Council recognises it's 2020 Volunteer of the Year Nominees and announces the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Recipients

24 Jul 2020

The National 2020 Volunteer Week was held in May, however due to COVID-19 Council was unable at that time, to formally recognise our volunteers, and nominees for this year’s Volunteer of the Year.    It was with pleasure that Council was able to pay tribute to all volunteers at a small function held on the 23rd July.

Mayor Greg Kieser said "Across Australia, more than 6.1 million people volunteer their time to one or more organisations. That’s more than a quarter of the population who are giving up their own time to support their communities in the areas of arts and heritage, sport and physical recreation, religion, welfare and community wellness, education and training, youth services and emergency services. Tasmania is actually above the national average, with around 42 per cent of people participating in some sort of volunteer activity.  Council itself relies on the time, dedication and effort from volunteers in some of its own activities and values their input. Volunteers operate in Council’s Visitor Information Centre, the Watch House, and support local Council run community events".

This year’s theme of Changing Communities, Changing Lives represents the millions of volunteers who make a profound impact in their communities and on society, through giving of their time.  Shortly you will hear of some of the outstanding contributions made to the community from our municipality’s worthy nominees.  Through their giving of time, they are making a world of difference.  

The calibre of nominees this years was extremely high, to the extent that Council had the honour of announcing two recipients for this year's award.  Congratulations are extended to -

Kaye & Dennis Rawlinson
Kay and Dennis freely give their time to the community through the work undertaken at TamarFM Radio, and to events held throughout the community. TamarFM Radio Station would not have the high regard it does in the community without the many volunteer hours that Kay and Dennis contribute.  They are proactive in seeking information relating to the community, invite guest speakers to talk on a wide range of topics, and work tirelessly with all levels of the community to promote our municipality, our region, local events and importantly, to keep our community informed.  

Kerry Daniels
Kerry is well known in our municipality having volunteered for many years at both Council and community events – Targa Tasmania, Australia Day, Christmas Parade, Dog’z Day Out, 2019 New Year’s Eve event, and recently Council’s “Street Shuffle”.   Kerry has been a volunteer at the Neighbourhood House for the past 12 months in multiple roles – supporting community members on a one on one environment and co-ordinating group activities.  Kerry co-ordinates the NH acqua fitness program, after school activities, Tuesday play group, and volunteers as receptionist 2 days a week

Congratulations to all nominees who were nominated by their peers :

Michael Spinks
Michael’s name is highly connected to the George Town Football Club.As a volunteer at both the Senior and Junior Clubs over the past 20 years, he is dedicated and committed to providing recreational opportunities for both players and community spectators.  His roles over the 20 years have been many and varied.  He was awarded Life Membership in 2017, and has been awarded the Blue Gum Clubman Award on six separate occasions – a recognition of the commitment and impact that Michael has on the football community in George Town. His resilience to keep going when faced with adversity in the football community is unwavering.  Despite many others walking away from the Club when the ‘wins’ were not flowing, Michael has been persistent in his passion and commitment to remain and build the culture and future of the Club. 

Rodney Collins
Rodney has been a volunteer at the George Town Watch House and the Information Centre since June 2017. Rodney has a passion for the US Civil War History, and he was very keen to learn everything he could on our own local history, and of course the Watch House in particular.   He is a now a wealth of knowledge of our local community and the history which surrounds George Town.  As such, as a tour guide, the information relayed to visitors can be likened to going back in time and re-living events.  His ability to relate to individuals and groups is highly regarded and he is much sought after as a tour guide.

Anne Barker
Anne is another very valuable member of the volunteer team at the Visitor Information Centre. Anne moved to George Town from mainland Australia and commenced volunteering at the information centre in 2016.  One of the key areas that Anne focussed on, was acquiring as much knowledge of George Town as she possibly could.   Initially looking at our area from a ‘visitor’s’ perspective, she was able to quickly identify the key information that a visitor was looking for when they stop at the Information Centre. She is extremely passionate about ensuring that all visitors have the best experience possible, and leave with lasting memories of George Town, and the people that make our community so great. (pictured is Tresna Price,accepting the award on behalf of Anne)

Mark Barden
Commencing his volunteer role in at the George Town Watch House in 2018, Mark recognised from the onset that his role was an important link to the visitor experience to the Watch House.  As such Mark researched the history of the Watch House, the municipality of George Town and the Tamar area to ensure that visitors experience to the Watch House were heightened through his broad knowledge of not just the Watch House, but the broader Tamar Region.  To add depth to his knowledge, Mark joined the local Historical Society, and is true ambassador for our town.  Mark’s flexibility allows him to give freely of his time at the Watch House, and will often volunteers his time when another volunteer is unavailable.

Peter Shields
Commencing his volunteer work at the Visitor Information Centre and Watch House in 2013, Peter is an asset to our municipality.  He provides invaluable assistance to visitors to both visitors and locals as he relays stories about our local history and municipal industrial background – both of which Peter has a very keen interest.    Such is Peter’s passion about our history, that he tops the scales for selling of our historical attraction pass.  This pass gives the buyer access to the Low Head Historical Museum, Bass and Flinders Centre, and the Watch House.  Staff and volunteers at the Centre believe he could sell ice cream to the eskimos, such is his selling prowess.  His customer service skills are extremely high, and he is very engaging with visitors - delivering an experience that they will remember always as part of their Tasmanian holiday.   It is these attributes that make Peter such a valuable volunteer at the Information Centre and Watch House.