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Waitakere’s community heroes recognised

Monday, 22 June 2009, 2:40 pm

Press Release: Waitakere City Media Release

Waitakere’s community stalwarts took centre stage at the 2009 Waitakere Community Boards Unsung Hero Awards.

The recipients were honoured at a special ceremony held in the Waitakere City Council chambers on Friday night (June 19).

Now in their second year, the awards recognise the efforts of the city’s community volunteers. Twenty three people received an award, five from each of the four wards and three citywide awards, presented to people whose work has an impact across the whole of Waitakere.

“It’s important to recognise the wonderful people in our community that volunteer their time and passion to a wide range of organisations, for the benefit of others,” says convenor of the awards panel and Henderson Community Board member Shirley Savage.

“There are some incredible people doing incredible things in Waitakere without fanfare. This is our chance to say ‘thank you’ and ‘what you do is really appreciated’.”

She says the calibre of the people nominated and the diversity of organisations they represent meant tough choices for the judges.

And the winners are:


Jean Webster: Volunteer and fundraiser for range of groups including Ranui Plunket. Jean is a previous member of the Massey Community Board and caregiver at Spectrum Care Trust Home.

Barbara Fletcher: Leader and volunteer of the Massey Group of La Leche League, helping mothers and parents with newborn babies. Lyn White: Volunteer with swimming and Brownies in the Massey area for more than 30 years.

Bob Jessopp: A volunteer with the Playhouse Theatre and Waitemata Theatre, Museum of MOTAT and setting up a science fiction club in Kelston.

Linda Lewis: Volunteers with the Herald Island Community Patrol and Neighbourhood Support groups.


Zita Kay: Volunteer at West Auckland Hospice for 21 years.

Dick and June Wouters: Volunteers with the Friendly Support Network supporting immigrants’ welfare, and heavily involved with resident support at the Ons Dorp retirement home.

Jillian Creamer: Founding member of the Henderson Baptist Church childcare programme and for the past decade a dedicated fundraiser and volunteer.

Andrea Partington: A volunteer with Victim Support in Waitakere since 2000, Andrea provides practical and emotional support to victims of crime and trauma, often immediately after an incident occurs. In 2004 she trained as a ‘homicide worker’ and was also chosen to take part in a pilot project to support those bereaved by suicide.

Ron Crawford: A volunteer with Victim Support in Waitakere since 2005, Ron combines running his own business with the demands of his role with Victim Support. Trained as a homicide worker in 2006 and in 2007 joined the pilot project to support those bereaved by suicide.

New Lynn

Aline Radovan: Volunteer assistant and coordinator of West Auckland Diabetes group.

Mike Brennan: Volunteer caretaker of retirement units in New Lynn. Mike helps other tenants with maintenance and recycling, as well as assisting stroke patients.

Neil Turner: President of the Glen Eden Athletics Club for more than 10 years. Neil’s leadership and fundraising efforts have been invaluable to the club.

Billie (surname withheld): Volunteer security patroller in the New Lynn business area LynnMall. She also works with youth and community groups.

Lyn Brown: For 12 years has run the herb group associated with the Auckland Herb Society and treasurer since 2000. A coach, umpire, player and organiser with Waitemata Hockey Club since 1968, and still umpires the North Shore competition.

Waitakere Award

Sharon Davies and Chris Bindon: For their work within the Swanson community, including tree plantings days, and with Keep Waitakere Beautiful and Forest & Bird. They are also involved in the Swanson Station Trust.

Robert and Rachel Burrowes: Established the WiKarekare Trust to introduce a wireless internet connection tio the Karekare community. Dorothy Miller and Lois Tallot: Volunteers and organisers of Selwyn Group, which offers exercise programmes and social events for seniors living in Swanson.

Pat LaRoche: The coordinator for Piha Coastcare, volunteers dedicated to the preservation of Piha’s unique coastal environment. Simon Brown: For services in improving water quality in coastal communities. He is one of the representatives on the Piha Karekare Local Water Agenda Group.

Citywide Award

Jorge Mendez-Cunha (Massey): For his work with the Latin American community offering translation services, and the voice of Utopias – a Spanish radio programme. He also a volunteers at Ronald McDonald House bringing together other Latino families to entertain the resident families.

Audrey Chan (New Lynn): Over many years has organised fundraising events for a range of worthy causes including Paralympics New Zealand, flood relief in China, surf lifesaving and the West Auckland Health Services Foundation. She is also the organiser and MC of the highly successful Moon Festival.

Lyn MacDonald (New Lynn): Volunteer for Bird Rescue for more than 20 years, Lyn has cared for thousands of sick and injured birds.


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