BALLINA MP: Greens Tamara Smith.
BALLINA MP: Greens Tamara Smith. Suze McLeod

OPINION: Power of people wins every time

JUST when I find myself feeling disillusioned by politicians and aghast at the lack of humanity displayed by the body politic (daily), I am buoyed and inspired by the people I represent.

I know that in terms of real happiness, all the studies tell us that one of the secrets to a happy life is giving and doing for others.

I hear that and relate to it, but does that explain why people in our community so tirelessly volunteer to assist those in need?

Let me highlight just a few recent examples of locals generously volunteering their time for the good of the community.

My cousin Sally, whose house was flooded in Lismore, woke one morning to find eight Rural Fire Service and SES volunteers on her doorstep who spent the next six hours cleaning up her yard.

The group of chefs and foodies and just awesome people who formed a food collective in Bangalow and delivered meals to those in need in Lismore and our area every day for three weeks.

The 400 out-of-town RFS volunteers from across the state who lived in tents in Wollongbar and worked eight-hour days helping people decimated by the flood - many taking long service leave to do so.

Our own SES working around the clock for three weeks on top of their day jobs.

The hundreds of other people who have volunteered to help with the recovery.

Standing proudly at the formal opening of the new Marine Tower in Ballina with the scores of Marine Rescue volunteers who have given up their time for 15 or 20 years to keep ocean users safe on the bar.

Celebrating 50 years of Meals on Wheels in Ballina with the volunteers.

Being present at the opening of the new playscape at Waterlily Park in Ocean Shores with the dedicated parents and community members who volunteered for more than three years to make it happen.

Talking recently with one of the women sewing boomerang bags for the businesses in Byron so they can start saying no to serving plastic bags.

Like I say, the power of the people gets me every time.


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