Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta today held a special ceremony to congratulate the recipients of the inaugural Bonner Volunteer Awards and present them with their awards.

“These awards are intended to give thanks to individuals and teams that have demonstrated outstanding volunteer qualities. They recognise volunteers who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to the community, who’ve set a good example for fellow volunteers and have inspired others to volunteer,” Mr Vasta said.

This year’s winners include:

Mr Allan Tennent (Adult 25 to 64 years) – Allan is part of the Australian Volunteer Coastguard Flotilla (known as Coastguard Brisbane) for over 30 years. He freely gives his own time to teach and mentor others and is committed to his community and crews.

Ms Annie Stonehouse (Adult 25 to 64 years) – Annie is a member of the Rotary Club of Carindale and many more volunteer organisations, including those that support women in need such as Chicks in Pink and The Period Project, and Peter Baines’ Hands Across the Water. Also when she owned the Cupcake Parlour she donated cupcakes to just about every event happening locally.

Mr John Bettenay (Senior 65 years+) – John has been a member of several Queensland Rotary Clubs since 1975 and has held various executive committee positions at both Club and District levels. He joined the Rotary Club of Mt Gravatt in 1996 and has been an active member of the Club and its activities in the local area since that time. He has hosted international exchange students, been a member of the Board of Directors, is current Treasurer for the Mt Gravatt Club (a position which he has held for many years) and always supports the Club's regular fundraising efforts.

Mrs Beryl Acton (Senior 65 years+) – Beryl has been running sewing workshop classes at St Bart’s Anglican Church at Mt Gravatt for the last few years. She also offers to do free mending and alteration work for the Hope Chicks who provide support to vulnerable and disadvantaged women. The Chicks love her sweetness, patience and cheerfulness. She genuinely loves the women and doesn't ever lecture or judge. She pops in from time-to-time, regardless of sewing workshops, to see how everyone is going.

Mr Andrew Walsh (Environmental Work) – Andrew has been actively volunteering and supporting community-based sustainability projects for over 14 years, including partnering Mount Gravatt High School with the Mount Gravatt Environmental Group and Bulimba Creek Catchment committee. He inspires students to care for their local environment and He has tirelessly given his time to work on projects to reclaim and rectify natural flora and fauna habitats and wildlife corridors.

Eastern Group State Emergency Service (Volunteer Team) – Eastern Group SES has a strong presence in the community. It is continuously raising community awareness about being “storm ready” and is also involved in many missing person searches. Its volunteer members continue to turn up to training every week to ensure they maintain the skills required to help out with tarping damaged roofs, sandbagging and temporary flood damage, to ensure they’re ready when the next storm comes.

Mr Kris Webb (Sports Achievement) – Kris is the president of Wynnum Bugs Rugby Club and has spent the last five years rebuilding the club. Thanks to his tireless work with no recognition or reward the Bugs is now enjoyed by hundreds of families and will be enjoyed by everyone for many more years. His actions went above and beyond that of a normal committee member and he is to be commended for saving the Wynnum Bugs Rugby Club from closure.

Mr Zac Pankhurst (Student) – Zac is a Year 10 student at Iona College and is a member of the Ride Against Drugs (RAD) group. He is a great ambassador for other boys of his age and he gives up his time to chat to them and positively influence them to make good choices. He is a great kid and also an amazing BMX rider.

“This year’s winners, and every person and group that was nominated this year, should be proud of their achievement. It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication as a volunteer and I’d personally like to thank them for the positive difference they’re making in our local community,” Mr Vasta said.

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