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.