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National Volunteer Week

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (6.40): I rise tonight to speak about an important awareness week taking place this week—National Volunteer Week. This year marks the 25th anniversary of National Volunteer Week. There are volunteer firefighters and volunteers delivering meals to seniors, revegetating wetlands or cleaning up our parks and waterways. There are volunteers who tutor young people and doctors and lawyers who donate their services to those who cannot afford them.

There are volunteers with organisations that help sick children and their families, sporting groups or simply just being there for whatever needs to be done. In almost all areas and walks of life you will find volunteers. They help build our society and provide invaluable support in areas where it otherwise may not be available. Last night I attended the 2014 ACT volunteer of the year awards at the National Museum of Australia, along with my Assembly colleagues Ms Porter, Mr Coe and Mr Wall.

I would like to congratulate the following winners in the individual category: the overall ACT volunteer of the year, Michael D'Elboux; ACT volunteer team of the year, St Nick's young carer program; individual art and environment winner, again Michael D'Elboux; community care and health, Fred Luskan; community services highly commended, Marty Burrows and the winner, Margaret McCulloch; education, science and technology, Noureen Rainsford; sports and recreation, Margo Wade; young person, Georgia Lee-Abbott; emergency services, Sandra Malnar; skilled volunteer, Garry Watson.

The following groups won in their respective categories: volunteer interpreter program, Covenant Care@Holy Covenant volunteers, Woden Community Services home and community care volunteer team, St Peter and Paul Primary School tutors, Arthritis ACT, St Nick's young carer program and the St Johns Ambulance Canberra division.

I would also like to acknowledge all the volunteers who were nominated, because a nomination in this area is enough to show what these people contribute to our society, for which I would like to thank them today.

The individual nominees were: Sharon Koh, Tim Booth, Jill Greenwell, Robert Johnson, Marilyn Brookes, Debbie Smorhun, Lorraine O'Brien, Joanne Kingsbury, Jamie Gray, Italia De Angelis, Gordon Scott, Joel Mallett, Laura Gad, Peter Bojkowski, Amanda Regan, Beverly Flint, Lavanya Oruganti, Tran Wilson, Stephen Curran, John Gloe, Rosalind Peterson, Clare Anderson, Maree Wilson, Margo Wade, Sue O'Donnell, Linda Muir, Sarah Yu, Darryl Perkins, John Harris, Mark Blake, Peter Hill, Trish O'Neil, Peter Davey and Phil Sealy.

Other groups who were nominated for a group award were: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Focus Group, Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra area theatre awards judges, Friends of Glenburn, Kulture Break Gold Creek V team, Mapping our World guiding and front of house volunteers, the Friends of Aranda Bushland Inc, Calvary John James Hospital massage volunteers, intensive care unit volunteers, Ronald McDonald House Canberra, Centre4Seniors, Communities@work care & share, Communities@work connections program volunteers, Lanyon youth and community volunteers, Lifeline Canberra Bookfair and volunteers in policing.

This week we should all make sure that we take the time to thank the volunteers that we know and let them know how much we appreciate the work they do in their chosen area. Congratulations also to Volunteering ACT on their event last night and for all the work they do in Canberra. You can find out more about Volunteering ACT at www.volunteeringact.org.au.

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