The winners of the 2019 Greater Shepparton Volunteer Recognition Awards were announced yesterday at an awards ceremony held at Eastbank.
Now in their 10th year, the volunteer awards recognise the contribution made to the Greater Shepparton community by hard-working volunteers.
Volunteers could be nominated under six categories; volunteer team, male volunteer, female volunteer, youth volunteer (for people aged between 12 and 25), rural volunteer (for towns with under 5,000 residents) and long serving volunteer.
Council Mayor Kim O’Keeffe congratulated all the deserving winners and thanked them for their service.
“The National Volunteer Week theme in 2019 is ‘Give a little, Change a lot’,” Cr O’Keeffe said.
“The volunteers we recognised at the ceremony often give more than just ‘a little’. But the national theme highlights just how easy it can be to make a difference.
“Council received an extremely high standard of nominations this year, so thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a volunteer.
“Congratulations to everyone who was nominated for an award, as well as all the winners. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.”
Male Volunteer of the Year: Dhami Singh
Dhami takes a role in educating and widening awareness of the multicultural spectrum, while promoting what it can offer to our local community. Dhami was co-founder for the active group ‘Picnic for Peace’, co-founder of the Nepal Earthquake Committee and hosts Cultural Bus Tours on behalf of the Sikh Temple. He is a committed member of the St Georges Road Planning Committee, Horses for Hope, Christmas for Those Alone, Auskick and All Abilities Cricket.
Female Volunteer of the Year: Linda Wood
Linda has worked tirelessly for the Mooroopna Education and Activity Centre. She is the longest serving volunteer and has provided many hours of dedicated work. Linda assists with Occasional Care, MEAC Meals program, art classes, exercise classes and front reception.
Youth Volunteer of the Year: Mehdi Khademi
Mehdi is a great advocate of Victoria Police; he promotes the important role police play in the community and is always willing to assist in community engagement events. He has strong values and is willing to share his culture. He is enthusiastic and friendly, helping change the opinions of community members who have preconceived ideas of the police force.
Rural Volunteer of the Year: Michelle Viney
Michelle consistently supports the young people of our community and not only positively impacts on them, but also enables police members to execute their duties in a timely manner. Michelle often frees police officers up to attend other duties, helping keep the wider community safe. In her role as a Youth Referral and Independent Person Program volunteer, Michelle supports young people through police interviews when a parent or guardian cannot attend, making sure she is available on a 24-hour call out roster.
Volunteer Team of the Year: Brian and Carol Merrett
Brian and Carol are a husband and wife team that make up an integral part of the Shepparton Foodshare volunteer team. The community-minded couple have volunteered more than 5000 hours to ensure Foodshare can continue to operate efficiently and effectively and can provide nutritious food for local people in need.
Long Serving Volunteer of the Year: Stan Jezewski and Lorna Chandler
Lorna has been volunteering her time and skills to the Peter McCallum Cancer Service and GV Health in Shepparton. She uses her creative skills and expertise to create personal hygiene, comfort patient packs and hand knitted clothing for babies and children. She has spent significant time visiting patients in hospitals, while observing and identifying patients looking for additional personal items that may not be available at time of hospital admission.
Stan helped found the Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad in 1972, alongside his brother Eddie and four other men. Stan has been an active member during the 47 years and has never taken more than two weeks here or there for a holiday with family. Stan continues to give in many ways. He is a volunteer 24/7, on call day and night, for our community and a mentor for our young people, attending regular training sessions and meetings for and on behalf of the squad has made Stan the epitome of a long serving, dedicated volunteer.