Constituency Statements: Bonner Electorate: Volunteers

It is with pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge the volunteers in the Bonner electorate who have been recognised by the Australian government for their international service. I am sure that everyone in this House will agree with me when I say that volunteers are the lifeblood of the community. I am extremely proud today to formally mention the altruistic volunteers in Bonner who have selflessly given their own time and money to better the lives of those less fortunate around the world.

I was extremely pleased to recently host a morning tea to officially present certificates of appreciation to two such overseas volunteers. Husband and wife team Graeme and Robyn Wescombe of the Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly were awarded certificates of appreciation owing to their service in northern Vanuatu for the refurbishment of a major health centre. Graeme spearheaded the project, which began in 2006, on behalf of the Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly. The Rotarians have now completed a full refurbishment of the Paunganisu health centre in northern Efate, which is a monumental achievement. Graeme and up to nine other Rotarians at any given time have travelled to the region on four different occasions over the past five years to complete the health centre refurbishments. The work completed by the Rotarians allows for minor operations to be conducted in the facility as well as providing a safe birthing centre for the entire northern region of Vanuatu, including surrounding offshore islands. The project, I am told, is ongoing and the Rotarians latest improvement is the installation of solar power to the facility. Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly for their outstanding contribution to the welfare of those in our Pacific region.

I would also like to congratulate the following Bonner residents who were awarded with certificates of appreciation for their volunteer work overseas: Eric Batten; Debra MacManus; Conor MacManus; Raymond Schneidewin for his contribution in Vanuatu Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly; Jessie Bynon for her service in Vanuatu to the Society for Disabled People; Anusha Goonetilleke for her contribution in Vanuatu as legal literacy coordinator; Robert Lemon for his service in Fiji to establish a school computer room; Kylie Madge and Nerrida McIntosh for their efforts in South Africa with Australian Volunteers International; Ashley Perkins for his work in Tonga with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning; and Diaan Stewart for her efforts in Timor-Leste as a professional development coordinator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *