Thank you to our volunteers for your extraordinary sacrifice and genuine care delivered this year.
December 14 2020 by Mayor Jim Boult
It’s no secret many people are feeling wiped out by what has been a heart wrenching year. Whilst for some the lockdown provided a welcome break from their day to day work lives, for many others it saw very long hours of high pressure stress. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those people sincerely for the sacrifice and genuine care that they delivered in what has undoubtedly been one of darkest periods in the history of our district.
At a time of so much uncertainty and without prompting, so many put their hands up to help out. Travel agents worked to locate rare opportunities get people home. Medicos put their own safety on the line to test, care for and give us some certainty. Volunteers reached out to those in need to source food vouchers, money for heating and rent. And at Council, staff took roles in our Emergency Operations Centre, coordinating the urgent response while many Council staff were deemed Essential Workers and just kept going.
I wonder how widely known the pressure that Covid 19 put on QLDC staff is. To start with, it should be acknowledged that many at Council already sacrifice private sector salaries and perks to seek better outcomes for their community. We have some of the country’s best and brightest working tirelessly across the district with little thanks and all the curly questions to answer at any kind of occasion – from family bbq’s to kids sports fixtures.
2020 has meant many at Council have quickly had to become experts in fields far outside their day jobs. For example, our resident Arts & Events Manager became a Welfare Manager. She sacrificed time with her own family and threw herself into caring for literally thousands who were feeling trapped and desperate. In our Economic Development Team, staff who had been previously been working to get people into vacant jobs had to change direction and find work for the unemployed. Our IT team had to mobilise hundreds of staff and be on call for the inevitable internet challenges while folk worked day and night. These are just a few examples.
This week both the Prime Minister and the Governor General have acknowledged the phenomenal response work done by our community in letters that will be read out at the Volunteer Appreciation Celebration. From me personally, I am deeply grateful. In the most difficult of years, the way we came together and got stuck in, has made me extraordinarily proud.
Please, instead of a moan about traffic or rates, take a couple of minutes to say thanks over the holiday period, to Council staff and the many volunteers who have truly gone above and beyond this year.