Noosa Electorate, Queensland Day

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (11.37 pm): I want to congratulate each of the hardworking, selfless volunteers who on Queensland Day were rewarded and honoured at the inaugural Noosa electorate Queensland Day awards. The birth of Queensland on 6 June 1859 resulted from a clear vision for independence and identity, in much the same way as communities grow and define themselves over time. Communities can be small or large, they can be geographically or interest based, they can be physical or virtual. All of them have one thing in common—that is, without the work of volunteers, they would struggle to survive.

In fact I am sure all members of the House would agree that volunteering is what makes Queensland great, and that is why Queensland Day is the perfect day to say thank you. I table the program from the inaugural Noosa electorate Queensland Day awards, which lists the names of 53 individual recipients and the not-for-profit groups which nominated them as their very own Queenslander of the year.

Tabled paper: Document titled ‘Noosa Electorate Inaugural Queensland Day Award Ceremony, Recognising volunteers in our community’.

According to the Economic and Social Value of Volunteering on the Sunshine Coast November 2015 report, there are an estimated 64,000 Sunshine Coast volunteers who contribute 8.3 million hours annually, with an economic value of $245 million in unpaid wages.

While there are a range of events and ceremonies on local and national stages which celebrate and recognise the work of the not-for-profit sector as a whole, I believe at times the individual members of the volunteering army get lost behind the big machinery of change makers. That is why my Queensland Day awards called upon the groups themselves to look closely at their membership and identify their stand-out volunteer, recognise their individual effort and elect them to be the winner of the award.

At the award ceremony, more than 200 supporters cheered 53 hardworking local volunteers on to the stage where they were presented with an engraved medallion and a certificate of recognition before the group was given a standing ovation by the crowd. While shining the spotlight on the individual, the event also showcased the diversity of the not-for-profit sector, which was both an education and an uplifting experience for all involved. I believe by putting a name and a face to volunteerism we successfully profile and celebrate positive role models. In doing so, we inspire others to follow in their footsteps to continue to nourish happy, healthy and vibrant communities.

I would like to say a particular thank you to the event sponsors—the Tewantin community Bendigo Bank, Noosa News and Noosa One Stop Print and Sign Centre—for their support and for joining with me to give a little bit back to those who have given so much.