Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis today paid tribute to the generous and inspiring unsung heroes who volunteer in Victoria's health and wellbeing sector.
In a ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the 2012 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards, Mr Davis presented 16 outstanding achievement awards to individual volunteers and teams.
"The 2012 nominees are outstanding individuals and the depth and breadth of their volunteering work is truly inspiring," Mr Davis said.
"We are a fortunate community, where volunteers of all backgrounds, ages and interests are committed and passionate in their care for others.
"The dedication of volunteers working in hospitals, community health centres, aged care and primary care organisations across Victoria is highly valued by myself and the Victorian Coalition Government," Mr Davis said.
Among the outstanding achievements honoured are:
- stroke survivor Karen Bayly who is now an inspirational ambassador for the National Stroke Foundation;
- Portland District Health's Claire Stuchbery, who over 36 years has travelled more than 22,000kms and delivered more than 9,000 meals;
- the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Intersex Community Advisory Group at Peninsula Health, who work to highlight the difficulties patients with gender differences may face when going to hospital; and
- the team at Gateway Social Support Options which distributes more than 1.2 tonnes of donated food to more than 735 vulnerable community members every week.
Mr Davis said the Volunteer Awards, now in their fourth year, were established to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our health volunteers.
"There are volunteers who work tirelessly to transport patients to appointments, provide a warm encounter to the aged or to the socially isolated, and others offer leadership and vision for a better future," Mr Davis said.
"Nearly one in three Victorians volunteer in some capacity – what sets health volunteers apart is their dedication to serve the frail, sick and vulnerable members of our community.
"I commend all of the 2012 volunteer nominees and, on behalf of the health services and the Victorian community, congratulate you for your kindness and your willingness to step forward."
Mr Davis said the 2012 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards received 86 entries from 55 healthcare organisations nominating 1,211 team and individual volunteers.