National Volunteer Week

Stephen gave the following speech in Parliament on the 27th of May, 2021.

"I take the opportunity to speak in parliament today about National Volunteer Week, which was held last week. National Volunteer Week is Australia's largest annual celebration of the six million volunteers in Australia. The theme for National Volunteer Week this year was Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. Volunteers make our community stronger, especially during times of need and crisis, which has certainly been highlighted during the past year with COVID.

I personally have had the opportunity to volunteer in Morphett at the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club, undertaking patrols along our beautiful coastline. Last week, during National Volunteer Week I had the honour of attending a celebration of volunteers at the Camden Community Centre. I was joined at the celebration by a number of distinguished guests, including the Mayor of West Torrens, Michael Coxon; President of the Greek Orthodox Community of SA, Bill Gonis; and City of West Torrens councillor, Surender Pal.

I will talk a little about the Camden Community Centre, which has been an absolute stalwart of Camden Park and surrounding suburbs such as Novar Gardens for many years. The community centre was founded in 1975 on the grounds of the old Camden Primary School on Carlisle Street. The state government has a strong history of supporting the centre, gifting the old primary school site to the community club. This has given them a solid foundation on which to build their community services.

At 45 years old, the Camden Community Centre is one of the oldest community centres in metropolitan Adelaide and has been built up over many years. I would also like to recognise the previous chair, Julie O'Malley, who has put countless hours into the centre as well. In terms of how it derives its income to support some of its many fantastic initiatives, it has an op shop and also a men's woodwork shop to help raise funds, where they have beautiful platters and fantastic cutting boards.

Through this work, the centre assists around 200 to 250 people a week who use the various facilities. The sheer scale of the volunteer work at the centre is really phenomenal. Just to name a few of these operations, there are the Community Connection Social programs, kitchen assistance, the Men's Shed, an op shop, community gardens, Saturday evening bingo, a JP service and art classes, not to mention, of course, the food assistance they provide to around 200 disadvantaged and vulnerable families in Housing Authority units within the Camden Park and Novar Gardens suburbs.

I want to talk about other great volunteer organisations in Morphett. We have some fantastic rotary clubs, including the Rotary Club of Glenelg, the Rotary Club of Somerton Park and also the Rotary Club of Holdfast Bay. The Rotary Club of Holdfast Bay is ably led by their president, Kim Harvey, and the secretary, Richard Campbell, as well as their two community service officers, Lance Meaney and Greg Lang.

The club itself does some fantastic community work and is known especially for its regular food drives at supermarkets across the area. Just last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to help out at the Bayside Village, Glenelg, in front of the Woolworths shopping centre, with the rotary club's Locals Doing it Tough program. There they collect items from people's shopping trolleys, saying, 'Just buy one extra of some non-perishable food or sanitary items and other toiletries,'

This allows them to distribute these goods, whether it is soup, biscuits, milk, tea, canned tuna, baked beans or spaghetti, some tinned fruits, rice, pasta, potentially some body wash, shampoo, deodorant and toothpaste. They are able to donate these to some very worthy church-based service programs we have in the Morphett electorate: St Andrews by the Sea in Glenelg, St Paul’s Lutheran in Glenelg, the Anglican Parish of Glenelg and the St Vincent de Paul Society of Glenelg.

The last drive they conducted provided an estimated $11,000 worth of goods generously donated by all the fantastic community members in Morphett to help out those doing it tough in our area. I would like to say well done to everyone involved in this wonderful cause, especially to the president of the Rotary Club of Holdfast Bay, Kim Harvey, and also their community service officers, Lance Meaney and Greg Lang. I am certainly always happy to assist these wonderful service clubs we have in Morphett and I look forward to helping them yet again."

National Volunteer Week