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Recognising our community heroes

19 May, 2021

It's time to once again give our volunteers a pat on the back and celebrate their contributions over the past year.

We acknowledge it has been 12 months like no other and we must give a shout out to our health and community support services and volunteers who continued to support our most vulnerable community members during the COVID pandemic.

Each year during National Volunteer Week, we call on the community to nominate our hard-working volunteers who are recognised with an award.

The Bryan Watson Award is sponsored by Belvoir Wodonga Rotary and named after long-serving member Bryan Watson.

The award is presented to a volunteer who is recognised for their outstanding commitment in the Wodonga community.

This year the award goes to Trevor Pearce.

Mr Pearce led the project to build a Life Skills House within the Belvoir Special School. A Life Skills House is a house where students with special needs can learn essential domestic skills. 

He identified the scope of works and then chaired the Life Skills House committee, prepared regular income and expenditure budgets, and convened meetings with all stakeholders.

Meanwhile he sought and obtained substantial contributions of money, labour and materials from many sectors of the local community, liaised with local media, and had endless discussions with the Victorian Department of Education.

Trevor also undertook long hours of hands-on work at all stages of the project, from initial site works and pouring of the slab, to frame erection and cladding, through to fit-out and landscaping.

Wodonga Heart Football Club youth coaching squad has taken out the Wodonga Volunteer Team Award.

The team of coaches from the Youth Squad coach teams four nights a week, on Saturdays at Miniroos and in Sunday’s competition.

Many of the coaches also volunteer time to support with line marking, cooking food for the canteen, refereeing matches and are members of the committee and executive committee.

They are all dedicated to coaching and are excellent role models for their teams and have a great impact on the youth’s physical, social, and emotional growth.

The team also supports children from families with single mothers and from refugee backgrounds by providing access to training, support with registration fees, equipment, and transport to venues to train and play. Some of these children would otherwise not have the opportunity to play due to transport and financial constraints.

Albury Women's Shed's Julie Parsons has won the Two Cities One Community Volunteer Award.

Julie is a key driving force of the Albury Women’s Shed, a local community group that offers a safe and inclusive space for women of all ages from the Albury and Wodonga community to learn new skills, make connections and build confidence.

Julie is the co-ordinator of the shed. She dedicates an enormous amount of time and effort to ensuring that the shed operates smoothly, effectively and safely.

Julie is responsible for opening and closing the shed three times per week, ensuring that members are operating machines and tools correctly, organising project materials, and she volunteers a significant amount of her time to fundraising activities for the shed.

Youngster Grace King has taken out the Volunteer Mayoral Award.

Grace has contributed to the community through many efforts. Her long list of volunteering over the past couple of years is quite extensive, ranging from supporting people at fairs, op shops, committees and fundraisers, supervising activities at events.

Grace also has attended many committees in Wodonga, helping to plan and execute events within the community, including the Wodonga Children’s Fair, Street Jam Committee and Wodonga Council Youth Committee.

She has been a homework helper for young refugee students in Wodonga and is now as a mentor for young people at risk experiencing hardship.

Grace is also an active member of the Lake Hume Coast Guards and is on call for emergencies as well. Grace is also apart of the organising committee for the Youth In Politics Camp.

Grace volunteers every week at Salvos in Wodonga with many weekends spent at Coast Guards and now mentoring young people at risk in her spare time.