Volunteering Queensland Awards Ceremony
Representing the Premier and Minister for the Olympics, Ms Jessica Pugh MP, Member for Mount Ommaney; representing the Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts, Mr James Martin MP, Member for Stretton; Representing the Lord Mayor, Cr Vicki Howard, Chair of the Community, Arts and Night Time Economy Committee; Shadow Minister for Seniors, Communities and Disability Services and for Multiculturalism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Mr John-Paul Langbroek MP; Shadow Minister for Volunteers and Disaster Recovery, Ms Ann Leahy MP; Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner; Acting Deputy Director General, Community Services – Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, Ms Louise Howard; President, Volunteering Queensland, Mr Brett Johnson; Volunteering Queensland Board Members; ladies and gentlemen; and all of the wonderful volunteers present today.
I too acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging.
As Patron, I am delighted to join Volunteering Queensland to publicly recognise those who give their time and passion to their communities.
Today, as we celebrate the winners and finalists of the 2022 Queensland Volunteering Awards; we are reminded that ceremonies such as this carry an important significance in acknowledging and applauding the work of volunteers.
This year’s nominees have many different backgrounds, are in various stages of life and represent a vast span of volunteering efforts: from health, education, animal welfare, and domestic and family violence, to the arts, emergency services, equal rights, homelessness, and refugee support.
This wide range of experience perfectly encompasses this year’s theme: ‘Better Together.’
Volunteering – at its core - aims to pull people together to create a better community; but it is evident to me, seeing the great variety of nominees. We are not just creating a better community but connecting communities, becoming stronger as one.
We are, ‘Better Together’.
Volunteering is exceptionally crucial to Queensland, and Australia’s economic, social, and cultural wellbeing. Without you, we would not be where we are today, and I hope you all know that your work never goes unnoticed.
We see you in schools, places of worship, sporting clubs and in a wide variety of service organisations. We even see you at Government House, where we have a much valued team of volunteers who provide guided tours of Government House and the estate, and provide such a warm welcome to many visitors. You are the humble super stars that intertwine our communities with strength and compassion.
It is important to acknowledge that volunteering is not a one-way street, there are many personal rewards such as meeting new people, opening yourself up to different cultural experiences, increased confidence and that amazing feeling of knowing you are making a difference. Despite the benefits, it takes a unique and caring person to willingly give their time to a cause, whatever that cause may be.
Today, as National Volunteer Week draws to a close, I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank Queensland’s many volunteers and I look forward to presenting the Queensland Volunteering Awards shortly.
Thank you all.