According to Antoinette’s son, she has spent a lot of her free time helping the community with clothing Shoes & Accessories. She works there every Monday Tuesday and Thursday she has not missed the day for the whole of the 25 years; she feels like she doesn’t want to let them down. All of the staff at St Vincent de Paul know her very well and they appreciate everything she has done for them. She is still working there right up until today and loves going there although she is 77 years old.
Lyn Mansfield – Abilities Plus
Lyn has devoted tirelessly and willingly to the community for the past 40 years. During that time, she has brought people together with her kindness, compassion and understanding. At present she is Secretary and Treasurer of Abilities Plus – Learning By Doing Group Inc and they are involved with Qld Government SQW programs to upskill trainees for employment and growing produce for the homeless to help Rosies and Kids Foodz. In her spare time, she visits other community groups and assist them with her grant writing skills. While volunteering in the community she works three jobs and has raised a family. Lyn is an unrecognised gem that needs to be acknowledged and awarded for her efforts and what she does in the community and in life.
Shirley Maddeman – Helensvale Senior Citizens Club
Shirley stepped into the role of Treasurer in 2010 for the Helensvale Senior Citizens Club and has become a valued committee member over the years, with 2020 being her year of going above and beyond. Available 7 days a week, Shirley is extremely generous with her time and also fills in the role of welfare officer, hall custodian, WHS and First Aid officer, grants officer, council liaison as well as liaising regarding the application of the new hall development due in 2021. Whether it is opening up the hall for member’s activities, organising maintenance, hall hire, cleaning or office work -Shirley always has a smile on her face and time for anyone in the Gold Coast community.
Youth Volunteer of the Year
Kareem Baba – Multicultural Social Network
Earlier this year, Kareem assisted in the fundraising event in Gold Coast for ‘Bushfire victim’ which was organised by Multicultural Social Network. He flew to Sydney with other volunteers, bought ‘relief products’ in Sydney, then drove about 15 hours to personally deliver the relief items to the bushfire victims in Mogo & Cobargo. Since early April, he has been assisting about 200 International Students who are stranded in Gold Coast. Every Thursday, he collected food products from different places, packed them into Food Hamper & delivered to the students in Gold Coast. Every Saturday, he helped in the kitchen & delivered hot meals to these students.
Bayley Jacobsen – Youth Music Venture
Bayley Jacobsen was initially a participant of the Youth Music venture program in 2015. From there Bayley has become more and more involved with the program by helping with administration and event planning to now volunteering her time to mentor these young musicians. As an accomplished working musician as well as a full-time student Bayley has been able to help our young musicians grow both musically and emotionally through being a positive role model and mentor. For a 17yr old Bayley has shown maturity and dedication well beyond her years and is an exemplary example of someone worthy of recognition for their service to the community.
Isabella Blackburn – Heart Kids
Isabella is a mini finalist for miss and Mr diamond international Australia. Her chosen charity is heart kids as her younger sister Alana was born with Congenital heart disease. For the past two years Izzy has held numerous fundraisers including baby shows totalling almost $5000 barbeques totally $670 and online fundraisers to help heartbkids. In sept 2019 at age 5 she was given the opportunity to map out the 4km two feet and a heartbeat course in Broadbeach for everyone to follow on the day. Isabella is a hard-worker and loves helping in her local community
Community Organisation of the Year
Plastic Free Gold Coast
Plastic-Free Gold Coast is a practical, consumer-led, apolitical, responsible-consumption community organisation, that complements approaches by the Gold Coast City Council and businesses. It has achieved recognition and take-up city-wide, through lead-by-example demonstration of plastic-free opportunities available to all residents and families, without any significant cost or reduction in life amenity. It has taken advantage of information from parallel programs internationally, and follows global best practice. PFGC was founded 2 years ago and has established a network of 30 volunteers, who have run an extensive series of workshops, seminars, social media, panels, podcasts, trivia nights, beach clean-ups, clothing swaps, film screenings, and a plastic-free finder map for the Gold Coast.
