Celebrating our Volunteers

When: 25 Jun 2024

On Wednesday (22 May), Ardoch and our volunteers gathered so we could celebrate milestones and excellence in Volunteering. Thanks to Corrs Chambers Westgarth for hosting us for the night. The amazing views from the windows just added to the event.

The night was not only about thanking our volunteers and showing them the impact they have had but also about celebrating them. We celebrated those who have been volunteering with us for 3, 5, and 10 years. As well as those who have had a special impact on Ardoch and those they volunteer with. A full list of award winners can be found at the end. The awards portion of the night ended with us presenting the Inaugural Anne Laver Excellence in Volunteering Award.

The Anne Laver Excellence in Volunteering Award recognises outstanding contributions from Ardoch Volunteers. This might be because of their impact on students, their long-term excellence, or perhaps their innovation in how they volunteer and engage with students. Nominations were gathered from schools, staff and volunteers.

This year, we had 6 fantastic nominations. From there, our Nominations committee picked 4 outstanding finalists. Well done to Brent Tulk, Mercedes Slater, Catherine Young, and Michael Pointer. While they were all excellent candidates for the Award, Catherine Young was the winner. Congratulations, Catherine.

Catherine has been volunteering with St Brendan’s Primary School in Fitzroy for 2 full days a week as well as helping out with volunteer training and the volunteer steering committee. A number of times Catherine has been our face of volunteering, happily coming in for photoshoots or to film videos. Over the years, Catherine has promoted Ardoch and helped us connect with other organisations. Her care does not just extend to volunteers within the Ardoch community but also to other volunteers she works with at St Brendan’s, and her generosity and care are shown in the many friendships she has built at Ardoch and at St Brendan’s. Catherine has been with Ardoch for an incredible 12 years, and during that time, she has completed 2,000 hours of volunteering.  Catherine is the first of our volunteers to reach this reach this amazing milestone.

Anne was an incredible Education Volunteer for 10 years with Ardoch. Anne’s husband was actually the first one to hear about Ardoch. He was impressed with Ardoch and suggested that it might be a good organisation for Anne to volunteer with. Anne began volunteering with Ardoch in the mid-1990s. She often worked with ‘the troublesome kids’ who were disrupting and holding others back in class. She helped not only with reading but provided a whole range of assistance, first to St Kilda Primary School and then to four other schools. Teachers welcomed her with open arms, saying that she was just what she needed. Anne enjoyed volunteering with Ardoch as she could see the impact of her work and the difference it was making. She really felt that she was doing something useful and it inspired her to continue. She volunteered with Ardoch for 10 years before her health meant that she needed to step aside. She was always very touched when, years later, she ran into kids whom she helped and they remembered her. The Laver family continued their support of Ardoch. Unfortunately, Anne passed away in 2022.

Thank you to the Laver family for sponsoring this award. Due to their generosity, we are able to give Catherine something, as well as the finalist and St Brendan’s. Anne’s love of literacy and reading will be passed on through the book vouchers that the School and finalist got.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped celebrate with us. For those who weren’t able to join us, your awards are on their way to you. Thank you again to Corrs Chambers Westgarth for hosting and providing the catering. We hope you enjoyed the Polaroids you got, as well as the chance to catch up with other volunteers.

Award Winners

Anne Laver Excellence in Volunteering Award

Winner – Catherine Young
Finalist – Michael Pointer
Finalist – Brent Tulk
Finalist – Mercedes Slater

Service Awards

2,000 Lifetime Hours of Volunteering – Catherine Young
10 Years of Service – Dimitri Midas
5 Years of Service – Anne Axnick
3 Years of Service – Lesley Staples
3 Years of Service – Rebecca Holmes
3 Years of Service – Robyn Alexander
Outstanding Volunteering over an Extended Period (3 Years for Workplace Volunteering) – Erin Stoker
Outstanding Volunteering over an Extended Period (3 Years for Workplace Volunteering) – Cathie Beeson
Outstanding Volunteering over an Extended Period (3 Years for Workplace Volunteering) – Matthew Kippen

Above and Beyond Awards

Dependability Award

Celebrating volunteers whose reliability and consistency make them the backbone of every project.

Fadil Pedic
Michael Biggs
Katie Bull
Anumol Aravindakshan
Patricia Schneeweiss
Evelyn Anderson
Mitchell Bull

Unsung Hero

Recognising the quiet achievers whose contributions might go unnoticed but are invaluable to Ardoch’s work.

Viji Dharann
Sheryl Skewes

Teamwork Trailblazer

Recognising volunteers who excel at collaborative efforts, inspiring and motivating others through teamwork.

Bryce Karslake

Social Butterfly Award

Recognising volunteers who excel at keeping communities connected and engaged.

Phil Reid

Service Superstar Award

Honouring the exceptional dedication and outstanding service of volunteers who consistently make a difference in the lives of others.

Susan Nisbet

Service in Workplace Volunteering

Sylvia Wagenhauser
Lara Joubert