Volunteering Queensland Celebration of International Volunteer Day and Launch of the 2016 Queensland Volunteer of the Year Awards
Thank you, Mr President, for your kind introduction.
It is a distinct pleasure, as Governor, to join with you today to launch the inaugural Queensland Volunteer of the Year Awards, on this auspicious International Volunteer Day.
I am doubly honoured to do so as Volunteering Queensland’s first Patron.
The organisation began in 1982 with the clear mantra of converting volunteering values into action through the provision of education and training, advocacy and linking volunteers.
As Governor, I regularly have the privilege of recognising volunteers who have dedicated years, decades, and indeed whole lifetimes to beneficial service.
Volunteering in the modern age however is not defined necessarily by ongoing, regular face-to-face commitments.
Harnessing the opportunities presented by digital change, the modern volunteer is fluid, adaptable and bringing their generosity to bear for the betterment of our communities in ways once thought unimaginable.
This is conspicuously demonstrated through the proliferation of peer-to-peer mobile apps, including those which match skills directly with volunteer opportunities, and the advent of crowd-funding. (Although I note not all crowd-funding projects have benevolent complexions, such as Mr Zack Brown who it is reported raised tens of thousands of dollars to make potato salad!)
All volunteering, however, deserves recognition.
And reassuringly, Queenslanders are still prepared to roll-up their sleeves, exemplified by what we would now term ‘mud-armies’ (such as those I witnessed in Thangool and at Cooberrie Park outside Yeppoon in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Marcia), where strangers and friends alike constellate in an impromptu manner to assist flood and storm victims.
Over the decades, it is reassuring that Volunteering Queensland has responded to these changes with a steadfast commitment to those core values which both underpin our volunteers, and promote societal cohesion.
Of course, volunteering still occurs across a wide range of endeavour, reflected through the four categories included in these inaugural awards: Youth Volunteering, Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering, Volunteering Impact, and Corporate Volunteering.
I thank the current board for their sagacity in implementing this next progression.
Indeed I thank all past and current board members, staff and supporters of this fine Queensland organisation for their beneficial contributions over the past 33 years.
I at once also publicly thank the estimated one million Queensland volunteers I am proud as Patron to champion – I look forward to meeting throughout my governorship many more of them.
It gives me great pleasure to now declare open the first-ever Volunteering Queensland Volunteer of the Year Awards.