Davenport service clubs

In Parliament - Thursday, 2 July 2015

Mr DULUK (Davenport) (15:36:49): I rise today to speak in support of the tremendous work that volunteers do in our community. I am fortunate to have some wonderful service clubs in my electorate. In particular, I have two Lions Clubs and three Rotary Clubs within Davenport. The Lions Club of Aberfoyle and Districts (which is my club), the Lions Club of Blackwood, the Rotary Club of Blackwood, the Rotary Club of Coromandel Valley and the Rotary Club of Flagstaff Hill.

I am fortunate that I will be able to attend or have already attended all of the annual handover dinners for my service clubs, except for the Lions Club of Blackwood as their dinner clashed with my Aberfoyle club dinner. I would like to put on the record my thanks to the new club presidents and the outgoing presidents of those clubs for all the work that they have undertaken or will undertake going forward: Adrian Chenoweth from the Aberfoyle and Districts Club, who happens to be both last year's president and this year's president; Kevin Bird, the 2015-16 president of Blackwood Lions and immediate past president, Margaret Lucas; Garry Dolman of the Blackwood Rotary Club and immediate past presidents John Lewis and John Pentha; Rob Farrugia of Flagstaff Hill Rotary and immediate past president John Howard; and president-elect Graham Rodda of Coromandel Valley Rotary and immediate past president Peter Tiffin.Additionally, I would like to congratulate all the individual award winners, the Melvin Jones and Paul Harris Award recipients, for their hard work in their respective clubs. I know that club members undertake community service activities not for any personal reward but for the betterment of their community. Collectively, the five service clubs in my electorate raise and donate to various projects around about a quarter of a million dollars per year and this is a tremendous effort.

These funds are raised from the members of the Davenport community for community groups and global causes. Indeed, many of the Lions and Rotarians can be seen fundraising for the community every week at the Lions Bargain Centre on Shepherds Hill Road, the Rotary giant plant sale at the Waite Street Reserve, firewood projects, annual fairs, the Blackwood Christmas pageant, the Lions Book Shed, giant book sales, community barbecues, quiz nights, various appeals, raffles, art exhibitions and shows, Lions Christmas cake sales, mint sales and many more grassroots fundraising activities.

The groups and organisations—local, national and international—that receive donations from both Lions and Rotary are endless and extensive. Over the past 12 months, to name a few, the Lions and Rotary clubs within my electorate have donated to groups including the Sturt CFS Group Tanker Appeal, the Beacon-Mitcham Hills Inter-Church Council, many of the local scouting groups, Bellevue Heights Primary School community garden project, the Craniofacial Foundation, Lions Hearing Dogs and Lions Medical Research Foundation.

In addition, they have supported ShelterBox for Nepalese earthquake victims, many school library projects including the school library project in the town of Tizi in Morocco, the Australian Rotary Health Association, Australian Rotarians Against Malaria, the Kompiam Hospital project in PNG, Days for Girls International and countless other worthy recipients.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr Joe and Mrs Rita Meuris from the Rotary Club of Flagstaff Hill who were awarded an OAM in the Australia Day honours. The OAM was in recognition of their service to the international community through humanitarian aid projects in Fiji. Since 2005, they have spent 120 weeks working on the Rotahomes project in Koroipita Village, Fiji, supporting that local community.

As Winston Churchill once said, 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.' Without the generous hearts of volunteers there would be, for example, no sports coaching for the young, no care for the sick and the injured, and no meals for the elderly, just to name a few of the noble works that volunteers do.

From operating community op shops that benefit the less well-off to fundraising for the homeless, who receive a hot meal at night, volunteers are at the very heart of making this state great. It has been estimated that over one in three South Australians volunteer on a regular basis, and nationally volunteers contribute about $290 billion to the economy through their volunteer work.

The unsung heroes of our community organisations are the lifters of our society and not the leaners. As a parliament, we must not only thank our volunteers but always ensure that the laws we pass do everything to help volunteers and make it easier for people to become new volunteers, rather than wrapping them up in red tape. The Rotary motto, 'Service Above Self', and the Lions' motto, 'We Serve' embody what is best in our community.