Honouring Our Volunteers

Local volunteers were celebrated at the annual Volunteer of the Year Awards, held last night at The Cube Wodonga.

The evening rounds out this year’s 2024 National Volunteer Week, which recognises the significant impact volunteers have on our community.

The theme for 2024 was “Something for Everyone”, which is a celebration of the diverse passions and talents of volunteers. It emphasises that there’s a perfect role for each person in the rewarding world of volunteering.

The awards recognised volunteers in the categories of individual, team and the Two Cities One Community award.

The Bryan Watson Wodonga Individual of the Year Award recognises an outstanding volunteer, with Michael McInerney named for his work as the Secretary of the Wodonga Men’s Shed.

Described as the driving force of the organisation, Michael has kept it true to its values of supporting and promoting men’s health.

He played a key role in the co-ordination of the “All Abilities Thursday” program, which invited men facing physical or mental challenges to enjoy the shed’s offering, in turn providing a sense of achievement, camaraderie and learning.

He also organised the Dementia Awareness workshops which saw close to 500 people attend over a two week period.

As part of this award, Michael received a $1000 donation from the Rotary Club of Belvoir-Wodonga to donate to a local charity of his choice.

The Wodonga Team of the Year, an acknowledgement of an exceptional and effective group of volunteers, was awarded to Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare.

This same group was also awarded in the final category, the Two Cities One Community Volunteer Award.

FoodShare’s volunteers are embedded in our cross-border community, rescuing food from both Albury and Wodonga to maximise collective efforts to reduce good food going to waste. Its volunteer base includes 200 local members who donate approximately 27,000 hours of their time annually – this is valued at an exceptional $1.2m.

The “Feed More, Waste Less” project was introduced last year and has diverted more than 48,000 kilograms of rescued food from landfill. This project’s immense success is testament to the commitment of FoodShare’s volunteers to achieve their goals.

It was an honour to celebrate the people who generously donate their time, skills and knowledge to enhance our community.

Full list of nominees across the 2024 awards

  • Karen Mann -Albury Wodonga Cycling Club
  • Renae Pitargue – Business Wodonga
  • Craig Farrar – Wodonga Tennis Centre
  • Grace King – Lake Hume Coast Guard, Kiewa Landcare and Albury Wodonga Headspace
  • Michael McInerney – Wodonga Men’s Shed
  • Blair Keeble – Dad’s Group
  • Arran Macdougall – Dad’s Group
  • Josh Docking – Dad’s Group
  • Kane Gray – Wodonga Raider’s Junior Football Club
  • Joy Bayes – Bonegilla Rail Trail
  • Richard Bence – Wodonga Football Club All Abilities AFL team
  • Ashley Sharp – Upper Murray Family Care
  • Emily Hawker – 3rd Wodonga Scout Group
  • Uniting Emergency Relief Volunteers
  • Albury Wodonga Regional FoodShare
  • Turtles Albury Wodonga
  • Dad’s Group
  • Wodonga Dog Rescue
  • Wodonga Raiders Junior Football Club
  • Cultural Exchange Program
  • Wodonga Heart Football Club

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