City of Monash Council is recognising volunteers this year for their contribution to the community. Volunteers can be nominated for one of the inaugural Sir John Monash Awards.
The awards have eight categories:
- Volunteer of the Year
- Women’s Leadership
- Youth Leadership
- Positive Ageing Leadership
- Sustainability Leadership
- Active Monash
- Outstanding Advocate of People with Disabilities
- Multicultural Champion
However the community should be aware that the criteria for these awards should be looked at before nominations are submitted. Even though it is stated on their website that local residents will be recognised, it does not mean that volunteers who are not City of Monash residents cannot be nominated for these awards. Anyone who has volunteered their time in the City of Monash are entitled for an award.
Even though Monash council is recognising volunteers by presenting them with awards there are other ways to show volunteers they are acknowledged and valued for their contributions. One of the ways this can be achieved is by changing their Local Law for Council meetings. At the moment volunteers who make a difference in the Monash Community are not able to ask questions at public question time during Council meetings if they do not reside in the City of Monash. Unfortunately Monash council seem to believe that they are not part of the community. You will find that there are volunteers who use Monash’s services and may need to ask an important question about a program or service at council meetings and unable to do so. If Monash Council wants to recognise volunteers for their input they can start off by changing their local law to include these volunteers. This could be a new and positive change for 2014.
Volunteers help make a difference in a community and every individual’s input counts even if a volunteer does not reside in that community. There are times that an issue or a program might bring together members from other communities and their contribution can influence and play a vital role. An example of this was the surprising campaign against the sale of Monash’s Aged Care facilities. This united volunteers from other communities and diverse backgrounds to help the Monash community fight a common cause. The difference volunteers can make to the community was brilliantly shown during the campaign – everyone counts!
If you would like to know how to nominate a volunteer for one of these awards please go to Monash Council website. Nominations close on 9 April 2014.
Good luck to all the nominees and even if you have not been nominated, it does not matter because all volunteers are champions!