SES Volunteers with their new truck

By Benalla Ensign

Shave support welcomed

On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Hume readers for their incredible support of this years’ 20th World’s Greatest Shave.

The extraordinary people who shaved, cut or coloured their hair — plus all their generous sponsors — have now raised an incredible $3160213 in Victoria alone.

This will help the Leukaemia Foundation continue to provide its vital services that will make a genuine difference to local families facing blood cancer.

These services include free accommodation, transport, emotional support and disease-specific education to Australians and their families as they find their way through some of the darkest days of their lives.

Plus, funds raised also contribute to Australian researchers who are working tirelessly to discover safer and more effective treatments.

Although their critical research is improving survival rates, sadly 35 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer every single day.

About 20000 people have taken part in this year’s milestone campaign and have shaved or cut away an estimated 7000kg of hair, helping to create wigs for cancer patients.

Thanks to our partners at Sustainable Salons Australia, for the first time shorter hair will now also be used to create ‘‘hair booms’’, which will be used to soak up potential oil spills at sea.

Thank you for your support.

We are well on our way to reaching our goal of $3460000 in Victoria.

There is still time for people to sign up or make a donation at www.worldsgreatest

Thanks to you, the Leukaemia Foundation will be able to help more Australians with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders survive and live a better quality of life.

— Bill Petch, chief executive officer, Leukaemia Foundation

Tell Cathy what you think

The Federal Budget was handed down on 8 May.

I want to hear what the people of Indi think about the budget.

It takes only a few minutes to fill out the online survey at my website—2018—have—a—say

This week more than 100 impressive young people have stepped up to share their priorities at breakfasts in Mansfield, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla.

Hundreds more have responded online.

The time to have your say is now.

Fill out the short survey until May 25.

Encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Responses will be used to inform my ‘‘speech in reply’’ to the budget, and a formal report will be presented to the Prime Minister.

Have a say — it’s the Indi way.

— Cathy McGowan AO MP, Federal Member for Indi

Thank you for your generosity

This week (National Volunteer Week, May 21 to 27) we’re saying a huge thank you to the people who take action and make our country a happier place.

Volunteering happens in all kinds of ways.

Like the simple act of sharing a social media post about supporting newly-arrived migrants which, when thousands of others share, can have a huge impact.

Other kinds of volunteering require a bigger commitment, like driving elderly isolated people to regular medical appointments and social outings, and can have a profound effect on the lives of individuals.

At Australian Red Cross, volunteers are a lot like our engine room; they support communities when natural disasters hit, make daily phone calls to isolated people, greet customers to our op shops, donate blood, and fundraise for us.

This week we’re celebrating not just our volunteers in Victoria, but everyone who takes action to make our society stronger, more connected and supportive.

Thank you for your generosity and making Victoria and Australia a better place.

Find out more about volunteering at

— Wenda Donaldson, director, Red Cross, Victoria

Opportunities for everyone

This week we celebrate National Volunteer Week, giving us all the opportunity to promote the role of volunteers in our community and to say thank you to the more than six million Australians who give their time in the service of others.

I want to take this opportunity to especially thank all volunteers in Benalla and district for the work you do.

It is hard to think of any sector in the community that is not touched by volunteering and to which volunteers make a vital contribution.

Volunteers provide support and care for the elderly, they look after our beautiful natural environment through Landcare groups, they are responsible for running our local junior and senior sporting clubs and at the times when the community is at its most vulnerable, our emergency services volunteers in the CFA and SES are there to protect us.

One of the best things we can all do is to roll up our sleeves and get involved.

Research tells us that just a few hours of volunteer work makes a difference in people’s happiness.

It’s proven that volunteers are healthier and even sleep better than those who don’t volunteer.

The experience of helping others provides meaning, a sense of self-worth and an important social role in the community.

Benalla and the surrounding district offers a range of volunteering opportunities.

Whether it’s the CFA, Meals on Wheels, the L2P leaner driver mentor program, coaching junior sport, Lions or Rotary, there is an opportunity for everyone.

Part of my role as an MP is to work directly with volunteer organisations to understand how government can better recognise and facilitate the significant contribution volunteers make to our community, and I am proud to be part of a team that is committed to actively supporting and respecting all volunteers in our community.

— Steph Ryan MP, State Member for Euroa, Deputy Leader of The Nationals