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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Mandurah volunteers honoured

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Ursula Stephens, today met with local volunteers at the Mandurah RSL to celebrate their achievements and congratulate recipients of the Australian Government’s $21 million Volunteer Grants.

Senator Stephens said volunteers play a critical role across many areas from community and welfare, to environment and the arts, emergency response, sports, and education.

“Volunteers are crucial to the wellbeing of our society, reaching out to people every day, and helping them get involved with the community,” Senator Stephens said.

“Among the local organisations which have received grants are Mandurah Wildlife Rescue, the Manta Rays Swim Team, and the Anglican Parish of Marundah.

“The grants will go towards things like fuel, light equipment, and training courses, helping these organisations to better support their volunteers and the community members they help through their programs.

Senator Stephens said it was particularly appropriate that the celebration was held at the local RSL, given that RSLs across Australia have done particularly well in the Volunteer Grants this year.

“Through Volunteer Grants 2010, 241 RSLs across Australia will receive grants to continue their vital work supporting former and current Australian Defence Force personnel and strengthening local communities in towns and cities across the country” Senator Stephens said.

Across the state of Western Australia, 459 community organisations received a total of $1.5 million dollars to support their volunteers.

On a national level, the Australian Government is working together with its State and Territory counterparts to develop a National Volunteering Strategy aimed at setting a vision for volunteering and a framework for achieving that vision.

This strategy will be released in 2011 to mark the ten year anniversary of the United Nations International Year of Volunteers.

For further information on the National Volunteering Strategy, go to http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/