News Parliament

FEDERATION CHAMBER - PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS - VOLUNTEERING

Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and in particular our country communities. They make vital contributions to our success as a nation. I would like to pay tribute to a number of volunteer organisations in the Calare electorate who contribute so much to our Central West communities.

The St John Ambulance Molong Cadet Division has been operating since 1995. They are one of two cadet divisions this side of the Blue Mountains, the other one being at Broken Hill. The Molong Cadet Division consists of about 45 members, with a recent boost in the number of young people getting involved. The youngest member is just eight years old. Members hail from Molong and surrounding towns and villages such as Manildra and Euchareena. They hold weekly meetings every Thursday at the Molong Central School hall. During their meetings, badge work and first aid training is undertaken. The Molong cadets can be seen at almost every local event, including local shows at Cumnock, Manildra, Cudal, Molong and Canowindra—I've seen them in action helping the injured at country shows; their work is outstanding—sporting events such as martial arts in Dubbo and Orange and rugby in Walla; and communities events such as the Canowindra International Balloon Challenge, the Molong Advancement Group markets, the SMARTS Festival at Molong Central School. Australia Day, Anzac Day, Christmas carols—you name it; the cadets from Molong are there. Ten members also recently travelled to Dubbo for the royal visit, where they provided assistance to royal watchers from right around Australia.

I would like to mention the St John Ambulance Molong Cadet Division members tonight, including divisional superintendent, Julie Dean; grade 5 officers, Kerry Burchett and Elizabeth Newstead, who is 80 years old and has been a member for more than 30 years; cadet leaders, Jade Kirk and Annalise Livermore; senior cadets, who assist with the training of junior cadets, Rebecca Geddes, Christalin Drady, Rebekah Livermore and Thomas Livermore, who will be travelling to England in 2019 for a gap year and will work with local St John Ambulance groups during his stay; John Burchett, who is the treasurer; Les Dean, Charlotte Cassell and Deb Lytton; and Jake Clarke, who assisted with an emergency at the Orange Centrelink office earlier this year.

A number of cadets received awards at the St John Ambulance annual awards ceremony held at Sydney University's Great Hall recently. Awards were presented to Molong cadet members in a number of different categories, including: bronze commendations to Betty Newstead and Kerry Burchett, for outstanding service to the Molong Cadet Division; the Save a Life Award to Jake Clarke, who, as I've mentioned, helped resuscitate a lady at Centrelink in Orange recently; the 2nd bar to the Service Medal, for 22 years of service, went to Julie Dean; and the Western Region Cadet of the Year went to Rebekah Livermore. At the Cabonne Daroo Business Awards recently, the division was highly commended in the Community Organisation category, out of 23 nominations. At the recent Molong Rotary Club meeting, the Youth of the Year Award went to Annalise Livermore, and its Community Group of the Year also went to the Molong Cadet Division. Congratulations to everyone at the Molong Cadet Division. We certainly value your work.

The Cudal Red Cross has been working hard for our local area for many years. It has 11 wonderful members. They are working on a number of projects. I would like to mention those members here tonight: the president, LeeAnn Hazelton; the secretary, Melissa Aylward; the treasurer, Marion Gosper, who was recently presented with a 40-years-of-service bar; Marianne Mac Smith, who was presented with a gilt rosette to mark 60 years of service, having joined the Red Cross when she lived in Hastings, New Zealand, as a child, and, when she married Lance Mac Smith and moved to Cudal, joined the Australian Red Cross in 1958—her mother and grandmother were both committed to charity work, and she has followed in their footsteps; during her time with the Cudal branch she has been president, secretary and treasurer, and is currently patron of the branch—Janet Norton, Fiona Hall and Donald MacFarlane, who was recently presented with a 40-years–of-service bar; and Belinda Hough, Dorothy Balcomb, Kim Pattinson and Laurel Hazelton.

The current project which the Cudal branch of the Red Cross is involved in includes a collection of old chairs which will be painted by renowned artists and local school students and will be auctioned, raising money to support the work of the Red Cross. I thank all of our volunteers in the Central West and right around Australia for their wonderful contribution. I think in this House tonight we would like them to know that we as local members value their contribution, appreciate them and love working with them.