Volunteers big winners

Volunteers big winners

Organisers of the Cann River Volunteer Appreciation Day, which was held on May 25 last year, were the proud recipients of the East Gippsland Shire Council Community Event of the Year.

An initiative of the Cann River Community Centre, this inaugural event recognised the outstanding contribution community members make to service in the Cann River area.

Organisations and groups represented included the community centre, bush nursing service, Landcare, SES, CFA, kindergarten and the P-12 school.

The event had a strengths-based focus on positive and supportive behaviour of community members and highlighted the collaboration and cooperation between the town’s organisations and service providers.

Highlights of the event included a three-course meal catered by five local food businesses, live music and a jumping castle for the children.

Certificates recognising service to the community were presented to 102 worthy volunteers.

The award was accepted yesterday by Cann River Community Centre coordinator, Susie Bady, who said recognising the worth of the town’s volunteers was of utmost importance.

“This particular event was unique in that we didn’t want our volunteers to actually work on the night,” Susie said.

“This proved quite a challenge to get volunteers not to work!

“And even though the event was catered, more than one turned up with a plate.

“There is no denying Cann River has been facing some tough times in recent years, following the closure of our final timber mill in 2016.

“We have had to entirely reinvent our local economy, which is no small feat for a small community.

“But we are not a town to be pitied.

“We are a community of resourceful, hardworking, talented people who put in time and effort not only for ourselves but for our neighbours and the next generation.

“In addition to our own working commitments, our families, our study and our own personal needs, we contribute to the community’s emergency services, health services, education services.

“We mow the cemetery’s lawns and the kinder’s, we drive each other to medical appointments, we cook each other meals, we teach each other what we know, we protect each other.”

When the guest list was made up for the volunteer appreciation day, more than 70 per cent of the adult community was on the list, having contributed in some form to the community spirit that is Cann River.

“Our town has a bright future coming just around the corner,” Susie said.