This week is National Volunteer Week, and I thought it fitting that in today's debate I acknowledge the tremendous job that so many volunteers do in my southern Gold Coast community.
These are the people who are the backbone of various charities, sporting clubs, community and advocacy groups, RSLs, chambers of commerce and other social and support networks.
Each year I host the McPherson Community Achiever Awards as a way for our local community to say thank you to those special people who are always willing to lend a hand. Award recipients are nominated by grateful community members, and it is truly inspiring to see the glowing references that are provided each year. Last week it was my privilege to conduct the 2017 McPherson Community Achiever Awards. I would like to read into Hansard the names of the recipients of the various award categories.
McPherson Community Achiever Award recipients were Liz Bailey, Ronnie Broadbent, David Cameron, David Cocks, Robert Collier, Violet Devers, Philip Di Giorgio, Graham Dutton, Joan Farmer, John Ferian, Paige Gaudrey, Shireen Geddes, Ian Grace, Michaela Grant, Rob Greenwood, Holly Hardstaff, Tracie Heaton, Terry Hobson, Fran Jamieson, Lee-anne Johns, Ian Keel, Carlita and the late Brian Keene, Vic Knowles, Lauren Kocass, Trish Mason, Annette McLaren-Kennedy, Tina Nenadic, Frances Nichols, Simone Patterson, George Pharmacis, John Thannhauser, Dan Tully and Sara Walsh. The recipients of the McPherson Young Community Achiever Awards were Alexandra Cardamone, Shelby Craik, Lisa Plessius, Harrison Tippett, Sarah White and the members of the Elanora State High School Leo Club.
I would particularly like to acknowledge those who were able to be there at the awards ceremony: Kiara Bird, Amy Fletcher, Erin Logan, Faith Reid, Cain Leech and Anthea Young.
The recipients of the McPherson Surf Lifesaving Community Achiever Awards were Chris Bindley, Nicole Bowers, Scott Burgess, Scott Byrnes, Pat Gillett, Colleen Gordon, Phill Hammond, John Hamrey, Gavin Jordon, Belinda McAuliffe, Erica Read, Michelle Slattery, Luke Smith, Paul Smith, Jeff Smith and Vaughn Thomas.
I thank all of these local volunteers again for their time and dedication. I would also like to congratulate the 17 volunteer organisations on the southern Gold Coast that I recently announced would share in more than $69,000 in Volunteer Grants funding.
Finally, it has always struck me as a little unfair that National Volunteer Week usually falls during the budget week, when the media is focused on the federal budget. But there is no hiding the fact that volunteering is very much at the centre of our national character. Around 5.8 million Australians—31 per cent of the population—regularly volunteer their time, and in so doing they make an estimated annual contribution of $290 billion to our economic and social good. Thank you to all our volunteers.