On Friday, l6 November, I had the great pleasure of presenting yet another Brumby government Victorian volunteer small grant to the Camperdown community house. As I arrived the community house was full of excited volunteers overjoyed that the community house had been recognised and indeed was granted $3000 to help recruit further volunteers to the community house. The house coordinator, Mary Brown, and the president, Marilyn Rippon, are quite rightly proud of their organisation, its efforts and its achievements. It was with great pride that we had photos taken behind the newly designed crest for the community house as a backdrop. It was also an absolute pleasure to present such deserved acknowledgements to those true heroes, those volunteers in the local community for their tireless work.
The sense of community was strong on the day and many people had taken time off from other commitments to be there for the announcement. The $3 million Victorian volunteer small grants program has already helped some 850 local community organisations, and it is true that there is growing evidence that supportive communities with lots of volunteers have better health, more community safety, lower crime rates, more school completions and a great ability to cope with personal crisis.