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The community spirit of a nation

THE RECENT Queensland floods have devastated the nation – but they have also revealed the strength of Australia’s community spirit, with thousands of volunteers lending a hand.

Clean Up Australia Day – Australia’s largest community participation event – reflects this great tradition of volunteering in Australia.

Thousands of volunteers have already registered for Clean Up Australia Day 2011, to do their bit for the environment on Sunday 6 March.

Celebrating its 21st year, Clean Up Australia Day has shown Australian’s willingness to get their hands dirty in times of need in order to create a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.

Event organisers are expecting to attract hundreds of thousands of volunteers nationwide.

2010 saw 588,000 volunteers remove an estimated 15,560 tonnes of rubbish from 7,073 sites.

With an ongoing need for Australians to rally together and make a real difference 2011 looks to be the year in which even more people take to their streets, parks, waterways and beaches.

Research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that 35% of Australians aged 18 and over volunteer at least once a fortnight.

Collectively they donate over 700 million hours of work a year.

“Every day volunteers make a huge contribution to society in both economic and social terms," said Ian Kiernan AO, Chairman of Clean Up Australia.

"Those brave young men who became our first ANZACs were volunteers; our surf lifesavers are volunteers; our rural fire fighters are volunteers, the thousands of overalled SES workers are volunteers.

Without volunteers, we’d be lost."

“In recent weeks, we have seen thousands of people armed with gloves and bags join forces as south east Queensland faces their massive flood clean up. I predict we’ll see the same response in Victoria and northern New South Wales.

“For those of us not in a position to join these bands – it’s our turn to pitch in and clean up areas in our own local community on 6 March. Now more than ever volunteers are needed to help restore the health of our environment.”

Over its 21 year history volunteers have transformed the nation on Clean Up Australia Day. In total, they have devoted more than 24 million hours to help the environment by removing over 237,500 tonnes of rubbish.

For more information or to register click here