2012 Murray Volunteer of the Year
Cindy Hutton, 69, of Corowa, was named the 2012 Murray Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding contribution to the community during a ceremony held at the Albury Council Chambers on Friday, 12 October.
The annual NSW Volunteer of the Year Award program recognises the efforts and achievements of the State’s millions of volunteers.
Cindy was recognised for her extensive volunteering with the Cancer Council NSW for more than five years as well as the Presbyterian Revamp Op Shop in Corowa and the Presbyterian Church Kids Club. Cindy volunteers for 20-25 hours every week!
Cindy has been involved with Relay for Life (RFL) since its debut in Corowa in 2008.Cindy took on the role of organising the ceremonies and all activities for the Survivors and Carers at the event. This involves locating and meeting with cancer survivors and encouraging them to be part of the celebration by telling their story, fundraising or just coming along to enjoy the event. Cindy also organised choirs to sing at the ceremonies and helped with health promotion on the day and registering teams. Corowa has a biannual RFL; Cindy was quick to be back on the committee for the 2010 and 2012 events and coordinated the ceremonies with absolute professionalism. Cindy put her hand up to help other committee members, such as organising entertainment and rallying local businesses to get involved by having teams or donating prizes for fundraising raffles. Meetings for the RFL events start ten months before the full day event.
In addition, Cindy has been a Team Leader for Daffodil Day and Pink Ribbon Day for a number of years. Cindy organised a team of volunteers, took delivery of stock, set up sites and banked the day’s takings. Cindy has been involved with these two major fundraisers for four consecutive years.
In Corowa, the 2008 RFL identified a surprisingly large number of local people who were living with a diagnosis of cancer, or had cared for or were caring for a person with cancer, or who had died from cancer. A number of people expressed to members of the committee that they were unaware of the range of services or support that was available locally. From these discussions it was decided that Corowa would be a supportive town for a Community Cancer Network (CCN). The CCN is a consumer group formed under the guidance of the Cancer Council NSW. The ideal choice to Chair the CCN was Cindy Hutton. Cindy chairs monthly meetings of the CCN. 29 local people are involved with this committee to varying degrees. The group attends local events and festivals throughout the year to offer cancer information to the local community, provide free sunscreen and be an ear to those members of the community that require assistance. The group are also great advocates for cancer patients and their families. Cindy and the committee passionately advocated for smoke free outdoor areas, as part of the Cancer Council campaign and collected hundreds of signatures for the state-wide campaign. This petition was heard in parliament and we are seeing the introduction of smoke free children’s playgrounds, sporting ovals and in 2015 alfresco dining and drinking areas.
In addition to Cindy’s extensive work with the Cancer Council NSW, Cindy has been volunteering at the Presbyterian Revamp Op Shop in Corowa for three years and also been involved with the Presbyterian Church Kids Club.
Cindy will receive a $300 donation for the not-for-profit organisation of her choice to help it continue its outstanding work.
Cindy is now in the running to win the prestigious 2012 NSW Volunteer of the Year award, with the winner to be announced by the Hon. Victor Dominello, Citizenship and Communities Minister, at the State Award ceremony on Monday, 5 December 2012 in Sydney.
Tyler Nixon, 20, of Corowa, was named the 2012 Murray Youth Volunteer of the Year. Tyler has been volunteering with St John Ambulance for the past three years, giving an average of ten hours per week. Tyler has taken on several different responsibilities within his local St John division. These include running the division and maintaining member welfare and training, organising stock supplies and uniforms, attending events such as music concerts and New Year Eve festivals to provide valuable first aid to the community. Tyler is also a voluntary trainer within St John Ambulance, teaching first aid to the public. His nominator, Chris Chant, said of Tyler: “Watching him grow [while] he has been with us, he has been a role model for other younger volunteers, and certainly a very respectful person in our organisation and within his community. He has always taken responsibilities willingly and has shown his abilities through the challenges he accepts and succeeds in.”
Joyce McGowan, 80, of Albury, was named the 2012 Murray Senior Volunteer of the Year. Joyce volunteers for a number of organisations: Age Concern Albury Wodonga Inc, Sing Australia Pty Ltd Network, Sing Australia Albury-Wodonga, Uniting Church Albury and Albury Day View Club. Joyce is a member of the Age Concern Border Entertainers. For 23 years she has participated in concerts for residents of Nursing homes and at Central Based Social Support Groups for frail-aged people and people living with a disability. As well as singing for Sing Australia, Joyce has held many roles to help keep the organisation running smoothly for the past 12 years. In addition, Joyce singes with Uniting Church Choir and held the position of Verger within the church for the past 11 years. For over 20 years Joyce has been a member of the Albury Day View Club, known for its work with the Smith Family, where she currently holds the position of Vice President. Despite her being 80 years of age Joyce demonstrates to younger members of the community that volunteering makes a difference. Her continued efforts have encouraged others to get involved and volunteer.
The Carevan Volunteer Team was named the 2012 Murray Volunteer Team of the Year. Albury’s Carevan Volunteer Team is made up of 400 volunteers who assist with administration, fundraising, food deliveries and the Kids Cooking and Caring Program. Included in the 400 are the 22 teams of ten volunteers who willingly give up their time to go out in the Carevan four nights per week to assist members of the community that are in the need. The Carevan Volunteer Team has been providing services to assist the homeless, disadvantaged and young people in deed since May 2012. They now feed over 200 individuals in need per week in four difference locations in Albury. They also provide nutritional meals cooked by schools in the Kids Cooking and Caring Program to Glenecho Community Centre, Women’s Refuge, Youth Refuge, Housing NSW clients and YES Youth and Family Services clients. Volunteers have also assisted in the Midnight Basketball Program assisting less fortunate children stay off the streets – a national social inclusion program to help youth identify and embrace positive opportunities. Since May 2010, 17,664 meals have been giving involving 6,130 volunteer hours!