Volunteer Week Stories - Top Gongs

It is National Volunteers’ Week, the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. In celebration, Volunteering Australia is pleased to announce the theme for National Volunteer Week 2021 – ‘Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine’. At a ceremony at The Regal Theatre today the Mayor presented awards for service and achievement.

Outstanding Achievement by a Volunteer

Ann Wilson – Community Connections - Justice of the Peace Volunteer Facilitator

In 2018 Ann took over the Volunteer Facilitator role of the Justice of the Peace service from John Thornley. John was much loved and had looked after the service for 25 years and decided it was time to retire: it was no mean feat to replace such a popular facilitator. Ann, who had been a Justice of the Peace with the service since 2010 did not hesitate to offer her services. Upon her commencement Ann embarked on a number of changes, including:

  • Changes to the JP office, making it look more professional and reducing unneeded forms and clutter.
  • Communication with JPs – Ann who is very proficient with Microsoft Office started communicating direct with JPs rather than via the staff supervisor.
  • Recording of JP statistics, Ann implemented a different, more efficient recording system.
  • Recognition of JPs once they retire, JPs now receive a certificate of recognition from the Service in addition to their acknowledgement from the Mayor.

The JP Service is incredibly well utilised by the community with nearly 700 people attending per month. In fact one of the most asked questions received by the Community Centre Reception Volunteers “Where is the Justice of the Peace?”

When the Community Centre and JP service shutdown over COVID, Ann was still available to the community to witness documents. People were able to come to her house if they needed, this included staff, and many did use her service. She was able to recruit a few other volunteer JPs who were also happy to assist with this ad hoc service.

On the few occasions when there is a sudden vacancy in the roster Ann also is readily at hand to fill in. She runs this very valuable service to the community in a seamless manner. On occasion, Ann has had to deal with situations that are not easy, but always retains her professionalism and integrity.

The Premier’s Certificate of Recognition for outstanding volunteer service 2021 - Toy Library Volunteers

This award stands for exceptional volunteer service which acknowledges the remarkable contribution of South Australian volunteers who deliver many critical community services in the areas of youth and community development, welfare, education, emergency services, sport and recreation, the environment and more.

The Premiers Certificate of Recognition has been awarded to one of our volunteer groups the Burnside Toy Library Volunteers.

This team has shown unwavering dedication, commitment and resourcefulness in dealing with everything COVID dealt us. The Toy Library closure, inability to have volunteers onsite and the aftermath with applied restrictions and changes to our work environment specifically in accepting returns and the processes around getting toys out for borrowing. Without their hard work in implementing COVID changes we would not have been able to re-open to our Toy Library service fully. The amount of hard work they put into serving our community is beyond the call of duty. Each individual volunteer has outstanding work ethic, is loyal, committed and dedicated to providing our community with the best Toy Library service. The success of the Burnside Toy Library is because of our wonderful volunteers.

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