Nominate an outstanding volunteer in our community

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Bonner Volunteer Awards, to help recognise outstanding local volunteers and volunteer groups in the Bonner electorate.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta is encouraging local people to nominate individuals and groups that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities, made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, and set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

Nominations open 29 March, 2021 and close 19 April, 2021 in the following categories:

  • Student (17 years and under)
  • Young adult (18 to 24 years)
  • Adult (25 to 64 years)
  • Senior (65+ years)
  • Group/organisation

Winners will be presented their awards at a special ceremony on 5 May, 2021

“Volunteers are often the unsung heroes of our community, so I’m pleased to hold these awards to shine a spotlight on them and the vital work they perform within our community,” Mr Vasta said.

Nomination forms can be completed online here. Alternatively, a paper nomination form can be requested by phoning (07) 3893 3488 or emailing

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Volunteer grant delivers cricket scorers a ‘cool’ upgrade

Cricket scorers at the Wynnum Manly District Cricket Club (WMDCC) will no longer be sitting in a sauna thanks to a $5000 Morrison Government Volunteer grant.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the club would upgrade the scorer’s room with new furniture, air conditioning and proper scoring devices to make volunteers much more comfortable.

“Cricket is a summer sport and during those hot Queensland days the volunteer cricket scorers often sit in a sweltering scorer’s room,” Mr Vasta said.

“Volunteers at WMDCC give many hours of their time to the club and in return for this commitment, the club wanted to make the time spent volunteering as comfortable as possible for them.

“Currently scorers use personal devices to score games in a hot room sitting on furniture in a state of disrepair, but thanks to a $5000 volunteer grant, that’s all about to change.”

Mr Vasta said while the work of volunteers was unpaid, their efforts did not go unrecognised.

“From fighting bushfires, delivering food to vulnerable Australians in isolation and helping out with the weekend sport, they are all local champions,” Mr Vasta said.

“Their contribution is vital to ensuring that we continue to support families, provide employment pathways for young people and strengthen community resilience.”

Nationally, volunteering has an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.

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Funding boost for Bonner volunteer groups

Sailability Bayside volunteers will be able to undergo first aid and resuscitation training thanks to a $2880 Morrison Government grant as part of National Volunteer week.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said Sailability was one of 16 successful volunteer grant recipients in his electorate.

“Volunteers give their time and skills to support others and I am so pleased we have been able to provide a funding injection to support these great community organisatons,” Mr Vasta said.

Volunteer grant recipients include:

  • Fort Lytton Historical Association – $5000
  • Fort Lytton Motocross Club – $5000
  • Wynnum Manly Arts Council – $4500
  • Waterloo Bay Leisure Centre – $3050
  • Sailability Bayside – $2880
  • Safe by the Bay – $2800
  • Rosie’s Youth Mission – $2000
  • Wynnum Manly Employment Training – $1600
  • Wynnum Manly District Cricket Club – $5000
  • Global Care Group (Citipoint Church) – $5000
  • Paws and Brooks Nature Sanctuary – $4990
  • Belmont Saints Basketball Club – $3300
  • Mt Gravatt Meals on Wheels – $5000
  • Lions Club of Brisbane Macgregor – $4830
  • South Brisbane Eagles Hockey Club – $4780
  • South Western Metro Basketball – $4740

Mr Vasta said the funding would go a long way to support organisations and their volunteers through what has been a difficult year.

“Volunteers play an integral role in communities and as we start to recover from this global pandemic, this funding will help deliver services and support to those who need it most,” Mr Vasta said.

“From helping cover the cost of travel expenses for Fort Lytton Historical Association volunteers, to Safe by the Bay volunteers washing clothes and printing documents for people living rough, this funding is making a difference.

“The contribution volunteers make to our local community is vital and as part of National Volunteer Week, I would like to say thank you.”

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I move:

That this House:

(1) recognises the fantastic contribution that volunteers make to the community of Bonner, and to Australia in general;

(2) notes there are 8 million volunteers around Australia in organisations like sports clubs, charities and schools;

(3) congratulates the Government for allocating $20 million in funding to support volunteering; and

(4) notes that volunteering efforts make an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion.

I’m thrilled this Government is continuing its strong support of our volunteers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our local community organisations and groups. They make a real difference. I’m proud to recognise outstanding volunteers in my electorate every year with the Bonner Volunteer Awards. And I’m proud to be part of a Government that is supporting their efforts with $20 million for the 2018 Volunteer Grants round.

There are more than 8.7 million volunteers across Australia who make an estimated annual economic and social contribution of $290 billion. Volunteers help people into jobs. They reduce social marginalisation. They help increase community participation. By helping people come together and work alongside each other, they help build a stronger and safer community.

