PM Praises Community Service Organisations
Monday, 11th May 2009 at 5:12 pm
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has praises Australia’s Community Services organisations and in particular Lions Clubs, describing them as an important part of our national family.
Speaking at the recent Lions Club International Australian National Convention in Melbourne, Kevin Rudd said were it not for community service organisations such as Lions out there doing the voluntary community work in each of the towns and cities and rural districts and communities that they represent each day, our national life, our national community life would be infinitely poorer.
The Prime Minister declared to the audience that the Lions Club was to blame for him entering into politics. It began in a Lions Club in Nambour back in the 1970s where he first began public speaking at a Lions Youth of the Year competition which he told the audience he did not win.
He said the Lions and other community service organisations are the fabric of our national community life.
The PM said he saw recent evidence of this during the Victorian bushfires.
He said when the gates of hell were opened to the good people of Victoria, it was organisations like Lions that he saw on the ground doing practical work. Rudd said the people making the hamburgers, the people making food, the people supporting those in the frontline, they were all from local Lions clubs, out there doing their work in a quiet, understated but highly effective way.
He said it’s not just natural disasters but at all other forms of community engagement, that they are making a difference. Small projects, larger national projects, intensely local projects which mean things to local communities.
Rudd told the audience that if you look at the importance of the community sector more broadly, it is important to see the work that you do as part of the wider work which the community, charitable, Not for Profit, non-government sector is engaged in this country and around the world.
He said he had a strong view which is that governments, while they can provide strong, national direction, can provide a strategy for the way in which the nation should go. It’s made infinitely more possible and more effective by ongoing creative and constructive engagement with the community sector of which the Lions Club is a part.
The full speech can be downloaded at pm.gov.au