Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — In celebration of National Volunteer Week I had the great pleasure of attending the Banyule Volunteer Awards night on 14 May in Ivanhoe, along with my colleagues Ms Dunn and Mr Dalla-Riva. It was a gala dinner dance. National Volunteer Week celebrates the millions of hardworking Australians who selflessly dedicate their time to furthering the work of an enormous range of organisations. I would like to acknowledge everyone who volunteers in Banyule, but I would like to particularly celebrate those winners who were announced on the night. Citizen of the Year is the wonderful Maria Welsh, who seems to volunteer for absolutely everything, from palliative care to bereavement and helping the young and disadvantaged.
The Individual Volunteer Award went to Joan Vandenberg in a tight competition between her and her husband, Tony, who won the highly commended award. The Young Volunteer Award winner was Amy Bryans. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Volunteer Award went to Gayle Charlton. The Multicultural Community Volunteer winner was Dr Hussein Haraco. The Community Group Volunteer Award went to: Banksia Palliative Care Service, Heidelcare and the Olympic Village Exodus Community drop-in team. Good neighbour awards went to Graham Lawson and Jen Nieuwenhuzen.
I would like to congratulate them all, particularly Beryl from the Children’s Protection Society Op Shop. She was not only great but she was also my dance partner for the evening.