I’ve gotten to know so many fantastic volunteers in my electorate. I’ve spoken here before about the men and women who’ve been nominated for my Volunteer Awards. They come from all walks of life, from many different backgrounds, but deep down they’re the same. Hard-working. Selfless. Giving up their free time to help others. And never ever asking for recognition or reward.

There are many amazing volunteers I want to talk about today. But in the interest of time I want to single out Mrs Irene Edwards OAM from Manly West.

Irene epitomises the very best qualities of a volunteer. She’s done so much for the community over many years. She’s been a volunteer, team leader, management committee member, and historical officer at Wynnum Manly Meals on Wheels for over thirty years. In that time, she’s helped countless elderly locals. She’s provided them good meals and, better yet, the love and support of a good friend.

You couldn’t find a more skilled or passionate fundraiser. I’ve been working with the Meals on Wheels to get their new kitchen and community centre up and running in Wakerley. Irene was a major driving force in raising over $1.5 million toward the new centre. She’s also helped local veterans, fundraising for the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia, Brisbane East Branch for over a decade.

Irene has touched the lives of so many in the Wynnum Manly community. Her work has not gone unnoticed. She’s received the Medal of Merit from the Lions Club of Moreton Bay, as well as a Paul Harris Fellowship Award from the Rotary Club of Wynnum and Manly, for her volunteer work.

And in June, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, presented her with a Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the community. Unfortunately she was too ill to attend Government House for the general presentation. So in a very touching, rare display, the Governor General paid her a home visit for a private investiture ceremony. Her husband Ken tells me it was a wonderful experience for them, their children, and their grandchildren who attended.

Irene was deeply humbled and proud to accept this high honour. Ken tells me she still can’t believe it—well I and many others in the community can, and we thank you for everything you’ve done for us.

I am so thankful for all our local volunteers; Bonner wouldn’t be the same without you. You all deserve the highest praise for the incredible work you do in our area. I encourage local groups in my electorate to apply for the Volunteer Grants 2018 round to support our amazing volunteers.

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Today I’d like to thank everyone who’s put in a nomination for my Bonner Volunteer Awards. These Awards recognise individuals and groups that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities. They shine a light on people who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to our community. They commend those who’ve set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

The Bonner Volunteer Awards were a great success last year. This year has been no different with even more nominations coming in. It’s been great to hear so many stories of men and women making a real difference in our community. They all deserve praise and I’d like to recognise their work today.

We’re lucky in Bonner to have many grassroots sports clubs where children of all ages can hone their love and talent for a sport. These clubs depend on the hard work of their volunteers:

• Carindale Juniors AFL Club has grown to over 100 members thanks to many dedicated Bonner parents.

• Their Vice-President Brad Abell has donated hundreds of hours of his time coaching the under-10s, managing the umpires, repairing and maintaining their footy oval, and more.

• David Harvey from Manly West acts as coach, manager, game official, club referee and more for Bayside United Football Club.

• Jason Lavender started as President of Bayside Jets Basketball Club in Carina last year. He stepped up to the plate when former club president Noel Merrick had open heart surgery. He trains the kids every Tuesday night and he’s been getting them results!

There are several other Bonner volunteers who also give their free time to help young people in the community:

• Marian Sheffield volunteers for a number of clubs in the Wynnum-Manly area, including Acacia Bayside Swimming Club and Annette Roselli Dance Academy.

• Michael Lakeman runs the Manly Lota Scouts Group.

• Gloria Guthrie volunteers at Mackenzie State Special School library.

• Jacqueline Park volunteers as a reading tutor at Upper Mount Gravatt State School.

There are also local volunteers who help out our older residents in need:

• Lyn Felschow volunteers at the Holland Park Meals on Wheels, as well as her local church.

• Phil Young assists elderly people at his local Carindale complex.

Then there are volunteers who make a difference for our homeless:

• The Making a Difference Team based in Manly West regularly helps and organises donated items for the homeless or people trying to restart their lives.

• Joseph Dawson is just 14 years old and volunteers every month with the Rosies Friends on the Street program. Joseph is a hard worker who also encourages his friends to get involved with this worthy cause.

Finally there are the volunteers who’ve made a particular mark on our community:

• Linda Pascoe started the Gumdale Hub Facebook page to bring the community together to help fight crime in the area. Linda and the rest of the Gumdale Hub team do a great page running the page.

• Alex Wright from Mansfield is a long-time volunteer also helping protect his community. He’s involved with Volunteer in Policing and Mansfield Neighbourhood Watch. These are just two of the many organisations Alex volunteers with.

• Carindale local Bruce Meers is another life-long volunteer for many local charities and clubs. The list is too long to read here! Bruce has truly changed the lives of so many people young and old over the last 50 years.

Congratulations to these amazing volunteers. I look forward to meeting them at the Bonner Volunteer Awards presentation ceremony tomorrow. I can’t wait to thank them for their service to the community.

