Volunteers providing recreational fishing opportunities for people of all abilities were recognised at the annual Fishability Awards last night.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly congratulated not only the award winners but all of the volunteers, staff and sponsors who make the Fishability program possible.
The McGowan Government supports Fishability with funding of $100,000 per annum to grow this valuable program across metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
The program has broadened from only supporting children and adults living with disabilities to include people with mental health challenges, aged care centres, indigenous groups and more recently, school aged children through education support centres.
Fishability boasts more than 100 volunteers who committed 6,234 hours of service across 25 locations and delivered 202 activities to 2,954 participants around WA during 2018-19.
Busselton woman Michelle Lee was the recipient of the 2019 Nev Thomas Award for her long-term commitment to providing recreational fishing opportunities to people of all abilities across the South-West.
Ms Lee originally started her own fishing program for families of children living with disabilities in the South-West. In 2015 she joined Fishability, and is now the co-ordinator of the Busselton program.
The Patron’s Unsung Hero Award was shared by Terry Morey and Graham Welsh. Both men volunteer for the Mandurah Fishabilty program and are popular with participants.
Mr Morey was the first volunteer to be involved with the schools program and Mr Welsh is always looking for ways to improve the experience of participants.
Mr Welsh also received a Volunteer Milestone badge recognising his five years volunteering with the Mandurah program.
The Chairman’s Award went to EarlyBird Bait for their support, since 2012, in supplying bait to the Mandurah program.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
“The McGowan Government is pleased to support this valuable organisation which is creating communities, friendships, developing life skills and self-confidence, and breaking down isolation.
“The volunteers who support the charity’s programs are vital to its continued success and I commend them for all of their hard work.
“This work, along with the continued partnership with the State Government and community organisations and sponsors, will ensure Fishability continues to grow and develop to deliver a great fishing experience to every person, every time.”
Minister’s office – 6552 6100