I rise to congratulate and acknowledge the invaluable volunteers of the Shepparton district.
I had the pleasure of presenting awards to three Vision Australia volunteers in Shepparton earlier this month.
Maria Presti, Geraldine Humphrey and Teresa Manno have each contributed 20 years of service with the Shepparton branch.
I commend them on their long service, and I note that there are 120 active volunteers who help to run Vision Australia’s programs, such as a community radio station and providing transport. There have also been other volunteers in my community who recently received awards and acknowledgement for their tireless work and commitment, including Sam Atukorala, Heather Halsall, Brad Corken, Jillian Goodman, Tony Farrell and Joyce Block.
The ethnic council project officer, Mr Atukorala, developed Shepparton’s first Wesak celebration, celebrating Buddhism in the region. Ms Halsall has been an active volunteer in our community for many years, including at the Goulburn Valley Health oncology unit, and has also developed a new skills-based program for young people at Shepparton’s driver education centre.
Shepparton FoodShare was also acknowledged for the vital work it does. A team of committed individuals ensuring the most disadvantaged in our community have food on the table in times of need, Shepparton FoodShare rescues food from our local supermarkets. Volunteers sort out the food and help to distribute it to our local agencies, churches and schools. Congratulations to the hardworking men and women involved who continue to provide countless hours of unpaid work to ensure this service will continue.