Annually, Volunteering Waikato - Te Ohu Tuuao O Waikato host the Volunteer Excellence Awards to celebrate volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution in our community. This year's awards will be held on Thursday 22 June, during National Volunteer Week - Te Wiki Tuuao aa-Motu - an opportunity to thank volunteers across Aotearoa New Zealand, for the difference they make and the impact they have on our communities.
The LONG SERVICE category celebrates individual volunteers with 20+ year volunteering experience, and the nominees are:
CLARE ST PIERRE
Clare was instrumental in setting up the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society Incorporated that has 400 volunteers. Clare served as Chair for 20 years volunteering 20 hours per week and through her enduring commitment has made a significant impact on the whole community.
Nominated by Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society Inc.
Fred has been volunteering since the 1990's with Hamilton City Council, leading by example and getting his hands dirty in a practical way. Over the years, Fred has been an inspiration to tamariki and other volunteers while engaging in a practical and meaningful way, and helping them to challenge themselves and learn more about native plants. A truly altruistic person, Fred has continued a lifetime of volunteering giving back to the community wherever he can.
Nominated by Hamilton City Council, Parks & Recreation
George joined the Victoria Battery Tramway Society in 1998, averages volunteering 20 hours per week and is an exemplar of community ethos. George has at times almost run the Society single handed, having held the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Committee positions. George's vast knowledge of the workings and history of the Victoria Battery Site and gold mining in general is relayed with stories both funny and real to visitors young and old.
Nominated by Victoria Battery Tramway Society
Michael has been a volunteer with Hato Hone St John Health Shuttle Hamilton since 2011 travelling, 5,000 kilometres and engaging with over 500 clients. Mike is humble, mature, caring, astute, professional and a team player - he is the epitome of the perfect volunteer in his community. Mike also volunteers for the Hamilton Community Patrol, is a Rotarian and on the Boards for MS Waikato and NZ Craftsman Training Foundation.
Nominated by Hato Hone St John
Suman has been with GOPIO since 2002, volunteering 40 hours per week leading all events, often using her own finances to fund initiatives. Suman is a community-oriented person and naturally invests herself in making people feel connected and ensuring that different voices are heard. Suman is well-regarded across all cultures and communities and would be considered the Indian version of a Kaumaatua who transcends cultures.
Nominated by GOPIO Waikato
Valerie has been volunteering with the Hamilton Blind and Vision Impaired Social Group for around 53 years. Valerie has volunteered in many capacities over the years, has always been active on the Committee and currently shops, prepares and serves food at member get togethers. Hundreds of members have benefited from Valerie's help and care - she has a no nonsense approach to volunteering and says "What else would I do with my time?"
Nominated by Blind Low Vision NZ
On behalf of Volunteering Waikato - Te Ohu Tuuao o Waikato - congratulations on your nomination and thank you for volunteering in our communities!