Page 2082 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Submissions for the 100 volunteer stories campaign close on Friday, 27 September 2013. Stories will be published on Volunteering ACT’s website and circulated through their social media, culminating in a ceremony of recognition on International Volunteer Day, which, as I said before, occurs on 5 December this year. I am not quite sure what day of the week it is, but certainly that is a great day celebrated by all volunteers in Canberra and across Australia.

I believe everyone has a volunteer story they can tell, and each one would be individual and would be very interesting. I encourage everybody to submit their stories. At the ceremony when we launched the 100 stories campaign at the War Memorial on Monday night I was asked to tell my story about how I started volunteering as a child and how my volunteering changed over time. That is the important thing these stories tell us—our volunteer journey can start as we are children but then as our lifestyles and circumstances change so does our volunteering often change.

On behalf of the ACT government, I congratulate not only the ACT volunteer of the year award winners and the category winners but also all the volunteers and all the volunteering organisations that make such an important contribution to our community and manage and sustain this voluntary effort.

In the Canberra centenary year—2013—we also mark the 40th birthday of the Canberra Hospital. So it is very timely that I say a few words about volunteering in relation to health. To reiterate the comments the Chief Minister made in the chamber yesterday and those I made at the volunteer appreciation breakfast I attended on Monday morning, I wish to pass on the government’s thanks to all these volunteers for their continued hard work and dedication. As you know, ACT Health has over 450 volunteers that work across all of the areas of Health, or a great deal of them in any case. ACT Health volunteers’ age group ranges from 18 to 85. Volunteers give their time to assist by working across 20 programs within ACT Health, including Canberra Hospital Auxiliary, chaplaincy, hand and foot massage, paediatrics, and the women’s and children’s hospital, to name a few. As the Chief Minister said yesterday, other not-for-profit organisations also provide voluntary services within the hospital, including the Cancer Council Wig Service, Bosom Buddies, and the Miracle Babies Foundation.

On 1 May 1973 the then Woden Valley Hospital opened with 36 beds along with a departments of radiology, physiotherapy, pathology and social work. On 3 May 1973 the pharmacy commenced and the casualty department opened for treatment of minor casualties, 14 hours daily, on 7 May. In 1973 the hospital kiosk under the auspices of the Woden Valley Auxiliary opened for business, and 40 years on we celebrate a small group of volunteers who commenced in the same year and who are today still providing volunteer support to the hospital auxiliary and also to pastoral care.

Pastoral care volunteers from the Society of the Sacred Mission continue to assist with wheeling patients to church services held on Sunday within the hospital. I imagine some of those volunteers would have been involved in assisting many of the patients to attend an Anzac Day service that I attended on behalf of the Assembly some little while ago. As the Chief Minister mentioned yesterday, three volunteers have been

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