The "sport and recreation" category of the 2005 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards was won by Ken Eynon during Volunteers Week last week.
The awards, run by NRMA Insurance and Volunteering ACT, recognised eleven individuals in different categories for their contribution to the community through voluntary work.
From the VolunteerACT website
National Volunteer Week is a time set aside to give well-deserved recognition to Australia’s myriad of volunteers. Their work is creative, selfless, caring, and supportive. They help thousands of people each day and provide a much needed community service.
Not JUST a Volunteer! By Lorraine Higgins – CEO Volunteering ACT
"You are at a party and walk up to a group of strangers. After introductions comes the inevitable: “…And what do you do?” “I’m a retailer.” “I’m a public servant.” “I work as a solicitor (engineer, accountant, nurse, quantum physicist etc….). “Oh – and what do you do?” “Well….. I’m just a volunteer”.
"JUST a volunteer!!!
"In the first place, the word "volunteer" is not a job title, it's a salary classification.
"As a volunteer, your job title could be any of those given above - you may simply do the job without any expectation of monetary reward. But that does not mean that your job has less value than one that is paid, it may merely mean that you have a different motive for doing it.
"When asked what the word volunteer evokes, the answer is usually something like Meals on Wheels, charity collection, or, more recently, those who assisted after the tsunami disaster.
"However when one delves more deeply, it is possible to find volunteers doing almost any type of job that can be found in the paid work-force – but in a not for profit setting.
"In Canberra, a commendable 42% of our population offers time, skills and energy to assist the local community in some way. Some of these people do the work to return something to the community in which they live or to gain work experience. Many more people volunteer to maintain skills, to develop new skills, to practise their English language skills or to get a reference. Other people may volunteer because they see the need. The benefit to the volunteer is often an increase in self esteem, better health, a sense of achievement, increased social contact or simply knowing they have made a difference in the community.
"Whatever the motivation, the result is a more effective, productive and united community where volunteers provide services that would otherwise be unavailable. How valuable they are and how important it is for them to know how much they make our work easier, make our hours count for more and make people feel better served. And, that not only CAN volunteers change the world but they have for centuries; from voting rights to disaster relief; from school reform to building shelters for the homeless. There is no substitute for believing you can make a difference. Volunteers are, and continue to be, the power behind our great country.
"In this 2005 National Volunteer Week, let us take the time to think about and recognise the invaluable contribution that volunteers offer to our society and let us thank them unreservedly. Let us remember too that our youth are the future and that they are willing to do great things. We must take time to cultivate their spirit and allow them to become leaders who understand the importance of giving and sharing themselves with others."
Gerard Ryan and Ken Eynon at the marathon expo, 2003
Ken is representative of everything I like about athletics in the ACT. We are all volunteers, we belong to volunteer-run athletic clubs. But Ken sets the highest standard of anyone I know.
Congratulations on the well deserved award. It is a pleasure to have Ken as part of our training group.
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