The Bega Valley Shire Community Service Medallion is presented for the outstanding work of volunteers across Bega Valley Shire and recognises one of the great strengths of a community - people who are prepared to give up their own time for the benefit of others and the community as a whole. The tireless work of this year’s recipients is highlighted.
Photo Credit: Robert Hayson Photography.
Eleven of our community champions were recognised at the Community Service Medallion presentation held at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre on Wednesday 29 May 2019.
Pictured (from back left): Jamie Clark, Tania Lingard, Christopher Franks, Lori Hammerton (Medallion Committee), Lyn Moore, Cr Kristy McBain (BVSC Mayor), Robert Johnson, Cheryl McCarthy (Medallion Committee), Margaret Collins (Medallion Committee). Front: Adam Wiggins, Mick Trenerry, Fran Trenerry, Stuart Robson and William Blakeman. Absent: Colin Dunn.
Click on a name to read about our Bega Valleyeach recipient:
Adam played a significant role in firefighting efforts during the 2018 Tathra and District Bushfire. As Captain of the Tathra Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade, he was first officer on the ground initiating coordination of firefighting services and playing an active role fighting fires as they impacted Tathra.
In addition, Adam has been an active volunteer member of the Tathra Brigade since 2001 and donates an average of five hours per week to the Brigade, coordinating brigade operational requirements, issuing fire permits and representing the brigade at meetings and in the media, all in addition to firefighting activities.
Adam has actively engaged the community through open days and taking the fire-fighting equipment to schools and preschools to encourage fire awareness amongst families in the community.
In addition, Adam plays a supportive role volunteering in other parts of the community, through the Tathra Surf Life Saving club as a Nippers age manager and UAV operator, minor rugby league as a keen parent and with the Evans Park Sporting Complex as a committee member and project manager.
Adam Wiggins’ service to his community makes him a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Chris has been consistently involved as a volunteer with the Montreal Goldfield Cultural Heritage community project since its inception in 1999.
As well as taking on the role of President of the Montreal Goldfield Management Committee, Chris has willingly taken on responsibility for most of the administration work.
Chris’ passionate care of the Montreal Goldfield project covers all aspects from maintenance to future direction. He works hard to ensure the social values of Culture, Heritage, History, Geology, Mining Processes and the Environment are maintained for maximum public education and enjoyment.
Chris’ diplomacy and willingness to share his knowledge of local issues have been an asset to the Management Committee and he has proved an unwavering supporter and volunteer for the Montreal Goldfield project, despite recent health concerns.
Chris is continually learning new skills, not only for himself but for the benefit of others. He also volunteers his time to entertain and involve senior citizens in music through the Bermagui Ukukele Group at community venues and retirement homes.
In addition, as a member of the Bega Valley CanAssist charity, Chris has helped to raise thousands of dollars at various events around Bermagui.
Christopher Franks is a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion based on his volunteer service over many years with the Montreal Goldfield Cultural Heritage Project and giving his time to the Bermagui community.
Colin is a perfect example of someone who devotes their retirement to serving their local community.
Colin has been President twice of the Rotary Club of Pambula (2011 and 2017) and has also performed the role of Catering Coordinator. Colin's input helps raise thousands of dollars each year from this activity alone, for community projects.
Colin was actively involved in the role of Treasurer to the Pambula Aquatic Centre Incorporated during the construction of the Sapphire Aquatic Centre. He then joined Sapphire Aquatic Ltd in 2010 and took on the role of Chair from 2011 to 2017.
Colin's passion for the Pambula and District Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank stems from its origins. He has been Treasurer to the Board from 2009 to 2017 and has now been Chair of the Bank Board since 2017. He works hard to ensure that community groups receive funding for their projects, while promoting and managing this significant community asset. He represents the Bank on the Pambula Business Chamber.
In another volunteer role, Colin has been Executive Officer of the Bureau of Accessible Tourism (BOAT) since 2014, working directly with Bega Valley Shire Council to facilitate access for everyone, regardless of abilities, and since 2017, Colin has been an active member of Council’s Access and Inclusion Committee.
Colin has been involved with the Pambula Hospital Community Engagement Committee as well as the Southern Area Health Community Consultative Committee, helping to identify community needs relating to health issues.
Since 2016, Colin has presented a weekly radio show on Sapphire FM 97.5 Community Radio.
Colin was one of the co-founders of the highly successful Pambula Men's Shed, which now boasts 50 members. Colin has been instrumental in assisting the Shed to have a regular space at the Pambula Rotary Village Markets for used car sales, with some of the profits benefitting the Shed.
Colin Dunn’s volunteer work across a range of Pambula-based community organisations makes him a valued recipient of a Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Fran returned to the Bermagui area, where she grew up, 13 years ago and has made an impressive impact on her community during that time.
