James Highlights hardworking Volunteer Groups in Southern Downs

Thursday, 8 March 2018

You can watch my speech here

I rise to speak in our parliament about the wonderful things being done by volunteer groups in my electorate of Southern Downs. Of course, there are far too many to mention, but, just to illustrate my point, I would like to pay tribute to a few.

In Goondiwindi, in the west of my electorate, there is a very special group of ladies from Shed Girls and Days for Girls, led by Lea Eglington, who come together to manufacture and distribute female sanitary products for girls and women in poor parts of the world. They are very proud to make a real difference to the lives of women and girls who lack the resources and equality of our western society. My wife, Belinda, introduced me to these wonderful ladies. I commend them for the great work that they do, especially since today is International Women’s Day.

Another shining example of volunteering and selfless community spirit is the Stanthorpe Community Op Shop where Deb de Hamer has a small band of volunteers who work very hard to provide a hand up to people in need who live in or are passing through the Granite Belt. They provide food, clothing and daily essentials to people and families in need and they are always there to lend a kind ear to somebody who needs to talk. In a town such as Stanthorpe, where it can be very cold in winter and hard to find a house, the Stanthorpe Community Op Shop provides a very important community service. The people of the Stanthorpe Community Op Shop can be very proud of what they do.

Throughout my electorate service groups contribute to the success and cohesiveness of their communities. Groups such as Lions, Rotary, and men’s sheds do so much. On International Women’s Day, it would be remiss not to acknowledge the Border Rivers division of the Queensland Country Women’s Association. I am proud to be a friend of the CWA, which means that I pay an annual fee, I attend meetings, but I do not speak and I help to move the furniture at the end of the meeting. I am very happy and proud to do that.

These service organisations meet to enjoy the company of their fellow members, to work together on worthwhile projects and to support all manner of worthy causes in our community. I would like to mention a few people from these groups who exemplify the commitment of volunteers in my electorate of Southern Downs. T

he president of the Broadwater Branch of the QCWA is Sue Boyce. I say hello to the ladies of that branch who gave me a plate of goodies on my way to Goondiwindi at their 70th anniversary lunch. The president of the Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise is David Kemp. Thanks very much for having me there for breakfast with your members. Kev Armstrong is the president of the Stanthorpe Men’s Shed. I thank him for having me and treating me as just another bloke, because I go there for therapy, not to be the local member. I am extremely proud to be the member of an electorate that has such fine community groups. I will always do my best to support and help them.