Helen Young is the South Burnett’s Volunteer Of The Year for 2016.
Helen is an active steward and competitor at the Proston Show, and is also a life member, patroness and President of the Proston Show Society.
She is a keen garden enthusiast who has hosted several charity Fetes at her property, and continues to play an important role in organisations such as the Proston QCWA, the South Burnett Poultry Club, the Wondai District Garden Club and the South Burnett Sub Chamber.
Helen served as president of Proston QCWA in the late 1970s, helping rescue it from closure, and served a term as president of the South Burnett Poultry Club where she rescued it from financial trouble.
She also served on the founding committee of the Proston Community Swimming Pool, the local ambulance fundraising committee, the Proston Apexiannes and the Proston Development Committee. She is a member of the Proston Lions and also the group leader of the Proston Garden Group.
She served as president of the Proston Show Society’s Ladies Auxiliary for many years, and was the driving force behind the Brahman Promotion Show and the Rubies and Diamonds Show.
Helen, along with her husband, also helped to improve the South Burnett Sub-chamber, building a cohesive body with innovations that helped strengthen all local shows. And she enjoys a successful career as an exhibitor at other shows, promoting horticulture, improving show schedules and officiating as a judge on a voluntary basis.
Helen’s knowledge of gardening led to many years of her teaching people to be better guardians of the soil through garden club visits and lectures, writing articles and running plant stalls.
Helen is President of the Wondai Garden Expo Committee and previously served for several terms as Secretary of the Garden Expo and Wondai District Garden Club. She was instrumental in getting both organisations back on track and establishing a positive reputation the community.
While serving as President of the Wondai Garden Expo in 2014, she was awarded the Garden Clubs Of Australia’s Presidents Medal for services to horticulture.
Helen says she enjoys a life richer than she could have ever imagined, and is grateful for the chance to grow old doing what she enjoys.
Other nominees for the 2016 Volunteer Of The Year award were:
Mario, from Proston, is a dedicated foster parent to four young children. He has also taken on the demanding role of First Officer for the Coverty Rural Fire Brigade, where he has served as a firefighter for the last four years.
Peter Verbakel has been a volunteer with the SES since 2001, and is currently passing through his 9th year, or 3000 hours, as a “Volunteer in Policing” for Kingaroy’s Queensland Police Service. He has also taken on extra workload as the co-editor for the Kumbia Neighbourhood Watch newsletter, where he has been focused on refreshing and tailoring the publication to be more engaging and practical for his community.
He is actively involved with the SES, police and Neighbourhood Watch and through his work is able to promote a stronger awareness of every aspect of safety and security to the wider South Burnett.
Rhonda Trivett’s early years were recorded and included in the National Museum of Australia’s Exhibition “Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions”. Her character, intelligence and her generous and giving heart have allowed her to convert the worst form of adversity – to be classified mentally ill when you are not – into an opportunity to help others.
She has now firmly established herself in the region and since 2012, along with a willing band of volunteers, has set up the South Burnett Peace of Mind Association which provides a drop-in centre, emergency relief service and care packages to the South Burnett’s homeless.
Rhonda also coordinates the annual White Dove Ball which helps raise funds to run the drop-in centre and provide emergency relief services.
Gloria and her husband Ric retired to Nanango from Brisbane six years ago. Gloria’s days are now spent serving the South Burnett as President of the Nanango Tourism and Development Association which has developed many initiatives such as the “Adopt A Spot” road clean-up participation program.
She also volunteers at the South Burnett Energy and Visitors Information Centre and is a member of the Nanango Mardi Gras Committee, the WW1 Remembrance Group, the Nanango & District Garden Club and Nanango Race Club.
She is a member of the National Council of Women of Queensland and encouraged the South Burnett Regional Council to award an annual bursary to help a local young woman improve their career opportunities. She is also a member of the Queensland Rural Regional Remote Women’s Network’s Barambah Branch, where she currently serves as treasurer.
David won the 2016 Murgon Local Achiever Award for his work as a foundation member of the Barambah Shed Men and Murgon Men’s Shed. He is as an active member of his church and his local fishing club, where he contributes his many life skills teaching children fishing techniques.