Fran (along with her husband, Mick) initiated the AFL Kickability program in 2015 with the Bermagui Breakers AFL Club. Kickability is a specialised Aussie Rules program, that is designed to ensure that all kids, regardless of their physical or mental abilities, feel included in team sport. The success of the Kickability program, led Fran into giving kids the ability to be involved in summer sports too, introducing programs that included cricket, tennis and soccer.
Through the summer months, Fran volunteers every Saturday for Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club’s Same Wave program, which is an all abilities service that partners people with special needs to lifesavers and other volunteers for a safe and supported beach experience.
Fran, along with some parents of kids with various abilities, produced a musical performance called “Abba Go”. This musical production culminated in the children performing for 150 community members at the Bermagui Country Club.
Fran spearheaded a fundraiser following the 2018 Tathra and District Bushfire with proceeds divided between the Mayoral Fund and the Bermagui Rural Fire Service.
It’s a little-known fact, but Fran has spent countless hours over the years with elderly members of the community, helping them with everything from filling in a form and paying bills at the post office, to reading a complex legal document to them.
The entire Bermagui community benefits from Fran’s tireless energy and enthusiasm and most importantly, Fran and her husband, Mick, have passed on the value of volunteering to their two young girls, Kaylee and Abbie, who also volunteer within the Bermagui community.
Francine Trenerry’s volunteer work across a range of Bermagui-based organisations makes her an esteemed recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Jim has been a dedicated volunteer with a range of organisations over many years.
Jim has been a staunch member of Apex since he joined the club in Ararat in 1982. Locally, he joined Apex Merimbula in 1985, holding the position of President during the 1986/87 year and Apex District Governor Zone 2 in 1988/89.
As a member of Apex Merimbula, he has been involved in supporting the popular Merimbula Jazz Festival. He made a significant contribution to the 1990 Nyngan flood relief effort by collecting, sorting and storing furniture before driving a truck load to Nyngan to deliver furniture to those in need.
In recognition of his many contributions and hard work, Jim was made a Life Member of Apex Merimbula in 1992.
As an Apex member, Jim provided free swimming lessons to members of the public for many years; firstly at the South Haven Pool at Fishpen and later at the Pambula Community Pool, which he was involved with in the construction, tree planting and maintenance, and as joint Treasurer with his wife, Nancy.
As the co-owner with Nancy of Sapphire Coast Nursery, he has donated plants for years particularly to the beautification of the main street of Pambula, to the beautification of the main street of Eden, yearly Wyndham Fire Brigade Raffles, to Pambula Public School and to other fundraisers.
Jim has also been an active member of the 1st Merimbula Scouts group since he joined in 1992. Over that time, he has received nine Scout awards including a service decoration for 25 years, awarded in 2017. Jim is the current Group Leader and is has worked hard over many years to ensure the 1st Merimbula Scouts thrives today.
Since 2016, Nancy and Jim have been volunteers for the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, carrying out daily checks and counts on endangered Hooded Plover nesting grounds at Boydtown Beach.
Jim Clark’s many years of impressive service for a number of volunteer organisations makes him a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Lyn has been a resident of Bermagui for most of her life and for many years she has been actively involved in her local community as a volunteer.
For over 10 years, Lyn volunteered to help run the annual Bermagui Seaside Fair. She was part of the team that ran the Fair’s Arts & Crafts Exhibition and each year, she committed her time to helping to install and manage the three-day exhibition.
Lyn was one of the elected artists for the Umbrellas of Bermagui event, which was held from 2015 to 2018. She donated four beautiful hand-painted umbrellas of her own creation to the event, which raised funds for local youth sporting groups and donated over $40,000 during the time it was held.
In addition, she has donated many of her artworks to local community groups and organisations for them to use as a raffle prize. She has been an active member of the Bermagui Country Club Arts & Crafts sub-club, the Mosaics sub-club, as well as other indoor sports sub-clubs.
Lyn freely gives her time to the group that organises the Bermagui Biggest Morning Tea each year and she was a member of the volunteer team at the very first Bermagui tourist information centre.
Lyn Moore’s many years of generosity and service to others makes her a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Since moving to Bermagui about 13 years ago, Mick has been actively involved as a volunteer in his community in a variety of ways.
He is Secretary of the Bermagui Cricket Club where he has worked tirelessly in raising thousands of dollars for new cricket nets and facilities. The Club didn’t have any junior teams for eight seasons until Mick registered an Under 12 team into the local competition – without even having a single child registered – as he just knew children in the area wanted to play. In the three seasons since, Bermagui now boasts three junior sides and runs annual ‘Come and Try’ days, aimed exclusively at increasing the participation levels of our young female cricketers. He has also run public school cricket programs at Quaama, Bermagui and Cobargo.
