Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain

Volunteers Acknowledged at Awards

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Busselton Dunsborough Volunteer Centre congratulates all recipients and nominees for this years awards WELL DONE!. We also thank ALL the fantastic volunteers for their efforts and generous giving to our community.

Read about it and view pictures here: https://www.busseltonmail.com.au/story/5418804/meet-your-volunteers-of-the-year-photos/

To celebrate the achievements and efforts of our local volunteers the Busselton Dunsborough Volunteer Centre in conjunction with the City of Busselton hosted the Volunteer of the Year recognition awards for Busselton and Dunsborough. These awards allow an opportunity for the community to show its appreciation of the many hours of devoted community work that volunteers contribute to the City. Volunteers contribute enormously to the health and welfare of our community and these awards will recognise and highlight outstanding achievements and service to the community by nominated individuals. Nominations were assessed by the Volunteer of the Year Awards Selection Committee consisting of prominent members of our City and winners were announced on Monday 21st May at the City of Busselton Civic Function Room. With nominations across five categories the judges had some difficult decisions to make and the winners were:

Harvey Norman Open Award: John Martin
Geographe Camping and Tackle World Seniors Award: John Morris
Apex Youth Award: Bianca Gervasi
Rotary Tourism & Events Award: Charmian Terry
Lions Club Volunteer with Less than Three Years Service Award: Robert Withington
There were also 4 highly commended certificates awarded to: Brian Slee, Danae Plowman, Innes Barker and Heather Carrol

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are generously supported by: City of Busselton; Volunteering WA, Lotteries West, Member for Vasse, Libby Mettam MLA; Member for Forrest, Adele Farina  MLC Member for South West Region, Nola Marino MP; Harvey Norman; Apex Australia Busselton Chapter; Rotary International Busselton Chapter; Lions Club Busselton, Geographe Camping and Tackle World.

Here is an in depth look at the work these fantastic people do in our community adapted from Mayor Cr Grant Henley's Speach

Volunteer with Less than 3 Years’ Service Category:

Highly Commended award goes to Danae Plowman.

 Recognising the need for a Friends of Windlemere Reserve group, Danae subsequently established and is leading the group.  This group was formed in close collaboration with the City of Busselton and Dunsborough Coast and Land Care (DCALC).  Windlemere Reserve, Dunsborough is a peaceful haven enjoyed by numerous locals and visitors daily.  It is classed as a Threatened Ecological Community and is currently under threat from dieback, invasive weeds, litter and foot traffic. Danae was concerned about the deterioration of the bushland and since establishing the Windlemere Reserve group, there are now 20 members who monitor the health and look to preserve the reserve’s unique qualities. Danae has been involved in the organising of activities such as the possum night stalk with Ecologists, possum box monitoring, reserve walk through and planning sessions, a Clean Up Australia Day event and weeding.

That’s a whole lot to cram into 14 months Danae. Congratulations on your Highly Commended award.


This year’s winner of Volunteer with Less Than 3 Years’ Service is Robert Withington

Moving to Busselton in March 2016, Robert wasted no time. Semi-retired, he joined the Busselton Lions Club in May 2016 and took up Vice Presidency in 2016/17, followed by the Treasurer’s role in 2017/18. Robert also took on a leadership role at the Busselton Lions Shed, organising and revamping the shed, restructuring and merchandising goods and administering and contributing to the Club’s Facebook page. The introduction of social media provided members and volunteers with readily available information and improved inclusivity. It has also enhanced the promotion of Lions projects and events. Robert has been heavily involved in the Membership Committee of Lions, believing ‘more hands, more service’. His involvement in projects such as the School Buddy Benches, Christmas Cakes and Christmas trees have raised much needed funds that help fund groups such as Lamp Inc., Royal Flying Doctors, hearing and eye institutes, Alzheimer’s Research, local disasters, children’s groups, families in need and people with disabilities… to name a few.

Your enthusiasm cannot be faulted Robert. Congatulations on winning this very deserving award.

Youth (Under 25) Category:

Our winner for the 2018 Youth Volunteer of the Year award is Bianca Gervasi.

In September 2017, Bianca applied for the inaugural Busselton Jetty Crew, a voluntary 12 month leadership program for 16 to 21 year olds. Over 100 applications were received for the exciting new program and Bianca was one of the successful 12 selected to participate.  The Jetty Crew program provides formal leadership training, dive qualifications, project and event management training and an opportunity to ensure that the Jetty is here for future generations to enjoy for another 153 years.  As a member of the Jetty Crew Bianca has consistently contributed to the coordination and planning of events such as:

• Youth Clean Up Australia Day;

• Twilight Jetty Fest;

• Festival of Busselton Sandcastle Competition;

• Super Blue Blood Moon –Bianca cooking enough sausages to raise over $650 for the Jetty Pile Rehabilitation Project.

Upon receiving her dive qualifications, Bianca participated in a pile rehabilitation dive. With over 1,600 piles under the Jetty, some damaged by wood borers, this ongoing project helps to regenerate new life on the piles. Bianca’s proactive approach and outstanding work ethic when undertaking projects and events has been recognised widely by her Busselton Jetty Crew. She is an inspiration and role model to other young people in the Busselton community, particularly her peers.

Bianca you should be proud of your committed effort and achievements. Congratulations!


