In my capacity as the Federal Member for Forde, I am invited to an enormous number of community events.

On a recent Saturday, I attended a tree planting morning, a quilting exhibition in the afternoon, followed by a gala dinner that evening.

While this keeps me busy, it has also made me reflect on the diversity of our great community here in Logan and the electorate.

The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘community’ as ‘all the people who live in a particular area… when talked about as a group’.

To me that oversimplifies what community really means. To be part of a community involves so much more. It is possible for people to ‘live in a particular area’ but not become part of that community.

Belonging to a community means getting involved, participating, investing time and effort, and sharing a common purpose or goal.

To my mind, ‘community’ should be defined by the words ‘common’ and ‘unity.’

If you look at all the events that I attend, while all seemingly vastly different on the surface, they all share these two traits, these are groups of people united by a common cause.

Sometimes it is to protect our environment, such as the tree planters; or for the love of a particular hobby, like the quilters; or, to recognise and honour other members of our society, for those who gathered at the gala dinner.

No matter what their motivation, all these people were united by a common interest.

The importance of community should never be underestimated.

Yes, we can all live in the same area and think we are part of that community, but unless we are prepared to get involved and build stronger ties and relationships within our community, we will all be poorer for it.

I’m pleased to say that in my role as the local federal member, I see so many great examples of people building better communities across Logan and the electorate.

So, no matter what your motivation is, whether it is to start a new hobby, find friendship or to make the world a better place, and no matter your age or experience, I’d encourage you to join a community group.

I might even see you at your next event.

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