Federation Chamber Speech - National Volunteer Week - Wednesday, 10 May

As members would know, this week is National Volunteers Week. Like so many members of the House, in Canberra yesterday I joined with a number of our volunteers to thank them for the wonderful things they are doing in our communities.

Of course, one of the things that makes Australia such a wonderful place is the strength, energy and level of volunteerism in this country.

Just last week I was in Singleton in my electorate for the Biggest Morning Tea, a big event known well to members and the broader community, a fund raising event that the Cancer Council holds each year. It is well known. Also well known is their Relay For Life program, which I am sure all members here have participated in or given support to at some point.

I want to say something about the Upper Hunter Cancer Council office. They are not only doing the expected things, the normal things, the usual things such as raising awareness and making sure people seek intervention early and have health checks regularly et cetera; they also do other things such as running a transport service to our hospitals. I have a large electorate. Many people are not in a position to get from remote communities to the big hospitals in Newcastle or Maitland. These volunteers make sure people are able to get to those appointments.

I want to do a shout out to some of those people, including Margie Mitchell, Catherine Sullivan, Nicole Black and Debbie Rae. They are people who give up their time regularly. I am delighted to say that the Upper Hunter Cancer Council office was recognised recently at the Upper Hunter Chamber Of Commerce awards with an excellence in social enterprise award.

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