Wyndham Community Volunteer Awards

On Friday 16 August, the 2019 Wyndham Community Volunteer Awards Gala Presentation Evening was held at Encore. Category winners were acknowledged for their achievements and presented with their awards.

At the conclusion of the evening, the honour of Citizen of the Year was presented by Wyndham City Mayor, Cr Mia Shaw to Roger Vistarini for his outstanding commitment to Community Health and Wellbeing.

Roger has demonstrated exceptional dedication as a volunteer for Dreambuilders Transformations, a men’s residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Hoppers Crossing. Roger has volunteered extensive hours every week over the past four years to help create a safe and supportive environment for recovery.  Roger has held many volunteer roles in the organisation over this time including: as a class facilitator, house supervisor, case manager and most recently as Campus Director. He is known for going above and beyond in building relationships and making a significant difference in helping people to rebuild their lives.  Roger also actively participates in and supports the fundraising efforts of the program through its annual Steps for Recovery Walk, Black Tie Dinner and Pop Up Oppe Shoppe and is involved in its local business fundraising events.

Congratulations to all our 2019 Wyndham Community Volunteer Award category winners!

George Donaldson – Arts, Culture or Tourism

George Donaldson has provided 15 years exemplary volunteer service to the Werribee Visitor Information Centre as well as other social support programs like Lunch with the Bunch. Over the years, George has provided excellent frontline customer service to visitors to the Wyndham area and shared his thorough knowledge of the many wonderful destinations and experiences available in Wyndham. George has consistently demonstrated empathy, kindness and respect to all visitors and ensures that they feel welcome and inspired to see and do more in the region. George is regarded as a positive role model by his peers. He has supported and lead others through times of transition and actively fostered a culture of collaboration at the Werribee Visitor Information Centre.

Roger Vistarini – Community Health and Wellbeing

Roger has demonstrated exceptional dedication as a volunteer for Dreambuilders Transformations, a men’s residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Hoppers Crossing. Roger has volunteered extensive hours every week over the past four years to help create a safe and supportive environment for recovery.  Roger has held many volunteer roles in the organisation over this time including: as a class facilitator, house supervisor, case manager and most recently as Campus Director. He is known for going above and beyond in building relationships and making a significant difference in helping people to rebuild their lives.  Roger also actively participates in and supports the fundraising efforts of the program through its annual Steps for Recovery Walk, Black Tie Dinner and Pop Up Oppe Shop and is involved in its local business fundraising events.

Lisa Field - Environment or Sustainability

Lisa has been a vital catalyst in building environmental and sustainability awareness in Wyndham. As a dynamic member of the Werribee River Association she has organised and supported a range of activities designed to improve the health of the Werribee River catchment area. In 2016, Lisa also founded Transition Wyndham, whose events focus on building a resilient, connected and sustainable local community. In 2018, Lisa established the Love Our Street 3030 group, a monthly litter collection group that keeps the streets of Werribee clean.  She has also organised a number of events which have formed part of Wyndham’s Green Living Series, the Clean Up Australia Day event and a food waste avoidance workshop. Lisa has completed Wyndham’s Building Blocks Community Leadership Program and is a member of Wyndham City’s Urban Futures and Environment and Sustainability Portfolio Committees. Lisa is also the Community Group Representative on the Wyndham Refuse Disposal Facility & Waste Management Community Reference Group

Gaurav Malhotra – Sports and Recreation

Gaurav has demonstrated exceptional commitment as a volunteer throughout his seven years of involvement with the Point Cook Cricket Club.  Gaurav has volunteered for the club as both a coach and as a committee member and is highly regarded. Gaurav has coached the Under 18 Boys Premier League Twenty20 team as well as the Girls Under16 Side.  He has served on the committee for five years, including three years as Treasurer. As well as attending to the club’s finances and financial sustainability, Gaurav has also undertaken many of the day to day tasks that allow sporting clubs to thrive – overseeing and assisting with the club canteen, curating the ground and fundraising.  Gaurav has also been instrumental in attracting local residents of different cultural backgrounds to join the club as players and members.

Emily Lacy – Young Volunteer of the Year

Emily is an outstanding 21-year-old who has demonstrated dedication in her volunteer roles as coach and committee member for the Hoppers Crossing Netball Association.   Since 2016, Emily has coached the Under13s netball team, has been actively involved in supporting the Net-Set-Go skills development program for four to seven year olds, and has regularly served as the First Aid officer. Emily has demonstrated conscientiousness in her support of young players.  Emily is in her second year as a committee member. She has made an impact with her ideas on marketing to young people on social media and by implementing new forms of fundraising and initiatives to minimise the costs for families. In her spare time Emily enjoys volunteering behind the scenes for local theatre companies.

headspace Werribee Youth Advocacy Group – Community Group

The fourteen-member headspace Werribee Youth Advocacy Group has made a significant contribution to improving the health outcomes of young people in Wyndham. Their range of mental health awareness and health promotion activities have meaningfully engaged over 3000 young people in the past year.  The group guided the services provided by headspace Werribee and have had substantial input into the planning and evaluation of the Global Ambassadors’s Program.  The group partnered with the Student Representative Council at Tarneit College to identify the mental health and wellbeing needs of their students and improve the support offered to them. The headspace Werribee Youth Advocacy Group have run stalls at community activities through the past year such as the Kulin Dreaming Music Festival, the Midsumma Carnival, The Walk a Mile in My Shoes Mental Health Walk, headspace Day in Station Place and the R U OK Day at Tarneit College. 

Erum Ali – Community Engagement

Since settling in Wyndham in 2015, Erum has volunteered in a range of roles which have contributed to building welcoming and inclusive communities. Initially, Erum’s passion for volunteering had her travelling outside the municipality to fundraise for and coordinate monthly lunches for the Open Table program at Fawkner Senior Citizens Centre. These lunches used surplus food from local businesses to prepare free meals for residents to enjoy.  Erum commenced volunteering in Wyndham in 2016 as a coordinator for the Welcome Dinner Project. In that role, she was involved in delivering 50 volunteer activities including leading community dinners and picnics, facilitator training sessions and membership drives at festivals and events across Wyndham and the broader Western metropolitan region. Through these activities, Erum has created opportunities for newly arrived migrants, international students, refugees and asylum seekers to meet and form friendships with more established Wyndham residents over a shared meal.  Erum also created new, local volunteering opportunities with ongoing support as well as training sessions for prospective volunteers run at Arndell Park Community Centre covering topics including event management and facilitation, communications and liaison.   Erum completed Wyndham’s Building Blocks Community Leadership program in 2017.   She is currently an AFL Community Ambassador for Wyndham, a member of the Wyndham Interfaith Network and a member of the Wyndham Central District Advisory Committee.

The Wyndham Community Volunteer Awards are an opportunity to recognise and thank those who contribute their time and energy for the good of our community now, and into the future.

If you have any questions about the Wyndham Community Volunteer Awards please contact us on email: volunteers@wyndham.vic.gov.au or phone: 9742 8182.

Translating and Interpreting Services are available by calling 131 450 and asking to be connected to Wyndham City on 9742 0777.

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