Speech - Constituency Statement (Lilley Australia Day Awards)









Across our country there are millions of selfless people who quietly go about supporting their communities through volunteering in a wide range of activities. This year, we were fortunate to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Lilley Australia Day Awards. I think they are probably the longest running awards in the parliament. Once again it was my pleasure and privilege to award many people across our community for their selfless volunteering within our community. One in particular stood out: Sybil Vicary, who is 91 years of age. She dedicates an enormous amount of time to the Burnie Brae Centre where they work with elderly people, where they have a food bank, where they provide help to people in home in terms of construction and assistance to the elderly. A rich source of volunteers in our community work around Burnie Brae, and of course Sybil is pre-eminent amongst that group.

Peter McNamara from the Sandgate RSL also stood out. Peter has been in the Sandgate RSL since 1986 and has made an outstanding contribution not just to the RSL but also to many other organisations. In particular, he has been a tireless advocate for the veterans' community, and he has spent so much of his own time assisting those who require his help. Sandgate RSL is itself more broadly involved in the community, providing support for local schools, sporting groups and senior citizens and it is filled with many other dedicated volunteers like Peter.

This year we had a 70-year age gap between the oldest volunteer at 91 and Michael Kernovske, who, at 21 years of age, also received a Lilley Australia Day Award. He was the youngest recipient that we have had in a number of years and he was rewarded for his efforts with the Nundah Sharks Swimming Club. The Nundah Sharks was the first amateur swimming club in Brisbane and is one of the strongest in our area, with over 700 members from babies right through to adults.

Ted Carroll in Nundah, Victoria Freeman in Zillmere, Cliff Howard in Brighton and Gwen Kelso at Aspley are the quiet achievers of our community who do not ask for recognition. In fact, if you talk to them they will probably say they would rather not receive an award but, when they receive that award, they receive it on behalf of all of the other people in their organisations who contribute their time. They do that in the generosity of acknowledging the importance of volunteers in our community—people like Garth Liddell, Grace Ward, Pat Malcolm, Peter Ham, Steve McMahon, Maureen Abberton, Bradley St Ledger, Marnie Gray, Gwen Kelso, May Bruton, Jean Rodgers, Carmel Gould, Brendan Ryan, Marie Ellsworth, Esme Mew, Deanna Mace, Jan Goodwin, Les Wynn, Peter Cairnes, Ray Murrell, Victoria Freeman, Tony Axelsen, Rudi Voser, Ron Paff, Bob Barron, Ted Carroll, Ian Airey, Joanne Ross, Richard Morse, Cliff Howard, Stephen Bullock, Sybil Vicary and Gordon Field.