Mick (and his wife, Fran) initiated the AFL Kickability program in 2015 with the Bermagui Breakers AFL Club. Kickability is a specialised Aussie Rules program, that is designed to ensure that all kids, regardless of their physical or mental abilities, feel included in team sport.
Mick also volunteers with the Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club’s Same Wave program, which is an all abilities service that partners people with special needs to lifesavers and other volunteers for a safe and supported beach experience.
In addition, Mick was a driving force behind a fundraiser following the 2018 Tathra and District Bushfire with proceeds divided between the Mayoral Fund and the Bermagui Rural Fire Service.
Over the years, Mick has been a member of several volunteer committees of the Bermagui Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, and in the past, he has been a volunteer Master of Ceremony (MC) for several community events. If there’s a fundraising initiative in the community, he is also willing to show support through his business.
Importantly, Mick and his wife, Fran, have passed on the value of volunteering to their two young girls, Kaylee and Abbie, who also volunteer within the Bermagui community.
Michael Trenerry’s dedicated volunteer service to the Bermagui community makes him a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Robert has proven himself to be a very community minded person over many years.
He volunteers for the Bermagui Life Saving Club as well as his local Rural Fire Service, donates blood regularly and helps with the ReBoot Bermagui event.
Robert has made a significant contribution to the Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club. While most of us are still in bed, Robert is up and about collecting empty bottles and cans from around Bermagui. He’s done an amazing job of fundraising and to date he has raised over $16,000 for the Bermagui Life Saving Club.
Every two weeks, Robert drives to Canberra to donate blood. Impressively, he recently made his 708th donation, being one of only twelve Australians to have reached the 700 donations milestone!
Robert Johnson’s dedication to volunteering for his community makes him a worthy recipient of a Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
Stuart is a familiar sight walking up and returning down Sapphire Coast Drive collecting rubbish up the hill to the Tura Beach shops. There are other spots where he collects roadside litter - from the intersection of Monaro St and Merimbula Drive out to the Princes Highway by-pass and return as well as a 20 kilometre stretch of Mt Daragh Road near Lochiel.
Stuart insists on being an example to younger people to respect a tidy and clean environment. He says he does this volunteer work for fitness but it’s clear his motivation stems from his great pride in Merimbula and the surrounding area. He strives to keep the area a showpiece of the NSW Far South Coast.
For the last three years, Stuart has also volunteered his time in maintaining the RSL Cenotaph and garden in Merimbula.
Stuart Robson is a worthy recipient of a Bega Valley Community Service Medallion thanks to his untiring efforts in rubbish collection on major roads around Merimbula.
Tania is a valued member of the Cobargo community and she has worked tirelessly over many years to assist her community and improve Cobargo’s facilities for young people.
She is a committee member of the Cobargo Skate Club and she worked hard to secure funding and help organise for the Cobargo Skate Park to be built, which has proven a valued facility for Cobargo’s youth since it opened in 2012.
Next, the Skate Club turned attention to building a BMX track and Tania was instrumental in obtaining funding and helping to organise the construction of the track, which was opened in 2018.
Over the last ten years, Tania has worked steadily to improve Narira Creek through a regeneration program aimed at stopping erosion into the creek. She has spent innumerable hours clearing weeds and planting native trees and shrubs.
In recognition of the high esteem in which Tania is held by her community, she was awarded the Cobargo Citizen of the Year 2019.
Currently, Tania is involved with fundraising for the construction of a netball and basketball court next to the BMX track.
Tania Lingard’s dedication to her local community of Cobargo makes her a worthy recipient of a Bega Valley Community Service Medallion.
William (Bill) is the current Unit Commander of the Marine Rescue Merimbula, a position he has held since being elected in 2014.
With a working career in the maritime industry, it was a logical step for Bill to give back to the community by volunteering with the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (now Marine Rescue NSW) when he retired in 2007. Initially, Bill accepted the role of Training Officer which he still holds today along with his other positions.
Within Marine Rescue NSW, Bill holds the positions of a Marine Rescue Master and Watch Officer.
He has demonstrated his dedication by undertaking further study to obtain his Certificate 4 and is now able to train and assess other members at all levels.
In March 2015, Bill was awarded the Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner’s Commendation for Courage for an operation carried out in October 2011. He skippered the rescue vessel with a crew of two, risking their lives to save two people in a desperate situation in horrendous conditions.
As the Unit Commander, Bill is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week – a mammoth commitment.
Under Bill’s management, the Merimbula unit has enjoyed significant growth, an increased profile within the community and its strong financial position enabling the unit to commence the purchase of a second vessel capable of reaching local waterways previously inaccessible.
William Blakeman is a worthy recipient of the Bega Valley Community Service Medallion thanks to his years of excellent service with Marine Rescue NSW, Merimbula.