November 15, 2023

Community and service groups in the South Burnett in receipt of funding from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities and Volunteer Grants Programs were presented with certificates by Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien recently.

Mr O’Brien met with representatives from the Cherbourg Men’s Shed, South Burnett PCYC, Graham House Community Centre, and the Murgon RSL Sub-Branch to congratulate them on receiving funding from the Australian Government.

“The Stronger Communities Program funded a range of projects across Wide Bay that boosted community organisations, delivered social benefits, and strengthened local economies,” Mr O’Brien said.

Participants at the Men’s Shed in Cherbourg have a new outdoor work space thanks to their $11,000 grant from the Stronger Communities Program, which made it possible for them to put down a concrete floor and build a steel bench to create an outdoor work space that is fully accessible for participants with a disability.

“This has increased the usable space where men can participate in personal and community projects, access health information and resources, and support each other in meaningful activities,” Mr O’Brien said.

The South Burnett Police and Community Youth Club have installed a new audio system with their $10,000 Stronger Communities grant. The club’s old system did not meet commercial standards, and the new Yamaha upgrade will service the gym facility used by the local community and by participants in the range of social programs offered by the PCYC.

“I am pleased to be able to help the South Burnett PCYC, it’s an important place, offering sport, education, and employment and training opportunities for young people, giving them practical real life skills that they can apply to their family and community” Mr O’Brien said.

The Murgon RSL Sub-Branch received $2,500 from the Stronger Communities Program to set up a website, creating an online one-stop shop where regional veterans and their families can access information on entitlements, welfare and advocacy services, and a calendar of important events.

“The Sub-Branch also received a $46,115 Veteran Wellbeing Grant to renovate their bathroom, making it accessible for people with a disability or using mobility aids, and $12,309 from the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grant program to support veterans and their families with wellbeing advocacy and compensation claims,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Murgon RSL Sub-Branch was also one of the 27 volunteer organisations in Wide Bay that shared $66,225 of funding from the 2022-23 Volunteer Grants Program. Their $1,000 grant provided first aid training for their volunteers, giving them the capacity to respond to medical emergencies.

Volunteers at Graham House Community Centre in Murgon also received training to help them in their community work thanks to their $2,350 Volunteers Grant.

The grant funded training in vicarious trauma, providing Graham House’s volunteers with the skills to develop strategies that reduce or prevent secondary trauma when they are assisting clients in the community.

“Vicarious trauma can be an occupational challenge for people working and volunteering with victims of violence and other traumas, and Graham House assists the residents of the South Burnett with family support, emergency relief, counselling, intervention, and behavioural change programs,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Every volunteer’s contribution, no matter how big or small, is extraordinary because that person cares enough to serve their community and give of their time, expertise, and resources freely to improve the lives of others. Wide Bay communities would not be the same without them,” Mr O’Brien said.


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.