Afternoon Tea in support of International Volunteer Day
Volunteering Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Ms Mara Basanovic; board members, volunteers – and I spot a few familiar faces with many of our Government House volunteers joining us this afternoon; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respect to Elders, past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to any First Nations people here with us today.
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you all here this afternoon.
As Patron of Volunteering Queensland, I take special delight in hosting you as representatives of the more than three-million volunteers throughout the State.
It is especially pleasing to add the voice of Queensland volunteers to this celebration of International Volunteer Day, formalised by a United Nations resolution back in December 1985.
The UN General Assembly saw this as an opportunity for governments around the world to recognise and raise awareness of the contribution volunteers make across the globe.
The theme this year is ‘Solidarity through volunteering’, and anyone who volunteers knows this to be true.
Volunteering usually means you are joining a group, a cause or an entire community, and often all three. It’s where friendships are forged, experiences are shared, and positive change is achieved together.
The ‘2021 State of Volunteering in Queensland Report’ contained much of which you can be collectively proud, but one figure stands out to me.
That is, that 75.7 per cent of the adult population of our State volunteers their time. That equates to over three-million Queenslanders in voluntary service to others.
There is only so much that governments, businesses and any amount of well-positioned individuals can do to provide support to everyone in society who needs it.
And what about those who need it but don’t know how to ask.
That is where our volunteers can step in, with energy and empathy, and lend a hand.
This is what an inclusive and humane society looks like, right here in this room and I applaud you all.
I won’t attempt to single out individuals and volunteer groups as having made a difference this year, because you all have, in countless different ways.
It perhaps matters most to those people you have helped this year, the recipients of your kindness, generosity, knowledge and selflessness.
On behalf of a grateful State, and as your Patron and Governor, I can thank you for your dedication and hard work and commend you on a year well spent.
Congratulations, and thank you.