Read about the individual and team honours and all those nominated in the 2012 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards.

Outstanding individual achievement

Regional health services

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Claire Gibbons

South West Healthcare

Claire Gibbons has been a volunteer with the Palliative Care Volunteer Program for 19 years. Claire has performed a range of duties in the Palliative Care Unit and is a wonderful, giving and generous volunteer in supporting palliative care patients in the community. Her duties include respite sitting, taking patients to medical appointments or just spending time with a patient who lives alone and is in need of companionship.

Ian McLean

Western District Health Service

Ian McLean began his volunteering as a driver with the community transport service, undertaking the long hauls to Melbourne transporting frail aged clients to their medical appointments. He also helps with the Men’s Out and About Program, a program that helps men in residential care to join community activities and to enjoy life to the full. Ian offers a gentle, unflappable, caring nature that supports both the staff and the residents.

Rural health services

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Anne Smith

Tallangatta Health Service

Over the past 25 years, Anne Smith has provided cosmetic care at Tallangatta Health Service. Every Monday morning, Anne and her team provide hand massages, hand cream and nail polish to the permanent residents and acute patients of the Tallangatta Health Service. Anne brings a positive and optimistic attitude that can transform the patient’s experience. A loved and respected person, at 80 years young, Anne still champions volunteering and regularly attracts new volunteers to the team.

Claire Stuchbery

Portland District Health

Claire Stuchbery is a committed volunteer and has worked with the Meals on Wheels program for 36 years, the past 15 with Portland District Health. Claire hopes to clock up many more deliveries in the years to come, to add to her already impressive track record: 14 meals each time she volunteers, travelling 34 km. Over the 36 years, she has travelled approximately 22,032 km and delivered 9,072 meals.

Primary health service

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Karen Bayly

National Stroke Foundation

Karen Bayly was 44 when she suffered a severe stroke three years ago. Thanks to her husband’s quick actions, Karen was rushed to hospital and received treatment that has enabled her to return to work and care for her family. Karen, determined to make sure others don’t have to go through what she and her family experienced, joined the National Stroke Foundation StrokeSafe Ambassador Program as a volunteer. Karen’s dedication and commitment to reduce the impact of stroke in the community, while still facing daily challenges of her own, is an inspiration not only to all at the National Stroke Foundation, but to everyone who meets her.

Jacqui Marion

Gathering Place Health Service

Jacqui Marion began volunteering with The Gathering Place as the board chair and has persevered with her commitment for 10 years to achieve crucial outcomes for this Victorian health service. Jacqui has been responsible for governance, becoming integral to the organisation setting up the Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee (a subcommittee of The Gathering Place Board of Management).

Metropolitan health service

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Sue Breen

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Sue Breen has been a volunteer at Peter Mac for more than 13 years, working as a hairdresser on a weekly basis. Sue has managed the service for the past five years, providing approximately 500 hairdressing consultations per year including the fitting and maintenance of the wig library. Her strength is relating to all patients and helping them to feel comfortable in her caring hands.

Pauline Harris

Lions Club of Heidelberg-Warringal (supporting Mercy Hospital for Women and Austin Health)

Since 2006 Lions House has provided affordable, local accommodation for families of rural patients who are receiving medical care at Mercy Hospital for Women or Austin Health. Up to 60 families each year from every part of rural Victoria and interstate use the service. Pauline Harris arranges accommodation, often during times of medical and financial crisis for families. Pauline embodies the Lions House Foundation motto ‘keeping families and patients together’ and the Mercy Health value of hospitality.

Outstanding achievement by a team

Regional health services

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Dindi Volunteers

Alexandra District Hospital and Community Health

The six Dindi Volunteers have generously dedicated up to a day a week for the past 12 to 14 years to care for children with special needs. Dindi provides a play-based therapy program for children with a range of developmental delays or disorders. The volunteers provide the support that the children need to complete activities and work towards achieving therapy goals. Their demeanour and actions while working with the children reflect the passion, absolute care and commitment to provide for each individual as well as the program.

Volunteer Gardening Group

Otway Health and Community Services

Otway Health’s Volunteer Gardening Group has worked with determination for the past five years to redesign and improve the grounds and gardens at Otway Health in Apollo Bay. This group has been able to make something large and wonderful from small and humble resources. In the garden, they plant, weed, trim, mulch, prune, transplant and compost. They transform bland areas into vibrant and colourful scenes teeming with life.

Rural health services

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Palliative Care Massage Team

South West Healthcare

Operating since 2002, the Palliative Care Massage Team provides gentle relaxation massage to the hands and feet of palliative care patients, either as admitted patients or in the patient’s own home. The Palliative Care Massage Team offer great care and compassion through the soothing massage and also by listening and connecting with patients at very vulnerable times in their lives. Staff and patients report that the massage helps to reduce stress and settles restless patients.

Grange Residential Care Service Volunteers

Western District Health Service

The Grange Residential Care Volunteer Team consists of 22 volunteers aged 15 to 93 who devote their time to enhance and support the lives of residents living in an aged care facility of Western District Health Service in Hamilton. The volunteer team embodies a positive outlook and a can-do approach. Through the volunteers, the residents receive stimulating experiences, such as joy flights over Hamilton, a weekly beauty parlour, BBQs, shopping trips, chats and reminiscence.

Primary health service

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Community FoodLink Volunteer Team

Gateway Social Support Options

In partnership with donor agencies, Gateway Social Support Options collects donated produce that would have otherwise be wasted, and distributes this to vulnerable and marginalised community members in the western suburbs of Melbourne. A team of eight enthusiastic and positive volunteers ensure recipients have access to good-quality, safe, fresh and nutritious food, redistributing more than 1.2 tonnes of donated food to more than 735 people every week.

Family Drug Help

SHARC

The Family Drug Health Volunteers provide a national confidential telephone helpline service that provides support to family members concerned about a loved one’s problematic drug or alcohol use. The volunteers provide empathetic support, referrals, information and pathways to education and counselling. Ten support groups are also facilitated by volunteers in which they encourage people to get help and share their experiences. These dedicated volunteers are the driving force of the organisation.

Metropolitan health service

Nominee name

Organisation

Achievements

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex Community Advisory group

Peninsula Health

The dynamic GLBTI CAG team of 25 members has demonstrated a high level of commitment through their involvement in a range of diverse activities to address some key areas of healthcare that affect people within GLBTI communities. The team has, for example, highlighted the difficulties that patients with gender differences may face when going into hospital and has worked with Peninsula Health staff to ensure there is a more sensitive practice in place.

Volunteer Meal Assistance Program

Western Health

The Volunteer Meal Assistance Program, known as VMAP, volunteers offer mealtime support seven days a week to patients identified as having difficulty feeding themselves as a result of physical or cognitive impairment. The eight volunteers are highly regarded by staff, patients and the broader Western Health community.