You Choose Youth Road Safety
In 2012, Melissa’s son, Jordan, was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he collided with a stationery vehicle containing 5 other young adults. Four of the occupants of that car were killed by the impact, as was Jordan himself. Since 2017 Melissa has been engaging with young people around Australia, sharing her family’s story and facilitating a genuine social movement for changed driving behaviors, with highly relate-able messages about Love, Family and the Empowerment of Choice. Melissa’s program and presentations are advocated as uniquely impactful on the teen driving cohort by police, educators, students and parents throughout Australia; as well as organisations such as the Australian Road Safety Foundation and Youth Leadership Academy Australia
Baby Give Back
Baby Give Back is a Gold Coast based charity that changes the trajectory for mothers and children by aiming to break the cycle of poverty by providing families living in crisis with clean, safe, baby essentials in conjunction with social service agencies. The increase in the need for these service grows each year with more vulnerable babies, children and families requiring our support. 2020 saw a challenging year for all including the increase demand on our services. Whilst forced to close our doors to volunteers and donated goods, there was no way that we could close our service when families needed us the most. Working around the clock whilst juggling home schooling and other requirements, the small staff worked tirelessly to provide the support so desperately needed between March and to date to over 700 children within the City of Gold Coast.
Community Project of the Year
On the Streets Project - Australian Anti Ice Campaign
Along with their usual campaign to stop the use of ice in the community, the Australian Anti Ice Campaign has been through out on the streets every week during the Covid-19 pandemic to support people experiencing homelessness by providing much needed necessities that also intervention and turn their lives around. The program consists of many parts including blankets and clothing and preparation of meals through community outlets.
Upcyy - Upcycle Green
Bibi was the volunteer at different libraries in Gold Coast (Palm beach, Broadbeach, Southport, runaway bay, Elanora) to teach the public to do upcycle products and let people understand all rubbish has their own life and became second life as upcycling products. Nominator, King Yip Law, said that they learnt the skills from her to make upcycle purse and bags and decorations and more.
Boredom Buster Boxes - Liberty Community Connect
Knowing the impact of social isolation during COVID19, Liberty Community Connect organised a variety of services to support elderly clients isolating at home. Liberty also brought social support to our clients by way of the Boredom Buster Boxes filled with good cheer and things to do. Boxes included (books, DVD’s, magazines, puzzles, art therapy, recipes, crafts, games and exercise programs) staff have been going out and visiting clients who would like a social visit in their homes. What a difference this has made for many of our older folk. Lifting spirits of clients, improving gardens, planting creating lovely areas to sit, have a cuppa and read a book.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year
Gold Coast Health Hospital Services Volunteers
Gold Coast Health recognises and embraces the diversity of our people and is committed to building a workforce that equally reflects the diversity of the community it serves.
Volunteers are a group of Multi-Nationalities, different backgrounds, ages & genders working for a common goal helping our community going in our Public Hospital @GC Griffith University Hospital & Robina to find their way & helping to the best they can feel comfortable with their hospital visits.
Bright Inclusions Pty Ltd (Bright Inclusions) is an all-inclusive, innovative and family-based company, providing programs and workshops to NDIS participants in our local and wider community. Bright Inclusions purpose is to help our participants meet their short and long-term NDIS planning goals, whilst in a safe, comfortable environment where they can explore their creativity; free from judgement and criticism. They ensure their structured programs provide participants with lifelong learning skills that can be transferred and imbedded into their day to day life. For example, their Art Program allows participants to release their inner creativity through self-expression and the creation of individually designed pieces.
Multicultural Social Network
The Moto/slogan for Multicultural Social Network is “to Coordinate & Promote Social Harmony” in Gold Coast. Since early April of this year, MSN has been engaged in assisting about 150 – 200 International students who were stranded in Gold Coast due to Covid-19. These International Students having lost their jobs and without any money, were having difficulties in paying their tuition, rental fees etc. MSN support them with the weekly food requirement & distributed personal hygiene products.