Mayor’s Message - Celebrating local heroes
Thursday 31 May 2018
Last week, National Volunteer Week, was a celebration of the very best of our community.
On Friday I had the honour of announcing Eurobodalla’s first Local Hero Award. Won by the indefatigable Lindsay Boyton of Moruya Show Society fame, the event was a delightful reinforcement of the true beauty of this shire, its people.
Fellow finalists for the award were Jacki Harding, for her years of active community involvement and fundraising, and Sue Barford for her work with the River of Art Festival. We chose to host the award during National Volunteer Week to shine an extra bright light on those wonderful folks who give up their time to improve the lives of others.
Lindsay is known as the “go-to man” for everything at Moruya Showground, from applying for government grants and setting up websites and social media to being handy on the tools and baking the “the best” apple turnovers for fundraising.
Described as “one of those salt of the earth people”, his nomination described him as the first to arrive and last to leave with sleeves rolled up reliably and ready, willing and generally able to do whatever needs to be done with any fuss or airs.
Doesn’t that beautifully sum up so many of our volunteers? Sleeves up and getting amongst it for no other reason than a desire to help and to make things better.
So many of our most admired organisations are volunteer-driven. Surf Life Saving Clubs, Rural Fire Service, Meals on Wheels, Cancer Council volunteers driving cancer patients to Canberra for treatment. And what about local sporting clubs, and school P&Cs. Regional and rural communities survive and thrive on the generosity and good hearts of local people giving their time to help those around them.
Here at Council, we have more than 700 volunteers on our books for programs and services that include the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens, Landcare, the Marine Debris Working Group, and youth cafés. Our new Y-Drive program has just helped a second young person pass their driving test with the help of a volunteer mentor.
Our Community Care program has more than 90 volunteers who give up their time to provide community transport, support for seniors and people with disability, respite for carers and friends in grief.
The theme of this year’s volunteer week is ‘give a little, change a lot’. If you’d like to get involved in volunteering, contact us at council or try one of the many local organisations who’d love a hand.
Friday’s Local Hero ceremony at the Botanic Gardens represented everything great about Eurobodalla. It was an honour for me to be able to thank these everyday people, all achieving incredible things for the rest of us in their own quiet ways.