Nominations close soon for volunteer awards

Wodonga residents are being encouraged to nominate individuals and teams for the 2019 Wodonga Volunteer of the Year awards before they close on Monday, April 15.

Wodonga Mayor Cr Anna Speedie said about 20 per cent of Wodonga’s population volunteer and the awards were a great way to recognise their hard work.

“We know a lot of people in our community volunteer tirelessly for a number of organisations including community groups, schools and charities,” she said.

“Some volunteer to contribute or give back to the community, others as part of their studies, to get some experience that may lead to employment, to socialise or network, or as part of their workplace.

“We want to recognise them and their wonderful work, and hopefully inspire others to think about volunteering.”

In Wodonga, volunteers help at many different venues, events and activities from tree plantings to youth committees, Waste Transfer Station and the Visitor Information Centre.

They vary widely in age, background, skills, and availability – and each one is valued enormously.

The 2018 Wodonga Individual Volunteer of the Year Award went to Zennon McCarty in the Sport and Recreation Category for his involvement in all things community and sport.

Zennon has held more than 18 roles as a volunteer in the community for the past 15 years.

His involvement has stretched from Auskick, football, cricket, to school and church.

Another individual winner, this time in the Community Service category, was Peter Whitmarsh.

For the past three years, Peter has been involved with the Border Relay for Life committee.

He has played a pivotal role in assisting the Cancer Council raise vital funds.

The Volunteer Team of the Year Award went to the team at Albury-Wodonga Regional FoodShare.

FoodShare volunteers rescue 902,000kg of food each year, ensuring emergency food relief in the region.

Wodonga Council also launched a People’s Choice Award in 2018 for both an individual recipient and a team recipient.

Katrina Redcliffe was the individual recipient who works towards meaningful and creative support for those who care for a family member with a disability.

She facilitates and plans for two support groups – the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families and the Aspire Family Network group.

The People’s Choice award for a team went to the Wodonga Bulldogs All Abilities AFL (Jets).

Three coaching volunteers for the Wodonga Bulldogs All Abilities AFL team dedicate their time and skills to co-ordinate training and attend games during the season.

Nominations close 5pm on Monday, April 15, with the awards presented at the Volunteer Fair on Saturday, May 25 during National Volunteer Week.

Nomination forms are at wod.city/VolAward2019