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Tilba community stalwart named Local Hero

Thursday 23 May 2019

Tilba community stalwart Janine Halasz was named the 2019 Eurobodalla Local Hero at the annual awards at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden this morning.

Held during National Volunteers Week, the Eurobodalla Local Hero Awards seek to recognise local residents who make outstanding contributions to the community.

In the nomination submitted for Mrs Halasz, she was described as an enthusiastic fundraiser, a driving force in the Tilba CWA, a dedicated member of the Central Tilba School of Arts Trust, and the founding member of a knitting group that produced not only items for charity, but lasting friendships.

The nomination states she’s someone who “takes new residents under her wing”, ensuring they feel welcome, even while undergoing her own personal challenges.

“Janine is the backbone of our community,” it says.

“If people need help she is the first point of contact, providing meals, transport to medical appointments and sometimes, just company to anyone in need.

“Janine has freely given hundreds of hours of her time to various community groups… (The Local Hero Award) would be a wonderful and fitting acknowledgement of all her many years of voluntary service to our community.”

Finalists in the award were Bernard Basevi, who was heavily involved in the development of Muddy Puddles in Batemans Bay and a volunteer for St Bernard’s Catholic Church, Red Rose Charity House volunteer, and Carolyn Harding, who has campaigned for years for a Batemans Bay indoor aquatic centre and volunteered for Carroll College canteen, the Batemans Bay Basketball Association and raising funds for Snowy Hydro SouthCare.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes, who presented the award, paid tribute to all 31 Local Hero nominees.

“We know you don’t do it for the praise or recognition, but today we say thank you for selflessly giving up your time for the benefit of others,” she said.

“Volunteers are the glue that binds our community, bringing everyone together and making it such a wonderful place to live.”