Rotary Tourism and Events Category:

Our winner for the 2018 Tourism and Events Volunteer of the Year award is Charmian Terry

Charmian has been a voluntary member of Busselton Jetty Inc. since 2007, as well as a voluntary member of the Board since 2011 and Secretary of the Board since 2013. As Secretary of the Board, Charmian is responsible for preparing monthly agendas, minutes and recording of attendance at meetings. She performs this voluntary role with the highest integrity.  Charmian also currently sits on the Busselton Jetty Inc. People’s Sub Committee, which is responsible for developing strategies to increase members.  Charmian’s key achievements to date have been her involvement in the development and installation of the Bollard Trail Project. This trail is very popular with visitors and was undertaken with the Maritime Museum Association of Australia.  Charmian was also an integral member of the Jetty Art/Interpretation project group which was responsible for the installation of updated interpretation and artefacts along the Jetty, including the wind vane.  Charmian’s colleagues advised that her kind nature and bright personality shines through in all that she does and has proven to be a valuable member of the jetty team.  Her organisational skills, high level of efficiency and the pride taken in her work is commendable.

 Charmian congratulations on your award.


 Senior Category:

Nominees for the Senior Category are: • Brian Slee • Dave McKeating • Eunice Gould • John Morris • Thelma Charnstrom • Tony Smurthwaite

 A Highly Commended award goes to Brian Slee.

Brian has been committed to the Busselton community for quite some years. Even during his time of working with Council, Brian always went above and beyond his scope of works, involved in the restoration of the old jetty crane and rebuild of railway trolleys that were donated to the Busselton Jetty.  Brian has been actively involved in the City’s Settlement Art Project, Busselton Jetty and for the past 5 years the Busselton Historical Society. He has worked tirelessly to restore, improve, rebuilt, reshape and fundraise for many of the City’s historical assets.  Brian has only recently stepped down as President of the Busselton Historical Society – is that like retiring from retiring?

 Brian your dedication to our community is most deserving of this Highly Commended award. Well done!

The WINNER for the Senior Category is John Morris

 John has a long history of Volunteer work and, amongst other things, has been involved with the St Mary's Anglican Parish for the past 12 years.  He volunteers on average 50 hours per week, including weekends. 

John has held the positions of Church Warden and Parish Administrator over his 12 years of service.   He is also currently on the Board of Anglicare Emergency Relief in the Diocese (region) of Bunbury, which has responsibility for community emergency relief from Mandurah down to Esperance.   As the Parish contact, John has assisted a countless number of needy, disadvantaged families and individuals on a daily basis during his tenure as a volunteer.   He has been instrumental to many projects run by the Parish and while the list is extensive, to name a few:

• He oversees and manages the operations of St Mary's Op Shop in Busselton and oversees Cliffs Kitchen. The Op shop is an integral part of the Parish and Cliffs Kitchen provides up to 200 meals per week for the homeless and needy in Busselton.

 • He brings Christmas to many needy individuals and families, organising Christmas Hampers and the now well-known St Mary's Christmas Lunch that has run for the past 6 years.Father Christmas is on the list of John’s many talents!

 • Commuting to the Bunbury Food Bank at least 18 times per year to bring back supplies needed for the St Mary's Community Centre.

 • Project Manager for major renovations to the Church and Family Centre.

 • Coordinator for set-up at church services and functions.

 • On the Board of St Mary's Community Care Nurture Works — Buz

 In recent times John received The Bishop's Award for the Diocese of Bunbury for his outstanding service to the Anglican Church.  John’s other voluntary roles within the community include:

• Busselton Volunteer Marine Rescue Group;

• Busselton Tennis Club;

• He was past President of the Busselton Golf Club; and

• 4 years on the Board of the Housing Industry Association.

 John, your generosity, kind nature and willingness to help others is beyond measure.   The initiatives you have undertaken and the leadership skills you exude, all delivered with compassion, are qualities that can only be described as extraordinary.

 Congratulations on winning this Year’s Senior Award.


Open Category:

Nominees for the Open Category are: • Dawn McCarthy; • Heather Carroll; • Innes Barker; • John Martin; and • Vanessa Sabatini

 Our first Highly Commended award goes to Heather Carroll:

 Heather has been volunteering for many years, both within the Busselton and Dunsborough community. No challenge too great, nor too small. Heather has dedicated:

• 10 Years and is still currently with the Busselton Senior High School Board; • 15 Years with the Busselton Senior High School Band & P&C; and • 15 Years with the Dunsborough Primary School P & C and Canteen.

Raising four children who have since completed their K to year 12 education, Heather continues to provide valuable support to our school communities.  It is worth pointing out that in her honour, Dunsborough Primary School has named the canteen after Heather. 

Heather, we applaud your dedication to our community. Congratulations on your Highly Commended award.


Our second Highly Commended award goes to Innes Barker

Innes has become a very important member of some very important organisations within our community, including: • Geographe Community Landcare Nursery; • Cliff's Kitchen, St Mary's Parish; and • He has been a role model for Busselton Senior High School students; Jobs South West Training and Community Services; and Community Services Horticulture Trainees. 

With 8 years of volunteering across these organisations, Innes is best known for his patience and dedication when it comes to getting the job done.  Innes has been described as “unflappable in his dedication to any task he is set, only having to tell him the once what we want done and he gets on with it until he runs out of time or plants.” 

It is a pleasure to reward your enthusiasm Inness with this Highly Commended award. Well done!

The WINNER for the 2018 Open Volunteer of the Year is John Martin

John has been a volunteer with St John Ambulance Busselton for 27 years. His dedication has earnt him a Volunteer Service Medal and Two Bars to date. He was also recently presented with the Order of St John, which is awarded to volunteers in recognition of their significant contribution, over and above what is normally expected. Nominated by their peers, this ward is held in high regard.  John’s peers describe him “as a compassionate and positive person who inspires others to aspire to the level of commitment he has reached and is always prepared to give.”  I believe John has willingly sacrificed his time to help those in need over so many years, while overcoming many personal challenges along the way.  His exactitude, dedication and perseverance never ceases to amaze those around him.   John, congratulations for winning this very deserving award.

manWant to place an event on our calendar? - Contact us at: volunteers@westnet.com.au - Phone: 9754 2047

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