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Council honour roll celebrates East Gippsland volunteers
Date of Issue: 
May 28, 2024

National Volunteer Week wrapped up last week with East Gippsland Shire Council welcoming 37 new inductees to the East Gippsland Volunteer Honour Roll.

This year’s inductee list represents members from communities across the shire including Lakes Entrance, Raymond Island, Bairnsdale, Orbost, Lindenow, Buchan and Gelantipy, Paynesville, Swan Reach and Kalimna West.

Volunteers support a wide range of organisations and clubs, including community organisations, health providers, culture and creativity groups, service clubs, emergency services and sporting clubs.

Some of the groups represented this year are:

  • Buchan Neighbourhood House
  • Lakes Entrance Lionesses
  • Koalas of Raymond Island
  • Bairnsdale and District Amateur Basketball Association
  • Orbost Neighbourhood House
  • Distinctive Options Noweyung
  • East Gippsland Badminton Association
  • Reading for Kids Gippsland
  • Country Women’s Association

Mayor Cr Tom Crook praised the efforts of the newly inducted volunteers.

“The East Gippsland Honour Roll recognises the dedication of community members who have given their time to enrich our community. It serves as a permanent record, paying tribute to the significant contributions made by volunteers throughout the shire.”

Inductees are recognised for their years of service, ranging from those who have dedicated over half a century to those just starting on their volunteering journey. This year, 37 new names were added to the list:

  • 50+ years: Marie Redenbach, Cynthia Robinson
  • 40+ years: Ian Dunkley
  • 30+ years: Wayne Detering, Karen Fleischer, Maree Piera
  • 20+ years: Liz Carey, Simon Ellis, Ellen Sundermann, Rene Sundermann, Debbie Van Der Peet, Troy Smythe, Brendan Woodward
  • 10+ years: Dick Bakos, Debbie Gray, Penny Hammond, Sheree Midson, Ruth Smythe
  • 5+ years: Alisha Caldwell, Christine Clayton, Kathy Gupta, Ivan Knight, Rowan Lowe, Peter Van Den Oever, Andrew Gowland
  • Up to 5 years: Sylvia Boyle, Brooke Downey, Mandy Goodwin, Margaret Humphries, Karen McCole, Mary Mitchell, Louella Ozols, Amber Thompson, Dave Redden, Juan Ardiles, Deborah Hutter, Tracey Purcell

"Volunteers are the backbone of our community,” Cr Crook said. “Their commitment and generosity keep our communities connected and thriving. The Honour Roll is a small way to show our gratitude and inspire others to make a difference."

Council hosted volunteer recognition events were held in Bairnsdale, Buchan and Bruthen and brought together community members, councillors and Council staff to recognise the valuable contributions of local volunteers.

The Bruthen event on Monday, May 20 featured keynote speaker Joy Manley, President of the Bruthen Arts and Events Council, who shared her 40-year journey in volunteering.

In Bairnsdale on Tuesday, May 21 guest speaker Tim Bull MP shared stories about the dedication of volunteers, especially after the many natural disasters that have hit our region in recent years.

The final celebration, in Buchan on Thursday, May 23 featured a speech from guest speaker Evelyn Schmidt, a stalwart of Buchan Neighbourhood House who has also volunteered for Buchan Hall and Recreation Committee, Buchan South Avenue of Honour and other committees. Evelyn spoke of the benefits of volunteering, both to individuals and the community.

Avis Salisbury, treasurer-secretary, and Melissa Zagami, captain, both volunteer with the Toorloo Fire Brigade and attended the Buchan volunteer recognition event.

“There are lots of different and interesting roles in the fire brigade and you learn so much. People can assist their community though the CFA even if they don’t go out on the trucks,” Avis said.

Melissa said she enjoys the community involvement volunteering brings, and educating young people about the fire brigade.

“Knowing that I’m helping my community to be safe is very rewarding. I also enjoy doing demonstrations with school kids to show them what it’s about. That can also help encourage them to get involved with the brigade,” Melissa said.

Nominations for the Honour Roll are open year-round, and Council encourages community members to recognise an unsung hero by submitting their details via Council's website or at one of Council’s service centres.

The East Gippsland Volunteer Honour Roll is updated annually during National Volunteer Week in May.

Pictured at the East Gippsland Shire Council’s volunteer recognition event in Bruthen are Jeff Wagstaff, Treasurer of the Bruthen and Mossiface Wiseleigh Hall and Joy Manley who first began the Tambo Rambler newspaper. Joy was guest speaker at the event.
East Gippsland Shire Council joined Carers Victoria to acknowledge volunteers and carers last week. Council held a volunteer recognition event which was followed by a carers Mingle. Mayor Councillor Tom Crook is pictured speaking with two attendees.
Rosemary and David Redden of Orbost attended the Buchan volunteer recognition event. David was inducted to the honour roll because of his work with the Rotary Club or Orbost.
East Gippsland Shire Councillor Mendy Urie talks with Judy Gray and Rhonda Coates at the Buchan event. At onetime Judy was treasurer of seven committees at the same time, while Rhonda has been on many Buchan committees including Buchan Heritage Group, Buchan Neighbourhood House, and Buchan South Avenue of Honour.
Avis Salisbury, treasurer-secretary, and Melissa Zagami, captain, both volunteer with the Toorloo Fire Brigade and attended Council’s volunteer recognition event in Buchan.

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