Local, Independant and Effective

Adjournment debate - Indi volunteers play valuable role

Posted November 26, 2014


CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (21:10): In praise of volunteers, I rise tonight to say a warm and sincere thank you to the many volunteers who have worked with me and my staff in this first year. I would like to acknowledge the 36 people who packed up their lives, tripped up the Hume Highway and worked in the Parliament House Indi office. I would like to thank all those who helped in the budget impact tour, collecting, inputting, deciphering handwriting and analysing data—over 200 hours donated.

To those who staff the Wodonga office on a regular basis, thank you. To the clipping team, the research team, the admin team, the catering team, the scrapbook team, the telephone answering team and those who make cups of tea and coffee, thank you. Thanks to each and every one of you for your gifts of time, your enthusiasm, your energy, your reliability, your dedication and your ability to turn up and to be cheerful, helpful and willing workers.

To all the staff of this wonderful parliament, a most sincere thank you. It cannot have been easy accommodating us. Some days I know the staff must have shrugged their shoulders and rolled their eyes, as they helped yet another volunteer found lost, confused and a little bit scared, often in the basement, and brought them back safely to our office, 2R 115.

To the security staff who regularly smile, say 'Gidday' and wave the volunteers through the check points, to the library staff, the information desk staff, the tour guides and the staff of the parliamentary education office, thank you. To the waiting staff and the staff in the pass office, to all of you, a warm and sincere thanks. We are so grateful for your tolerance, your care, your concern, your many kindnesses and most of all your professionalism.

Volunteering and the way in which the community of Indi engaged with the democratic process was one of the highlights of the election campaign. I am delighted that the tradition continues. There are so many benefits for a politician to have such ready access to this vital and committed community. I know that each day the blessings are mine. I have their support with research. They bring local issues to this place. They assist with signing in visitors and escorting them around. They handle the mail, do the letters and the mail-outs. They attend events on behalf of the office and, most of all, they bring laughter, happiness and joy to my office.

In closing, I would like to particularly acknowledge and say a warm thank you to Angus, Fergus, Michael, Albert, Eden, Sarah, Anna and Rubie [Ruby]—because you brought your parents to this place. Thank you to Leah, Cam, Nick and Tas for sharing your insights, for teaching me about Facebook, Twitter and social media, and making sure that the voices of young regional people are heard in this place. And finally to Pam, Dianne and Susan, this week's volunteers, it has been wonderful sharing the experience with you. I hope you can now join Cathy's crew and share the word in Indi about how this place really works, and the many opportunities there are for the people's voices to be heard in the people's house. Thank you.


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