Last week, Waverley Council held its biannual Local Hero Awards ceremony to celebrate the work of its volunteers and community heroes.
Held at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club on Monday 17 May during National Volunteer Week, the event paid tribute to those who are dedicated to making Waverley a special place to live.
Winners were announced across six award categories including:
Strengthening Community: Louise Mulroney
Community Life: Lynette Smith
Community Volunteer: Belinda Head
Working Together: WIRES Eastern Branch
Second Nature Champion: Kit Shepherd
Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, acknowledged the important contributions made to the community, with approximately 200 volunteers assisting at Waverley Council contributing 8,000 hours of service.
“Since 2009, we have honoured 42 Local Heroes in Waverley. They make such a difference and provide a precious resource in our society – time. Time to help, time to listen and time to support”.
Volunteers support Council across a range of areas including Waverley Library, Waverley Cemetery, Arts & Culture, Bushcare & Community Gardens, Children & Family Services, Justice of the Peace and Community & Seniors Services.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on volunteering across the country. Research commissioned by Volunteering Australia estimated that two thirds of volunteers stopped volunteering between February to April and 80% of organisations stood down volunteers because of health restrictions.