FEDERAL member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has praised the important work of the Red Cross movement in Tamworth and across the electorate on the eve of the centenary of the movement’s foundation on Wednesday, 13 August.
Mr Joyce and the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews met with Tamworth Red Cross’ President Dawn Wheeler and Secretary, Helen Lesley when Pollie Pedal rolled into Bicentennial Park on Monday afternoon.
He said volunteer service groups like the Red Cross were the foundation of every community and they were the vital glue to keep people together.
Mr Joyce said it was a great pleasure to introduce the leaders of the Tamworth Red Cross to Minister Andrews while he was in Tamworth this week.
“If you don’t have people who work as volunteers like the Red Cross, Rotary, Salvation Army and the CWA, then you don’t have a community, you just have houses,” Mr Joyce said.
“A community is made up of people who want to do a bit more than what they are asked to do. And some people do a heck of a lot more than they are asked to do.
“And that’s what makes a good community and then ultimately, in our case, a good city and a good country.
“So the Red Cross’ centenary celebration is a good time to remember the work they did and it should go out as a call to others that if you have a bit of spare time and you’re looking for camaraderie and wanting to do something good, then join up,” Mr Joyce said.
Mrs Wheeler said the Red Cross Branch in Tamworth had 30 volunteers while there were 50 members in the Currabubula group and 20 in the Hallsville group.
She said there were 5,500 signed up members of Red Cross in NSW but there were an additional 5,500 volunteers on the books as well.
Mrs Lesley said the Tamworth Branch planned to celebrate the centenary of Red Cross tomorrow with a birthday cake in the Kable Avenue rooms.
She said the group had been busy at the official centenary celebration at Bunnings on Saturday with cake stalls and a sausage sizzle.
“We thought about a big affair, but we have worked hard all year so we’re having a morning tea,” Mrs Lesley said.
Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews chats with Tamworth Red Cross Branch Secretary Helen Lesley, Member for New England Barnaby Joyce and Tamworth Branch President Dawn Wheeler at the end of Monday’s Pollie Pedal leg in Tamworth’s Bicentennial Park.