL. I wanted to take the time tonight here in the Assembly to pause briefly and publicly acknowledge their tireless work over the last 24 years. One of the key driving motivations for VOCAL is to, and I quote:

… help and support individuals and their families who, through a criminal act against them, are victims of crime—to overcome their anguish and suffering, and assist them towards a state of understanding and acceptance of their adversity in order to resume a more stable mental and physical condition.

As I am sure members will agree, supporting victims of crime who are in need is a hugely important task and I extend my sincere thanks to the staff and volunteers of VOCAL for all their efforts over the last 2½ decades. Just one example of the services offered is the 24-hour telephone support service. This has been of immediate assistance and a direct and practical way of providing help to people in need.

As members may be aware, last year the government made the decision to go to open tender for the funding that VOCAL had previously received. In September last year

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