Our local community organisations (Adjournment Speech)

March 29, 2019

You can watch video footage of the speech here.

This evening I would like to congratulate all of the not-for-profit organisations in my electorate of Algester for the great work they do for our community. These groups are run by incredible people who dedicate their lives to making our community a better place for all. Over the last year, organisations in the Algester electorate have been granted over $200,000 from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to support the great work they do in our local area, and I would like to acknowledge the incredible achievements of just a few of the many.

I refer firstly to the staff and parents at Calamvale Special School who tirelessly advocate for some of the most vulnerable children in our society. They are led by a great P&C, with president Courtney McConchie, treasurer Samantha Specogna and vice-president Jodie McGrath, with the ongoing support of school principal, Sue Howell. Last year they received a grant to purchase a new vehicle. This has meant that staff are no longer required to get a bus licence to be able to drive the vehicle, making it easier for all classes to be able to access transportation without limitation.

The school was also able to install two wheelchair mounts, increasing accessibility for students. This investment has enhanced opportunities for students to participate in a range of activities in our community. The school also purchased a shade cover for their liberty swing. Every time I have visited, I have seen that that liberty swing—which is a special swing designed for students in wheelchairs—is very much loved. This has been a great outcome for the school community, bringing joy for many students.

Another organisation in the Algester electorate—Belong—has been able to upgrade their training room, installing new carpet, benches, blinds, computers and projector screens. This facility is used by a range of people across our community, including those completing Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs. It is also a meeting space for multicultural groups and a general safe space for the community. This is a credit to the ongoing work of centre director, Trish Cattermole, and board chair, Jo Justo. I saw it firsthand recently, and I can say that it is an absolutely fantastic space.

Acacia Ridge Youth Space—one of the newer organisations in my electorate—are doing great work with young people. They have been able to purchase 3D printers and recording studio equipment, which have provided incredible creative opportunities for our youth. Approximately 20 people utilise these facilities every day, building their skills as young entrepreneurs and creative minds. Since the facility first opened last year, head of campus, Liza Page, and youth space coordinator, Chris Richards, have done a wonderful job creating an invaluable hub for young people in our community.

Investing in our communities in this way is vital. Organisations like Calamvale Special School, Belong and Acacia Ridge Youth Space are shining examples of that.