Congratulations to Griffith's unsung heroes - Terri Butler MP, Labor for Griffith

Congratulations to Griffith's unsung heroes

Read the full speech below. 

Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (19:50):  I rise to advise the House that over the break I held the 19th annual Griffith Australia Day Awards, a tradition started by the former member for Griffith and Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Tonight I would like to acknowledge the award winners and their contribution to our community.

Marilyn Boyce has volunteered for more than a decade at the iconic not-for-profit Brisbane Jazz Club. Jean Burke from local farming group Beelarong Community Farm was acknowledged. Karen Czornohalan went above and beyond as president of the West End State School P&C for many years, and her impact is really remarkable.

We awarded Tokiko Dawson for restoring local ecosystems. John Debenham, the chair of Foodbank Queensland, has been vital to its incredible success—offering 21 million meals. Peter Forday is a highly influential person within the multicultural sector and has been for many years, creating better futures for new Queenslanders. Jim Gable was a helicopter crewman in the Vietnam conflict and, despite illness, has effectively maintained his positions as secretary and treasurer of one of our local RSLs.

For more than 22 years, Ross Hall's enthusiasm for, and knowledge of, science has made him an invaluable volunteer at the Queensland Museum. Ross Hielscher played a pivotal role in commemorating the origins of Anzac Day through the Canon Garland Memorial, admired not only in Australia but internationally. Dr Vladis Kosse, founder of SlavFest and folk musician, has brought together 13 pan-Slavic groups to celebrate Australia's multiculturalism. A highly esteemed chemical engineer, Dr Paul Massarotto has dedicated his retirement to the formation of Rotary Brisbane Technology Park.

In 2015 Allan Mitchell was chosen by the committee of the Norman Park Bowls Club for life membership, and he has been recognised for community spirit. Randall New advocates for his community in his position with the Australian peacekeepers association and previous experience in the Defence Force. Billie Pelling formed a women's branch within the Labor Party way back in 1960, and ever since then has always been dedicated to her community. Chi Pham, a young full-time university student, volunteers with Sisters Inside at 6.30 am each week to provide food for families in need. Glenys Pollock, through her executive role, has revitalised the Belmont Services Bowls Club.

For 42 years Donald Richards volunteered at the Greenslopes Mall playing Santa Claus, bringing joy and happiness to local kids. Beverly Strous has been providing pottery classes to people with MS and other progressive neurological diseases for over 30 years. Marj Warry was involved with the Brisbane Music Performers Club as a student in 1968, and carries on its legacy now as president. David Woodcock helps older people with a disability maintain their independence through his work at Flexi Care.

Circles of Life Queensland was founded by Carol MacArthur, who created a forum for over 600 women to talk about overcoming adversity. She and her colleagues Janet Godwin, Imogen Johnson, Jill Wootton and Jemma MacArthur were recognised.

Sarah Lejeune and David McDonald are long-term leaders and volunteers of Dauphin Terrace bushcare group, an urban Landcare group of volunteer gardeners.

Andrew Dunn, Ernestine Kirsch, Julian Ladd, Jemma Lanyon and Anna Simpson are volunteers lawyers at the Environmental Defenders Office.

Jenny Clark, Julie Gustafson, Antony Rogers and Lorraine Russell are a dedicated group of volunteers who preserve our local history through the Friends of Balmoral Cemetery group.

Mrs Chibly and Reverend Father Elie Francis at the St Clement's Church-Melkite Rite have provided necessary support to newly arrived families from Iraq and Syria.

There's a very large group of volunteers—I won't name them all—from the World Wellness Group, who provide health care to people outside the Medicare system.

We were excited to induct the Bulimba District Historical Society into the hall of fame for their efforts to tell and retell our local history. Led by Norman Love, the group included Raimon Laaja, Patricia Mullins, Brenda Nolan, John Rathbone, Robert Turner, Russell Turner, Judith Salter and Diane Sinden.

I would also like to thank the Griffith Australia Day Awards committee that I appointed to undertake the very difficult task of judging the nominations. Mr Matthew Campbell, Mr Dennis Bramadat, Ms Danica Eather and Ms Margie Gamble were on the committee. Other special mentions go to the River City Clippers, who performed at the event; Kate Luke; Corrine McMillan MP, the new member for Mansfield, who undertook the MC duties for the first time; and the team at Souths Leagues Club.

I've been very fortunate to be strongly supported in maintaining this important part of our community. This was the 19th annual Griffith Australia Day Awards, and I am certainly looking forward to the 20th awards. I congratulate again all of those people who were recognised.


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