Maroondah volunteers given high praise for long-standing service

The significant contribution of Council’s long-serving volunteers was acknowledged last week at a special function held in their honour at Karralyka.

Maroondah Mayor, Cr Mike Symon, said Council’s annual Volunteer Recognition Function was an opportunity to officially acknowledge the City’s wonderful volunteers who help Council to deliver important services and activities to the community.

“All Maroondah City Council volunteers were invited to this special ceremony in recognition of the important role they play in giving their time, energy, skills and talents to enable us to provide much-needed community services,” Cr Symon said.

Special milestone awards were presented to 37 volunteers in recognition of their extended periods of service – from 10 years, through to 45 years.

“Together, these 37 volunteers have clocked up an incredible 730 years of volunteering with Council.

“Whether it’s delivering a meal, getting people out and about who might otherwise be feeling isolated, working with young people, or helping to care for our bushland reserves, Maroondah’s 380-plus volunteers give their time for no other reward than knowing they are helping someone else and contributing to the greater good of the community, and they deserve to be recognised for the important work they do,” Cr Symon said.

Long-serving volunteer Fay Lawn was named the inaugural recipient of the Bill Wilkins Volunteer Award.

Mrs Lawn was chosen from 13 candidates in recognition of her 49 years of volunteering with Meals on Wheels; 39 years with Maroondah Hospital, and as a spiritual care volunteer supporting people through rehabilitation.

“It gives Council great pleasure to present this award for the first time to Fay Lawn, who exemplifies what it means to be a volunteer and everything this award stands for,” Cr Symon said.

“The Maroondah community is fortunate to have such compassionate and dedicated volunteers, like Fay Lawn. Her sustained commitment to volunteering in numerous capacities has contributed immeasurably to the strong and wonderful community base we have here in Maroondah today, and for this we are truly grateful,” he added.

A humbled Mrs Lawn said she was proud to have been chosen as the first person to receive the award.

“I’m very excited, but I don’t feel like I deserve it,” Fay said.

“There are so many volunteer jobs in the community that I’ve been privileged to do and it’s been a wonderful experience in my life. And I hope that I have in some way contributed to people of Maroondah.

To those considering volunteering, Fay says “go ahead and do it”.

“It is good for people that you are able to help and it’s good for you. You get to know so many people and knowing that they are appreciative of you, even if what you do doesn’t seem all that remarkable.”

Fay said she’ll keep volunteering as long as she can. “As my mother used to say, it’s better to wear out than rust away”.

Named in honour of community stalwart Bill Wilkins, the prestigious award was created in honour of those volunteers who inspire and embody the spirit of volunteerism through their exemplary contribution to the community.

The Volunteer Recognition Function is celebrated on International Volunteer Day, an annual event on 5 December celebrating volunteers worldwide.

To find out how you can make a rewarding and valuable contribution to the Maroondah community through volunteering, visit our Volunteering page or call Council on 1300 88 22 33.

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