90 second statement – Volunteer Week
Mr PITT: Last week—would you believe?—was National Volunteer Week, and where would we be without volunteers in this country? The Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2021 found that nearly three million Australians—three million!—did unpaid voluntary work in that year alone, and we want to thank each and every one of them for what they do. In fact, my office took the opportunity to put out the call for any organisation that wanted to have certificates of appreciation printed and sent to those organisations for their volunteers, and that was taken up very strongly. In fact, we did over 500 certificates, and we did it for one simple purpose, and that is to say thank you: thank you to those volunteers for what they do each and every day.
I managed to hand out some personally at the Hervey Bay and District Senior Citizens Club and also at the Rotary Club of Bundaberg Sunrise, where I met Val Dempsey. Val was the 2022 Senior Australian of the Year. She has volunteered for St John Ambulance for more than 50 years, and I’ve got to tell you: you don’t need a radio on when Val’s in the room. She is incredibly entertaining. She has a lot to say and is a wonderful volunteer from right here in Canberra.
So to all of our volunteers—from our surf lifesavers who are saving lives to those who are working in palliative care when Australians are in their most difficult time, and from those who work with the guide dogs to the P&Cs at schools—on behalf of the entire parliament we simply say this: thank you so much.