Volunteering Queensland's 40th Birthday Reception
Shadow Minister for Local Government, Shadow Minister for Disaster Recovery, Shadow Minister for Volunteers Ms Ann Leahy MP; Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Gregory Leach AFSM; Councillor for Central Ward, Councillor Vicki Howard; Deputy Director General of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, Ms Belinda Drew; Volunteering Queensland Board President, Mr Brett Johnson and Directors, CEO Ms Mara Basonovic; volunteers; distinguished guests.
I begin by acknowledging the original custodians of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
Graeme and I are delighted to welcome Volunteering Queensland to Government House to celebrate the 40th birthday of this inspiring Queensland institution.
And that birthday means that, like every other 40-year-old, Volunteering Queensland can be classified as a Gen Y – a Millennial!
It’s difficult to imagine a more fitting classification for this organisation. Like the other members of that remarkable cohort, Volunteering Queensland has enthusiastically adopted technology, fully embracing the potential of the internet and social media.
Like them, it also never fears a challenge; it’s an organisation that constantly seeks innovative solutions, and it has superb skills as a networker and team player.
Yes, Volunteering Queensland is definitely a Gen Y and, as a peak body, it now represents over 300 member organisations and a network of thousands more. That certainly warrants celebration and, as Patron, I congratulate all concerned on reaching that impressive result in your 40th year.
I also thank the team of committed investors, sponsors, and partners whose support has ensured that growth, and has enabled the organisation to advance and promote volunteering throughout our State.
As a result of Volunteering Queensland’s advocacy as a peak body and the data provided in its 2021 State of Volunteering in Queensland Report, we know the precise value of the contribution made by volunteers in this State, and it is truly remarkable: 84 billion dollars’ worth of volunteer work was completed by Queenslanders in 2020, and over 900 million hours contributed in 2021.
And that was achieved with just over three-quarters of the adult population! Just imagine what will be possible when the ongoing efforts of Volunteering Queensland inspire that remaining 24.3 per cent of adults, as well as many younger Queenslanders, to volunteer. What an impact that will have!
I congratulate Volunteering Queensland on its continued determination to be heard as a voice for an industry that is so essential in sustaining communities, families and individuals across our State.
Volunteering is part of what it means to be Australian and, as Governor, I am always greatly heartened to see the contribution of the volunteer sector acknowledged when the Australian Honours and Awards are announced. In the recent Australia Day Honours, a further 135 Queenslanders were recognised for their outstanding contribution to our State, many of them as volunteers. The citations for the awards demonstrate their enduring commitment and enormous generosity.
I take this opportunity to encourage everyone here to nominate the women and men in your community who are doing extraordinary things through their volunteer work for an Order of Australia to ensure that they too are justly recognised and celebrated.
Graeme and I wish Volunteering Queensland continued success in pursuing its goals of maximising voluntary contributions, increasing the impact of the sector, and, above all, inspiring more Queenslanders to volunteer.
Happy birthday! We hope you enjoy the hospitality of Government House.