2015 Award Recipients

These awards promote the value and important contribution of volunteering to the social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of our communities and pay tribute to those who inspire and promote the spirit of volunteerism through their exemplary endeavours.

Overall 2013 Leading Volunteer Team Award

Pathways to Harrow Project, Harrow Bush Nursing Centre

The ‘Pathways to Harrow’ project was launched in 2012 and celebrates the journeys of 25 such women volunteers on a basis of five per year through until 2016. Their stories will ultimately form a published book, benefiting community health by enhancing connections and social inclusion and publicising the ideal of living rurally.

Young Volunteer Award
Brenton Johnson

With an eye for innovation and always willing to pitch in, Brenton is a dedicated Rotarian. With his IT and social media knowledge, Brenton has plugged a long standing gap in Rotary’s Skill Base.

But he is equally adept at the glamorous work of manning a sausage sizzle or selling raffle tickets! With readymade enthusiasm and an open, ‘can do’ attitude, Brenton is the ideal young volunteer.

New Resident Volunteer Award
Charlie Ferrier

The township of Kaniva has benefitted mightily from the decision by former civil engineer Charlie Ferrier to retire there. Mind you, Charlie might say his responsibilities have actually increased since leaving work!

He is very good at encouraging others to pitch in and join commendable volunteer programs such as Men’s Shed and MATES Mentoring. Charlie is also a Volunteer Taxi Service driver and devotes further time to Kaniva Scouts.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Bill McCann

Brigade captain, lieutenant, communications officer and firefighter – Bill has done it all over a remarkable length of service that stretches back over 60 years.

These days, Bill takes care of communications duties at the station base during incidents and he is a fountain of knowledge to newer members of the brigade. His commitment to the CFA, and to the Dimboola community in general, is without peer.

Creative Communities Award
Purple Starfish

Kaniva’s Purple Starfish was established as a small business incubation initiative in order to build capacity, share skills, offer training and deliver excess revenue back to community groups.

With a diverse mix of young and mature volunteers, plus a small committee, it has achieved all of this and more.

Celebrating Diversity Award
Nhill Neighbourhood House Inc.

The volunteer mentors at the Nhill Neighbourhood House have bridged connections, most particularly for the Karen refugees of Burma, over the past 12 years.

Responding to the needs of a shifting demographic, the mentor program was established to not only assist with cultural barriers but to shore up the survival of local businesses via successful integration.

Connecting Communities Award
Yarrilinks Landcare

It would be fair to state Yarrilinks doesn’t just connect communities, it connects nationalities! Volunteers are recruited from afar, including many from Sudanese and Burmese backgrounds.

Since 1998 some 2,500 hectares have been restored with local vegetation and 350,000 indigenous seedlings have been planted involving 270 different landholders.

Community Health Award
Pathways to Harrow Project

The Harrow Bush Nursing Centre, the veritable heart of this unique community has over 40 volunteers serving on committees, acting as volunteer drivers, hosting functions, organising workshops and getting involved in Men’s Shed activities.

The ‘Pathways to Harrow’ project was launched in 2012 and celebrates the journeys of 25 such women volunteers on a basis of five per year through until 2016. Their stories will ultimately form a published book, benefiting community health by enhancing connections and social inclusion and publicising the ideal of living rurally.

Energy, Conservation and Environment Award
Kaniva College

This innovative secondary school is ‘walking the talk’, embedding volunteering into the curriculum and educating its students about the myriad benefits of sustainability and good environmental practices.

Kaniva College has installed solar panels, rain water storage systems and wetlands, planted trees and established vegetable gardens. Its sophisticated recycling and materials restoration programs introduce students to the concept of volunteering as a means of enriching their own lives and that of communities near and far.

Emergency, Recovery and Rehabilitation Award
SES Nhill Unit

From motor vehicle accidents to floods, rescues to storm damage, the State Emergency Service contains some of our community’s most dedicated and qualified volunteers. One member of the Nhill branch has been a volunteer with the SES for over 35 years.

The services performed by the Nhill branch are far too numerous to mention and far too valuable to put a price on. Their presence is reassuring, their commitment unwavering.