Speech to Parliament 14 June 2016 – Stafford Queensland Day Community Awards 2016

14 June 2016 –

I rise today to speak about the work of an outstanding member of the Stafford Electorate – Liz Ewen. Liz was just one of the recipients of a Stafford Queensland Day Community Award in my electorate.

Each recipient demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the Stafford Community in a number of different ways. The recipients of these awards were recognised at an afternoon tea last Friday at the Grange Bowls Club.

Liz Ewen has been volunteering with the Special Olympics for 22 years. Over this time, she has given up her time, and assisted in a number of different roles.

Liz is the long term Head Coach for the Special Olympics Brisbane aquatic program, as well as the State Aquatics Coordinator for Special Olympics Queensland. In this role, she oversees and coordinates all aquatics competitions throughout the State as well as offering training, support and guidance to other Special Olympics Queensland coaches.

Recently, Liz has helped launch the Stafford Unified Swim School, a school for swimmers with, and without an intellectual disability. Liz is both the Pool and Program Coordinator, and Head Coach of the Swim School.

She coordinates almost everything from coach training, and recruitment, to summer enrolments, and pool management. This is all in a volunteer capacity.

Liz’s passion and dedication to both aquatics and providing opportunities for people with an intellectual disability to reach their personal best is inspiring and infectious.

She was selected in 2011 to pilot the Michael Phelps individual medley program in Australia and this resulted in the implementation of the program in Special Olympics Queensland clubs, mainstream swim schools, and within special school units.

The program empowers young people to be safe in and around water whilst cultivating a love of swimming and being active.

Empowering young people to reach their goals, is one of Liz’s true passions.

She contributes many, many hours every week of the year to ensure that young Queenslander’s have vital safety skills and that athletes with an intellectual disability are given the opportunity to train and compete in the sport they love.

Mr Speaker, Special Olympics is lucky to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer. Liz’s volunteer efforts mirror that of just under one million Queenslanders, who contribute 133.4 million hours to volunteering efforts across the state. In 2014, this volunteering was worth $11.6 billion to the Queensland economy.

The people of Stafford are just some of the many Queenslander’s who reap the benefits of Liz’s work, and for that, I say thank you.

See video of the speech here.


Stafford Queensland Week Award 2016 winners

Stafford Queensland Week Award 2016 winners

Liz Ewen was one of 20 outstanding local community volunteers recognised in the 2016 Stafford Queensland Day Community Awards.

The complete list of recipients is below. To read more about the Awards follow this link: https://www.dranthonylynham.com.au/stafford-queensland-day-community-awards-2016/

David McKellar, Brisbane Inner North Sporting Community
Ngaire Arthur, Brisbane Netball Association
Annette Daley and Terry Daley, Community Access Respite Services Inc
Douglas Wood, Gordon Park Scouts Group
David Martin and Karen Martin, HAND disability support services
Greg Cree, Project for Change
Richard Norman, McDonalds Stafford
Jill Crawford, Marie Henry, Marie Jones, Peter Jones, The Samaritans, Kedron Parish
Adam McNiven, Somerset Hills State School P&C
Tasha Banks, Stafford 18 Neighbourhood Watch Group
Kerry Burns, Stafford 3 Neighbourhood Watch Group
Liz Ewen, Stafford Unified Swim School
Brett Gillett, Wilston Grange Australian Football Club
Joseph Xaviour and Rajesh Mohini, Brisbane Malayalee Association