Volunteering stars celebrated at Albany community sundowner
Albany’s unsung volunteering heroes were honoured at a special celebration on Monday night to mark the start of National Volunteer Week.
The Thank a Volunteer sundowner, hosted by the Albany and Regional Volunteer Service, brought together volunteers from all walks of life to show the community’s appreciation for their collective decades of service.
The event coincided with the Department of Sport and Recreation’s 23rd annual Stidwell Medal, honouring outstanding contributions to the Great Southern sporting community.
Albany Sharks Football and Sporting Club president Tracy Blaszkow was awarded the top gong, recognised for her work transforming the club over the past seven years serving as secretary, treasurer and president.
Ms Blaszkow has been part of a transformation at the Sharks, who have gone from a struggling club to an established and ever-improving outfit that fosters a positive and inclusive culture.
Denmark Running Club’s Belinda Ross earned the Great Southern Service to Sport Award, which recognises the significant contribution by a volunteer to a local sport, recreation club or organisation.
An impressive cohort of community members and groups took home certificates of appreciation, presented by the ARVS, after nominations from the community.
Great Southern FM’s Vickie Hutchings was acknowledged for eight years of volunteer work behind the scenes.
Julie Bright and Steve Hutchings, also from Great Southern FM, were celebrated for their work transforming the station over the past 16 months.
ACE Camera Club’s Bob Symons was recognised by the Vancouver Arts Centre for his dedication to running the photography workshops for people with disability and his efforts photographing community events.
Albany Historic Whaling Station volunteer of eight years Stuart Clements got a nod for inspiring visitors and his work restoring onsite historical equipment.
John Lloyd received a certificate for 11 years service with the Albany Historical Society and Lyn Berzins was celebrated for her five years service at Gwen Hardie Lodge.
Shannon Barker and Kathy Suggate were nominated by the ARVS for delivering their newsletters across the Albany CBD and maintaining their website.
Albany Over 50s Association secretary and president Val Chisholm was recognised for her leadership and management of the group through the COVID pandemic.
Breakfast in the Park co-ordinator and Keep Australia Beautiful president Lynley Harrison was recognised for her ongoing service to both groups.
Groups recognised included the Albany Heritage Park Volunteer Team, Friends of the Albany Health Campus, Tummy Warmers and Keep Albany Beautiful.
Special mention was made of quiet achiever Barry Chapman who has cared for the region for three decades as a volunteer with Keep Albany Beautiful.
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