| May 21, 2018

Volunteering in Murray

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers because this week is National Volunteer Week. I want to mention the fact that my parents were such amazing volunteers in my small town of Congupna, where I grew up. Volunteering has always been a part of our life. My sister Kerry has volunteered all her life. She works in women's health and family planning, and she is currently overseas helping a developing country with its family planning issues. My brothers Des, Chris and Vince have all worked as volunteers, sometimes in aged-care facilities or at their local football netball club. My nephew Heath is a local champion when it comes to volunteering with the Shepparton Search and Rescue, as well as the Congupna Football Club.

The Congupna Football Club I want to use as an example, not because it's special but because it's so unspecial. It's reflective of every other small community right around Australia. At Congupna the current coach is a guy called David Gee, who has coached every level of football, from the fourths, the thirds, the seconds to the seniors. Wendy Sidebottom has been a massive part of the netball club. Now these families' children are starting to volunteer and give their time so that this football netball club can hold its place in the Goulburn Valley.

The 2016 census showed that just over 118,000 people were surveyed in Murray, and 27,900 consider themselves to be volunteers. I want to thank each and every one of those who are volunteering in their respective communities and their respective towns throughout Murray.

Together we can make a difference

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