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Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta today thanked everyone who has put in nominations for the second annual Bonner Volunteer Awards.

The Bonner Volunteer Awards recognise individuals and groups that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities, made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, and set a good example for fellow volunteers and inspired others to volunteer.

“It’s great to hear about so many dedicated and hard-working volunteers in Bonner, especially during National Volunteer Week this week,” Mr Vasta said.

“These men and women are making a real difference in our community and they all deserve to be recognised.”

Mr Vasta will be presenting this year’s winners with their awards at a special ceremony on 1 June 2018.

Nominees this year include:

• Brad Abell – Vice-President and under-10s coach at Carindale Cougars Junior AFL Club;

• David Harvey – Coach, manager, game official, and club referee at Bayside United Football Club;

• Jason Lavender – President and coach at Bayside Jets Basketball Club in Carina;

• Lyn Felschow – Holland Park Meals on Wheels volunteer and church volunteer;

• Marian Sheffield – Community volunteer for a number of clubs in the Wynnum-Manly area including Acacia Bayside Swimming Club and Annette Roselli Dance Academy;

• Michael Lakeman – Leader at Manly Lota Scouts Group;

• Phil Young – Assists elderly people at local Carindale complex;

• Bruce Meers – Carindale local and life-long volunteer for a number of local charities and clubs;

• Gloria Guthrie – Volunteer at Mackenzie State Special School library;

• Jacqueline Park – Volunteer reading tutor at Upper Mount Gravatt State School;

• John Power – Volunteer at St John Vianney Catholic Parish of Manly and Gumdale;

• Alex Wright – Mansfield local and long-time volunteer for a number of clubs and organisations including Volunteer in Policing and Mansfield Neighbourhood Watch;

• Joseph Dawson – Rosies Friends on the Street volunteer;

• Carindale Cougars JAFL Club – A small, grassroots football club that has grown to over 100 members on the back of many dedicated Bonner parents who volunteer their time with the club;

• Gumdale Hub – Linda Pascoe has brought the community together to fight crime in the area through this local Facebook page;

• Making a Difference Team – This Manly West-based team regularly helps and organises donated items for the homeless or people trying to restart their lives.

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It's National Volunteer Week, and another good opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution our volunteers make to our community.

Last year, I had the opportunity to do just that with the first annual Bonner Volunteer Awards. There were many worthy winners, and so many make such a difference in our community. These include Beryl Acton. Beryl has been running sewing workshops and classes at St Bart's Anglican Church at Mount Gravatt for the past few years. She also offers to do free mending and alteration work for the Hope Chicks, who provide work for vulnerable and disadvantaged women. The Chicks love her sweetness, patience and cheerfulness. She genuinely loves the women and doesn't ever lecture or judge. She pops in from time to time, regardless of sewing workshops, just to see how everyone is going.

Then there's John Bettenay. John has been a member of several Queensland Rotary clubs since 1975, and has held various executive committee positions at both club and district levels. He joined the Rotary club of Mount Gravatt in 1996 and has been an active member of the club and its activities in the local area since that time. He has hosted international exchange students, been a member of the board of directors, is current Treasurer for the Mount Gravatt club—a position which he has held for many years—and always supports the club's regular fundraising efforts.

I'm pleased, again, to be holding the Bonner Volunteer Awards this year. There were four categories this year: youth, adult, senior and group organisations. Nominations have just closed. There are a number of outstanding candidates, and it's been difficult to pick just one winner in each category. I will be holding a presentation ceremony soon. I look forward to meeting the winners and thanking them for the very important service they provide to the community. I also look forward to updating the chamber on these volunteers and sharing their vital contributions to the community.

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Volunteers in Bonner are among nearly 100,000 volunteers across Australia benefiting from $10 million in Australian Government grants to support community organisations.

Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, announced that almost 2,700 community organisations would benefit from a grant to support the work of volunteers.

Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said the Turnbull Government’s investment in our communities is delivering vital support to the electorate’s small community organisations, which help many of our most vulnerable citizens.

“The Volunteer Grants will assist a range of local groups including Make it Home Safely and the South Western Metro Basketball Inc.

“Five groups in the Bonner electorate have been awarded this funding and will each receive a grant of up to $5,000 allowing them to better support their volunteers by purchasing much-needed equipment, training and transport,” Mr Vasta said.

“This week is National Volunteer Week and it’s only fitting that we acknowledge the important work of our volunteers and their organisations in building stronger communities.
“The energy, expertise and time our volunteers give to our community helps support those most in need and represents what Australian communities are all about – giving a helping hand. 

“I’m glad to see that our local organisations in Bonner will have this support to continue their valuable work.”

For a full list of successful recipients and information about Volunteer Grants, go to:

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