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The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has paid tribute to local volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to their communities across Gippsland.

Mr Chester attended the opening of the Lions District Convention on Friday night at Morwell’s Kernot Hall, where he also met up with Yarram members of the Australian Air Force Cadets number 424  squadron.

The cadets from the squadron acted as flag bearers during the convention’s opening ceremony.

Pictured with Mr Chester (from left, back row) are: FLTLT (AAFC) Wayne Bass OAM, CDT Kane Allen, CDT Deakan Jung, The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, LCDT Jad Jung, CDT Brett Hill and FLTLT(AAFC) Debbie Bass; and (from left, front row) CDT Daniel Petterson, LCDT Candace Wright, LCDT Brooke Smith.

Mr Chester welcomed Lions Club members from Mallacoota to Rye to the Latrobe Valley for the three-day event.

“Our Lions Clubs support their local communities in many ways, from running markets to organising fundraisers and local projects,” Mr Chester said.

“Their contribution and impact on our towns and individuals over many, many years is remarkable.

“My first interaction with the Lions was in 1983 in the Lions Youth of the Year speaking competition.

“I managed to win the Sale round and finished runner-up at regional level. So in some ways, the Lions can take the blame for setting me on the path to politics.”

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