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2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards

The 2018 NVW FNQVI Volunteer of the Year Awards were announced at an intimate luncheon Thursday 24th May 2018.

Nominations were again this year received in two categories: Long-term (3 years or more) and Short-term (under 3 years). Thanks to the FNQVI Member organisations who submitted nominations:

  • Red Cross Australia Well-being Centre Cairns
  • STEPS Group Cairns
  • The Cairns Historical Society
  • Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre
  • Mossman Support Centre
  • Port Douglas Community Services Network

The nominees can be read in video below.

Oni Vuniyaro, Services Coordinator for FNQVI opened the proceedings by thanking everyone for attending this important occasion, followed by an Indigenous acknowledgement.

Guest Speaker Michael Healy MP was then asked to give the NVW Week address.

Following this, “Certificates of Appreciation” were handed out to the attending Nominees by Cr Terry James.

Next the Short-Term Volunteer of the Year was announced after Judy Draper from FNQVI read her nomination response.

Ms Danuta Seymour was handed her lovely award by Michael Healy MP and she responded with a short thank-you to the Mossman Community Services for her nomination and FNQ Volunteers for the award – “such a lovely surprise!”.

Board Chair of FNQ Volunteers Inc Annette Sheppard then read out the nomination response for the Long-term Award. After a long listing of volunteer work history which included:

  • Secretary of the Far Northern Branch of the National since 1992 & Treasurer to the Townsville Branch of the National Trust Qld, before she came to Cairns in 1987
  • 2005 to 2008: Member, National Trust of Queensland Regional Heritage Committee (Northern Region, a committee which assessed nominations from North Queensland to the Register of the National Trust)
  • 2011-12 Member, Cairns Regional Council/Department of Environment and Heritage Protection –  Heritage Advisory Group
  • Member State-wide Heritage Survey Moderation Committee, Far North Queensland region, 2008-2010
  • She is/was newsletter editor for Cairns and District Historical Car Club
  • Coordinating with Dr Jan Wegner from 2009 onwards annual heritage tours and trips to mark National Heritage Week
  • Attending working bees at the Atherton Chinese Temple
  • organising and/or working with National Trust heritage surveys at Ingham, Mossman and parts of Cairns eg Shields St
  • organising and working in photographic surveys of the Cairns CBD every 10 years (we have the photos in the CHS collection – 3 surveys to date)
  • writing numerous nominations of places to the National Trust register or the Qld Heritage Register
  • (her current volunteering is outlined in the video above)

Dr Dawn May was named as the recipient this year, nominated by the Cairns Historical Society where she currently volunteers. Dawn graciously thanked all concerned for acknowledgement of her contributions.

Annette Sheppard then closed the proceedings with a short speech and reminder about the VEXPO coming up on 29th July at The Tanks.

Luncheon was then served by the staff at Plantations Restaurant Bungalow Hotel, the venue for the occasion.

 A big thank-you to the following people for attending and their support

  • Mr Michael Healy MP, Guest speaker
  • Cairns Regional Councillors Terry James and Cathy Zeiger
  • Susan Lear (Craig Crawford’s representative)
  • Annette Sheppard – Board Chair FNQ Volunteers
  • Brendan Radke and The Cairns Post for official photographs and articles
  • Oni Vuniyaro and Sandra Bolin and staff of FNQ Volunteers for organising the event
  • William Kolln for the Certificate, Invitations, place-mats and program graphic design, electronic media support and general administration

and lastly and most importantly to those FNQ Volunteer Members and for their Volunteer nominations:

  • Mossman Support Services – Sarah Harris, Danuta Seymour and Janine Paterson
  • Cairns Historical Society – Melissa McQuillan, Diane Kearney and Dr Dawn May
  • Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre – Helen Payet, Beryl Watson, Gary McKimmie and Prue Rheuben
  • STEPS Group Cairns – Sally Browne, Vijay Wendt, Karen Dade, and Wendy Bullied
  • Red Cross Australia – Javier Suarez and Margie Munroe
  • Port Douglas Community Services Network – Margarete Legg (Nana Marg) and Erin Easton


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