The Federal Member for Aston, Alan Tudge MP, has announced the winners of the 2017 Aston Community Awards.
The Aston Community Awards celebrate local volunteers and community groups who give their time, skill and energy to helping others and making the Knox community a better place to live.
The overall winners in the four award categories were:
James McQuade – Seniors Volunteer Achievement Award
Mac started at Red Cross as a volunteer driver in 2000. He was in charge of supporting elderly frail people and people with disability by driving them to and from appointments. Not only does Mac drive them, he attends their appointments and advocates for them. Mac now volunteers at Bridges where his sole focus is to drive people who are at risk of isolation.
Southern Cross Kids’ Camp – Community Group Achievement Award
Southern Cross Kids’ Camps are a remarkable group that provide a week of happy memories for kids who have suffered or have been subjected to neglect and abuse. The organisation ensures each child has a ‘buddy’ of their own, that they can turn to for the week, for anything they need. The camp has been in operation for 17 years. The camp now has several kids who attended camp because life was very difficult, return as outstanding leaders.
Gerard Guerin – Individual Volunteer Achievement Award
Gerard began working at Regal Sankey 1994, whilst working there he was asked to undertake a first aid course. Gerard joined the Knox Division of St John Ambulance in 1994 and has been there ever since. Gerard offers his service at local and state events and often offers his assistance at disasters such as bush fire emergencies. When he is not volunteering with St John, he is helping out his local church, Our Lady of Perpetual Health. Gerard has served the community for 23 years and we are eternally grateful.
Kim Yapp – Youth Volunteer Achievement Award
Kim Yap is an outstanding young woman who currently volunteers at the Knox campus of City Life Church. Kim also volunteers one day as administration support to the youth office and assists the events team. She leads a group of year 8 girls and provides emotional and spiritual support for them, occasionally coming into contact with tougher cases of at risk girls who struggle with mental health and is always there ready to listen and support.
Mr Tudge was assisted on the evening by member for Bayswater, Heidi Victoria MP, member for Ferntree Gully, Nick Wakeling MP and 2016 Youth category winner James Philipsen.
Mr Tudge told the over 200 attendees at the presentation ceremony in Rowville, he was overwhelmed by the number and quality of nominations received in the inaugural Knox awards.
“We have people who have volunteered for over 50 years, people who have made change locally and community groups who have given endless hours of moral and financial support.”
“Tonight we honour you and your service. We do so knowing that it is people like you who are the glue to our community, who build the social fabric and make our society a better place,” Mr Tudge said.
“We thank you in this public way, not because you seek thanks, but because you deserve it.”