Today I’d like to discuss the important contribution volunteers make in Bonner. I’d also like to talk about the first annual Bonner Volunteer Awards which is starting soon.

I’ve met many exceptional volunteers over the years. These men and women freely give up their time and energy to make their community a better place. They improve our schools, clean up our environment, provide a boost to emergency and health services, and help keep vital community organisations running. They give a helping hand to people in need. They’re amazing role models. And they do it all without asking for anything in return, except the knowledge they’re making a difference.

I have nothing but respect for the many thousands of volunteers all across Australia. This year I wanted to do my part to thank outstanding volunteers and volunteer groups in my electorate.

I’m now pleased to announce the Bonner Volunteer Awards. These awards will give thanks to individuals and teams that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities. They will recognise volunteers who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, who’ve set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

My office will be taking nominations from February 27 to March 17. I’ve selected a panel of three community representatives to choose the winners, who’ll be presented their awards on March 31. I can’t wait to hear the stories of Bonner’s exceptional volunteers and thank them for their service.

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