Page 2088 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Volunteering ACT member agencies, the extensive list of people who contribute, both on an individual basis and organisations, it really is quite humbling to know that there are so many people out there working hard for our community for little or no gain at all.

In conclusion, I would like to particularly note our service organisations—organisations like Lions. But I would also like to pay particular commendation to the Rotary Club of the ACT. I am a Rotarian and I understand their work very well. It does not mean that they do necessarily more than other groups but as a group that I am a member of, I do take particular heed of what they do.

My own club, the Rotary Club of Canberra Weston Creek, shows me an example of what people can do on a local level. That is a group of about 40 to 50 individuals who get together, have comradeship but also do fantastic work in the Weston Creek area for the broader Canberra community and also support an international program. They are just a very representative group of our community doing their great work.

Thank you, Ms Porter, for again bringing the volunteer motion before the Assembly. I congratulate you for doing so. I commend Ms Porter’s motion to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (6.06): I too would like to thank Ms Porter for bringing on this motion today. And what better day than today to express our thanks as an Assembly to the volunteers of this city? National Volunteer Week commenced on Monday and this morning the 2013 ACT volunteer of the year awards were held at Parliament House. I would like to congratulate Peter Russell, who was announced as the 2013 ACT volunteer of the year, who has spent 10 years volunteering with the YMCA Canberra Sailing Club and supporting people with disability to enjoy sailing. The Lanyon youth and community volunteers are the 2013 ACT volunteer team of the year. They provide bus transportation of young people, work at the Lanyon food hub emergency relief centre, work in the Lanyon Ladle community soup kitchen and assist with child care.

There were many other winners in the different categories and I would like to offer congratulations to them all. I also congratulate and say thank you to all of Canberra’s volunteers for the time and effort they have put in this year to making this city a better place.

There is no doubt about the importance of volunteering. Volunteers and the services they perform are vital to the ACT community. Canberrans are avid volunteers, with around 32 per cent of the ACT’s total population involved in some form of voluntary work. Every day Canberrans contribute their time towards a range of activities and services that help build the fabric of our society, such as assisting refugee children with reading, running sporting events, delivering services to the homeless and planting trees to help restore our environment. There are the folks who get up early to provide breakfast to people in need or even train to prepare for a bushfire season.

I would like to make specific mention of our bushfire volunteers, who work closely with the Emergency Services Agency and TAMS each bushfire season to protect the homes and lives of Canberrans across the city. We know that this is a volunteer role

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