Crowds thank region’s volunteers at 2011 awards
By Nadia Surace
“WITHOUT volunteers nothing would get done,” said Greater Shepparton City Council, Cr Kevin Ryan at the city’s Volunteer Recognition Awards 2011 last week.
“They help make our community the best community to live in.”
The presentation held during National Volunteers Week at Eastbank Centre on Tuesday saw more than 260 from across the region turn out to witness locals who have made significant contribution to their community honored for their efforts.
The awards’ six categories included Male Volunteer, received by Ken Murray, Female Volunteer, by Pauline Muirhead, Female Youth Volunteer, by Tamara Whittaker, Male Youth Volunteer, by Brad Corken, Rural Volunteer, by Richie Mann, and Volunteer Team, by Street Rider Night Bus volunteer drivers.
Wanganui Park Secondary College Principal, Ken Murray was honored for his three-year contribution to Making Links Mentoring Program.
As a youth mentor, Ken has dedicated time to assist youth set and achieve their goals.
Ken’s nomination profile said he has a positive, encouraging and non-judgmental attitude toward young people who he has helped grow in confidence, develop skills and explore educational, vocational and recreational options.
91-year-old Pauline Muirhead, founding volunteer member of charity Christmas for Those Alone Christmas Day Lunch, was honored for her work with the association over the past 11 years.
Pauline’s nomination profile said she is a positive inspiration to all, enthusiastically encouraging people to help others when they can.
Brad Corken’s award was received for his work with local youth association, Word and Mouth over the past seven months with which he has helped to co-ordinate events and activities for his peers.
Brad’s nomination profile said he is a true leader who is passionate about community and volunteer work, and who’s work at such a young age is highly commendable.
Tamara Whittaker was awarded after volunteering from the age of 14 as part of FamilyCare Disability Support Program assisting young people in community activities and outings, sporting programs and other recreational activities.
Her nomination profile said despite hard work and sometimes sadness experienced when working with children, Tamara comes to work positive, enthusiastic and full of ideas, and that being a student and volunteering in her own time during school holidays and on weekends shows amazing strength of character.
At 83-years-of-age, Richie Mann was awarded for his support of junior sport in local communities.
Richie has worked with Goulburn Valley Schoolboys and Katandra Australian Rules Football teams for more than 60 years.
With no plans to retire, Richie’s nomination profile said his commitment to the sport and fostering of local talent has been outstanding.
Street Rider Night Bus volunteer drivers were awarded for their work assisting Greater Shepparton City Council and Victoria Police initiative aimed at reducing risk to late night venue patrons.
The service provides free transport from venues 1am-5am on Sunday mornings.
Their nomination profile highlighted that they work with no guarantee of receiving a thank you from their often intoxicated passengers.
Deputy Mayor, Cr Michael Polan highlighted the importance of recognising ongoing work by the region’s volunteers, acknowledging their “outstanding efforts” during the presentation.