National Volunteer Week Awards 2023
18 May 2023
On Thursday, the 18th of May 2023, the George Town Council Volunteer Awards 2023 ceremony was held at the Memorial, where five local volunteers were recognised for their outstanding work in the George Town community as part of National Volunteer Week 2023
This year’s committee faced a very difficult decision because all nominees were worthy.
Nominations were received for the four categories being:
- Volunteer Service Award (service up to 5 years)
- Major Volunteer Service Award (5 to 10 years of service)
- Outstanding Volunteer Service Award (service over ten years)
- Lifetime Volunteer Service Award (service over 20 years)
Volunteer Service Award – Fernando Romero
Fernando is wonderful at sharing his knowledge with tourists and school groups in a fun way. He adds to the positive experience for tourists and visitors in George Town. A passionate individual who volunteers every weekend without hesitation and will come in extra days as needed. Giving his time back to the community by offering tours and welcoming patrons at the Bass and Flinders Maritime Museum, Watch House, and the Visitor Information Centre.
Major Volunteer Service Award – Robyn Walton
Robyn has been described as friendly, pleasant, and helpful. Having volunteered at the Visitor Information Centre and St. Vincent De Paul, she loves to promote George Town and surrounding areas. She contributes to the community by promoting George Town and the tourism assets of the municipality. She loves to share her knowledge, talk to people, and ensure visitors to the area have an enjoyable trip. She provides suggestions and advice to help where she can. Her social nature makes her approachable, and she quickly builds rapport with visitors to the area.
Outstanding Volunteer Service Award - Dianne Duggan and Dave Marshall
This year, the 2023 outstanding volunteer service award was shared between two very worthy recipients.
Dianne ‘s peers describe her as an extremely well-respected and hardworking quiet achiever.
Over the years, she has been involved with the Rotary Club of George Town, Neighbourhood House George Town, City Mission George Town, and Bass & Flinders Museum, an example of what working with the community is all about. Her dedication and time to these groups are unparalleled in generosity and caring for the community and ensure the community of George Town is at the forefront. While providing many years of service to the above organisations, she actively holds committee positions and fundraises to support these groups. She dedicates many hours to these groups while working full-time and often donates her money anonymously to ensure projects get off the ground.
Dave grew up playing football as a kid and played his senior football for the Gorge Town football club. Until 1998, he had played 299 games for the club, and then a workplace accident occurred, and he lost his left arm. In 1999 he made a comeback with the team’s support to play his 300th game.
Since playing his 300th game, he has been part of many roles around the club. In 2019 he took on the role of coaching the women. His passion and support for women’s football in George Town have been second to none. A role that he has indicated has been the highlight of his football career. He is the first to train and the last to leave, working one-on-one with players to improve their skills and game style.
In 2020 he indicated that not having access to football in the way he knew it impacted his health and therefore saw him focus on the well-being and mental health of those around him. His positive relationships, inclusive approach, and love for the club have influenced many in the community and beyond.
Red, Black, and White blood runs through his veins. He inspires all he has worked with and is an extraordinary volunteer at the club.
He makes football possible for all members of the George Town community, and his involvement with the George Town Football Club doesn’t stop with his coaching. He has taken on the unofficial role of chief maintenance man; he has painted the entire inside of the club rooms, overseen the re-development of the canteen and visitors changerooms, supported the industry by installing an electronic scoreboard, installed new goal posts and designed the new outdoor entertaining space. Every week before home games, you will find him at the ground where he will be sweeping out changerooms, water blasting concrete, vacuuming the club rooms, cleaning toilets, or wiping out showers. On game day, you will find him helping in the canteen, setting up outside barriers, and running for other GTFC teams. Come function time, he will work behind the bar, helping in the kitchen, sweeping floors, and setting up outside areas.
Lifetime Volunteer Service Award – Judith Spinks
Judith has committed to over 20 years of service volunteering and promoting our beautiful George Town municipality. She is a foundation member and secretary of the Ainslie Auxiliary and the George Town Garden Club. She has cleaned the George Town and Low Head Anglican Churches for many years and has been involved in delivering Meals on Wheels in George Town for a number of years.
As a foundation member of the Ainslie Auxiliary, she helped to raise money for additional equipment; care needed to help make the life of residents more comfortable. Her visits on a weekly basis to visit residents both in Ainslie and the hospital helped to lift the spirits of those she saw.
Her get-and-go and caring approach is definitely known by many in our community. For years she has unselfishly given of her time without wanting recognition. It is only now, well into her 80s and unable to drive, that she has been forced to slow down.
She had given extra care to one of her sons for several years but found ways around caregiving to continue her community work.
She has also volunteered at George Town Primary (now Port) for many years, helping take activities for 5/6 classes. It helped break down barriers to school and improve attendance as the students valued these activities. Her help was invaluable for her incredible service over the past few decades.
Thank you to all the nominees, recipients and volunteers for making a difference in our community.