31 July 2019

 I would like to draw the attention of the Chamber to all the volunteers in my electorate of Brand. I know National Volunteer Week was in May—not that far away—but given how much our community relies on volunteers, quite frankly every week could be National Volunteer Week, where we spend time thanking volunteers for their hard work for communities right around our country.

I was very pleased recently to attend a volunteer thank you event organised by the City of Rockingham. This event, hosted by Deputy Mayor Deb Hamblin, was to recognise the vast array of advisory committees, working groups, emergency services groups and other volunteers across Rockingham. They included the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Rockingham-Kwinana SES, the Rockingham Volunteer Sea Rescue Group, the Rockingham branch of the Salvation Army, the Secret Harbour Surf Live Saving Club, the Secret Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, the Singleton Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, the Baldivis Volunteer Fire & Emergency Services, St John Ambulance; and there are so many more that I'm unable to continue going through the list. I would particularly like to mention the advisory committees that advise the councillors, the mayor and the deputy mayor of the City of Rockingham.

I'd like to single out the Rockingham Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, who that night celebrated 30 years of dedicated service to the organisation by their star volunteer, Mr Barry Stagg. I'm very pleased to acknowledge in the parliament of this nation Barry's years of service, provided humbly and in good humour. Congratulations once again, Barry. I know you adore all the attention you're getting from the community and from me now, and I really hope you enjoy serving and continue to serve our community, as you have done for so many years.

As many in this place would know, volunteers are at the heart of the democratic process of Australia. They make an invaluable contribution to whichever field they choose to help in. In our case, of course, it's politics, and in many ways it can be difficult during some of the more passionate and sometimes absurd clashes of ideas that happen out in the community, particularly during an election campaign. Political volunteers help out their chosen party or candidate through the strength of their conviction and their commitment to helping make the world a better place through engagement at a grassroots community level. I'm very grateful to have the volunteers I do have in Brand, many of whom have helped out on countless federal and state campaigns. They're a fantastic bunch of people. Lois Robinson, our star doorknocker: rain, hail or shine, she was out there spreading our message. She shows age is no barrier to enthusiasm. Brian Preston, master of all things pre-poll and phone calling: his sense of humour across the campaign was a great antidote to all the tougher days that a campaign can have. Owen Farmer: I don't think Owen missed a single campaign event the whole time. His work with the homeless community in Brand is something of great pride to me as his federal member. And Margaret Sweeney: always reliable and always effective. Thank you to you all.




I would like to recognise the extraordinary contribution of the army of helpers and volunteers I am grateful to have in Brand across the cities of Rockingham and Kwinana. Many of them have helped on many federal and state campaigns over the years. Lois Robinson is our star doorknocker. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds. Thank you so much, Lois. Brian Preston, the amazing man of Singleton, ran our Port Kennedy pre-poll. His humour is always very welcome. Owen Farmer didn't miss a single campaign event in Brand, and his work with the homeless community in Rockingham is greatly appreciated by all. Margaret Sweeney is always effective and reliable, whether she's calling voters or manning a polling booth on election day. Then there are Bill and Val Ashman. Bill put up many yard signs across my electorate—some might say too many!—and Val fed our army of volunteers with her extraordinary sausage rolls, which we have to hide to so that my staff don't eat them all—or me, for that matter!

I'd also like to thank Norm Harding, Joe Laukkanen, Vic Smith, Dallas Brown, Joyce Riordan, Kaylene De Piazza, Brayden Greig-Brown and Cayla Woolhead. There are so many volunteers; I'm sad I can't mention them all at this point.


MADELEINE KING MP: Good idea. Some are veterans, some are new hands and all are very valued. I certainly would not have been elected for the second time without my volunteers across Rockingham and Kwinana, and I want to thank them for their support across the campaign and their hard work across the electorate and in the businesses they work in. Their efforts don't go unnoticed. I really look forward to working with them over the next three years of the 46th Parliament. Thank you all so very much.