I would like to inform the House about an important event coming up in my electorate of McPherson and indeed all electorates around Australia. This Saturday, 4 March, marks 100 years of Lions Clubs International, serving communities around the world, including my own on the Gold Coast. It is an ideal time to acknowledge the tireless volunteer work of Lions Clubs members, which often goes unseen. I will quote from the Lions Clubs International members' code of ethics:
Always to bear in mind my obligations as a citizen to my nation, my state, and my community, and to give them my unswerving loyalty in word, act, and deed. To give them freely of my time, labor and means.
The commitment of Lions Clubs members to this code has brought many benefits to the Gold Coast and, indeed, many communities around Australia. Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organisation, with around 1½ million members—all volunteers.
After forming in Chicago in 1917, Lions Clubs arrived in Australia in 1947 and 10 years later established on the Gold Coast in my electorate of McPherson.
We probably all know a local Lions park or some other community project in our own regions that were provided by a local Lions Club. One of their first projects in my electorate was to build a clubhouse and facilities for the Palm Beach-Currumbin Lions Aussie Rules Club. But many of Lions Clubs activities in our communities go unseen, helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged and those who have fallen on hard times.
Among their many local projects is a free movie night for disabled people and their carers. They are all taken by bus to a cinema, given a complimentary box of popcorn and enjoy a few hours of entertainment. It is a simple gesture but one that is so important and brings so much joy to those who could use it.
Lions Clubs support drug rehabilitation and support programs on the Gold Coast, helping those who have lost their way get back on track. And in the devastating South-East Queensland floods of 2011, Lions Clubs quietly went about collecting and delivering replacement household items to those who had lost so much.
It is a measure of respect in which they are held that a Lions Club call to local hotels and resorts on the Gold Coast for sheets and linen resulted in several truckloads of items provided to homes throughout the south-east. As I mentioned, Lions Clubs members are volunteers.
While they provide the hard work, they need our help. This weekend, as part of their centenary, Lions Clubs will be out and about in communities raising money and recruiting new members through their sausage sizzles and other activities.
I look forward to meeting up with our local Lions Clubs this Friday to mark this important milestone. If members see them out and about this weekend in their electorates, please remember the great work they do making all of our communities a better place.
A big congratulations and shout-out to my local clubs, Robina, Mudgeeraba, Coolangatta, Tweed Heads, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera and Palm Beach-Currumbin.