South Burnett volunteers receive a boost 

Murgon’s Graham House Community Centre and the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum will receive a boost with Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announcing funding through the Volunteer Grants Program.

Mr O’Brien said Graham House Community Centre received $2,820 to purchase a battery-powered lawnmower and hedge trimmer, and a washer and dryer for its Family 2 Family pre-loved clothing centre.

“Graham House volunteers do an incredible amount of work in the South Burnett, with about 800 people using the centre’s services every month, whether it’s being driven to important medical appointments in Brisbane, Noosa or Toowoomba; taking part in a workshop, picking up some pre-loved clothes or just dropping in for a friendly chat,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This equipment will help lighten the load for these volunteers so they can continue to help their community.”

Graham House Community Centre manager Christelle Withers-Mayne thanked Mr O’Brien for the funding and his support.

“As a community centre, our funding is limited so we do rely on grants like these for extras to make life easier for volunteers,” Ms Withers-Mayne said.

“We have about 70 volunteers from drivers to op shop staff and admin, and we very much appreciate the funding because it helps us be able to continue to offer our services to the community.”

Mr O’Brien said the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum also received $3,000 to upgrade its hedge trimmer, whipper snipper and other equipment to assist with maintenance.

“The Dairy Museum has a small team of volunteers who take on the big task of not just staffing the museum but also maintaining its one-hectare grounds,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This grant means that volunteers will no longer have to use their own equipment to maintain the lawns and grounds, and will help ensure the grounds remain a beautiful welcoming place for visitors.”

Murgon Dairy and Heritage Museum treasurer Linda Bauer said the equipment would be very useful for working bees.

“We are a small organisation and we do rely on donations and grants, so we would never have been able to afford this on our own,” she said.

“People always say how lovely the lawns look and this will make it so much easier for our volunteers to keep them looking that way.”

Graham House and the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum are among more than 5,000 community organisations across Australia to have benefited through the Liberal and Nationals Government’s $20 million 2021 Volunteer Grants round.

“The South Burnett has been significantly affected by the prolonged drought; the Black Summer bushfires, COVID-19, and now the wild weather throughout Queensland earlier this year, but local volunteers have not skipped a beat and are they there at each step of the way to help their local communities,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I thank all volunteers throughout the South Burnett for the work they do and congratulate these organisations for the difference they continue to make to Murgon and the South Burnett.”

Volunteers are integral to many Australian organisations, with more than 8.7 million volunteers across the country giving their time freely to support their communities, representing an economic contribution of around $290 billion each year.