A South Burnett woman who has shown an unswerving dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of the vulnerable and marginalised is the South Burnett’s Volunteer of the Year.
Rhonda Trivett is the founding President of the South Burnett Peace of Mind Association, where she oversees a volunteer run drop in centre each Monday.
She began this organisation in 2011 to spread her genuine love and care in very practical ways from her Kingaroy base to those most vulnerable to the impacts of mental illness and disadvantage in the region.
And she has done so despite suffering adversity and obstacles in her own life.
Rhonda is a very capable person and most of her waking hours are spent organising, advocating and supporting members of our community with the unshakeable aim of attracting better funded and resourced mental health services to the South Burnett.
In 2017 she coordinated a mental health forum in the Kingaroy Town Hall forecourt, attracting attendance from leading mental health bureaucrats from Brisbane and Toowoomba because of her passion for improving the lives of those who are often lost in the paperwork of systems.
Her favourite event is the annual White Dove Ball where those suffering disadvantage can dress up, eat a formal meal, dance and be entertained.
And in the cold nights of winter, Rhonda and a small group of supporters visit parks in South Burnett towns, looking for homeless locals or others in need of food hampers, towels and blankets.
For the past four years Rhonda has also provided an after-hours emergency accommodation service in Kingaroy, and she has recently established a drop in centre in Nanango as well.
Rhonda is one of the South Burnett’s most influential volunteers and has drawn universal support for her dream of establishing a dedicated mental health support facility in the South Burnett.
This passion sees her fundraising, advocating and sharing her vision for this essential service at every opportunity.
This award recognises a volunteer who has made a valuable contribution to their community, club or organisation and/or given outstanding service over a number of years.
Other nominees this year were:
- Reg Tucker (Murgon) – Reg is widely and highly regarded for his volunteer service to Graham House, the South Burnett PCYC and the Queensland Dairy and Heritage Museum. He is a quite achiever who delivers a lot for the community. His contributions include driving clients to doctors appointments and other outings two days each week; looking after hundreds of children on Friday Night Live evenings at the PCYC; and being a volunteer tour guide at the Dairy and Heritage Museum.+
- Laura Hobdell (Kingaroy) – see Lifetime Achievement Award