Volunteer Recognition Program

Volunteer Award Nomination Information

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a volunteer for recognition.
Paddling is a community sport. It exists because people volunteer and create opportunities for members to enjoy our sport at every level.

Has one of your club members demonstrated an act of generosity of time, or innovation in the paddling community?  If you know someone who deserves recognition of their contribution, please nominate them.

Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

Paddle Victoria appreciates the important role that volunteers play in our paddling community and value the way they tirelessly contribute to the day to day running of many clubs, events, coaching sessions and club life.

Paddle Victoria recognizes that reward and recognition are vital in effectively retaining the services of volunteers in our paddling community.  For all these reasons, Paddle Victoria has created a Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award.  Every nominated person will receive a token of appreciation from Paddle Victoria with an appreciation certificate awarded at our AGM in October.

All nominees will then be in the running to be named Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year which will also be presented at the Paddle Victoria AGM in October.

Volunteer Award Nomination

Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a volunteer for recognition. Every nominated person will receive a token of appreciation from Paddle Victoria with an appreciation certificate awarded at our AGM in October.

When considering awarding the volunteers, please consider areas such as:
Effectiveness
Innovation
Excellence
Inclusion
Safety
Mentoring

**To be eligible, nominees must be a current member of a Paddle Victoria Affiliated Club and have agreed to the Paddle Victoria Code of Conduct

Nominations for the 2020 Volunteer of the Year will open in April 2020.

Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2019

Congratulations to Barry Bell from Shepparton Canoe Club who was awarded the 2019 Volunteer of the Year!

Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.


John Young (Marathon) and Barry Bell (Shepparton)

The nominees for the 2019 Paddle Victoria Volunteer award are:

Geoff Burkitt – Whitehorse Canoe Club
Geoff has contributed to the development of novice and inexperienced paddlers of all ages and abilities. He is very passionate about teaching paddlers the skills to paddle moving water. Geoff volunteers his time to run regular Yarra River Trips targeted at whitewater beginners throughout the year. He also volunteers his time to teach inexperience kayakers how to roll through running regular pool rolling nights.
Geoff helps paddlers make the jump from doing the occasional Flatwater trip to being confident and safe whitewater paddlers. This transition can be daunting for anyone, but even more so for mature adults who need just the right amount of support and level of challenge to build their confidence and skills on moving water. Through his ongoing commitment to developing novice whitewater paddlers, he ensures that paddlers of any age can experience the great thrill and joy that comes with recreational whitewater kayaking
He provides feedback to the paddlers to assist them in improving their skills.  His number one priority is to provide a safe environment for all kayakers to learn in and enjoy the water ways.
In addition to all of this, Geoff is also the Treasurer of Whitehorse Canoe Club, and attends to all membership related matters. He spends countless hours both on and off the water supporting recreational whitewater kayaking in Victoria.

Mitchell Payne – Geelong Canoe Club
Mitchell has been a longstanding club member with Geelong Canoe Club. His roles have included Executive Committee, Boat Captain and Facility Management. He provides weekly coaching to novice and intermediate paddlers and is always working behind the scenes with grant applications. The grant applications have significantly helped Geelong Canoe Club improve the club house building. His role as Boat Captain allows Mitchell to be involved with the maintenance of club craft.

Mitchell is a great example of a true sportsman and is dedicated to paddling.

Tony Mission – Bendigo Canoe Club
Tony has been a long term member of Bendigo Canoe Club and has enjoyed the range of disciplines that are on offer.  Tony is secretary of Bendigo and is heavily involved in organising the Come & Try’s, trips, recreational programs and is head coach to Bendigo Academy of Sport. Outside of the club Tony is on the Paddle Victoria committee of Wildwater and Sprint and the Paddle Australia advisory committee for Wildwater and is a level 2 Flatwater coach which all keeps him very busy.

Tony is involved in the Club junior development with the Bendigo Academy of Sport and the recreation paddling program for adults. There is normally two sessions per week from October to May and at least 1 hour per week organising activities and events.  Tony has introduced sea kayaks for come & try’s, inductions, instruction, skills, trips and events and has revolutionised the way adults are introduced to the club.

Tony has been a huge asset to the club in every way and is a fantastic mentor to all our members.

Cynthia Coakley – Bendigo Canoe Club
Cynthia has been with Bendigo Canoe Club for quite some time. For the past 3 years she has delivered the K4K junior program. The Kayaking 4 Kids program has addressed an important gap in the club programs. This program is teaching 10-14 years the skills they need to enjoy the sport. The program is based on providing appropriate skills with the goals to paddle a TK1/TK2 safely with good technique and to be involved in club events and community paddles. This program caters for all abilities and is very focused on safety as well as having fun. Cynthia runs this program twice a year over a period of time and provides the committee with a detail report which assists in providing the best support for the juniors.

Cynthia provides appropriate goals such as the community fun paddles and will catch up with the K4K juniors at the weekly events.  She has been a great mentor to our up and coming paddlers. 

John Young – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
John is heavily involved in organising all the marathon races throughout Victoria. By John doing this it ensures Marathon paddlers get a wide range of race experience over a broad spectrum of locations. John is always looking for ways to include more participants across different regional areas and age groups. He is also diligent in organising support for safety boats and first aid during all the events.  John runs a very organised and efficient event and by doing this has increased the revenue to the Marathon Committee.

John is constantly attending training sessions with other members and has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the sport.

John is always happy to assists any new committee members and participants in learning the ropes and getting more people paddling.

Barry Bell – Shepparton Canoe Club
Barry has been nominated because of the generous hours he volunteers toward the ongoing improvement to the Shepparton Canoe Club and all the members. As President he is constantly liaising with Paddle Victoria with regards to running and coordinating the Paddlepower and PaddleHub projects that have come to Victoria Park in recent years. He also has been working with Shepparton Council to conduct ladies and multicultural paddling events. This has enabled the local community to enjoy not only the beautiful lake but have fun learning to paddle.

None of this would be possible without the drive and determination of Barry.

Barry is the first at the club and last to leave. He is the clubs repair man and often takes on some of the members personal fibreglass repairs free of charge. Barry has organised club working bees and maintains a high standard at the Club. Barry was instrumental in working with Paddle Victoria to apply for a grant so the Club could purchase new lifejackets and helmets.
He continues to encourage our younger less active members the health and mental benefits that come with paddling. Barry is an extraordinary clubman and deserves to be recognised as a remarkable volunteer.

 

Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2018
Congratulations to John Young (INCC and Chair – Marathon Discipline Committee) who was awarded the 2018 Volunteer of the Year!

       
Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

Paddle Victoria recognizes that reward and recognition are vital in effectively retaining the services of volunteers in our paddling community.  For these reasons, Paddle Victoria has created a Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award.

Paddle Victoria appreciates the important role that volunteers play in our paddling community and value the way they tirelessly contribute to the day to day running of many clubs, discipline events, coaching sessions and club life.

The Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

The nominees for the 2018 Paddle Victoria Award are :

Allison Parkinson – North East Canoe Club
Allison is a vital part of the North East Canoe Club!
She has raised over $3000.00 for the club by organizing a Film Festival.
She organizes Come and Try events, training sessions and indoor pool sessions that teach members rolling and stroke technique.
The club would not be where it is today without her valuable input!

Geoff Baird – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
Geoff has contributed significantly in his role both as the Technical Officer for the Marathon discipline, as well as his contribution to his club.
He has made great improvements as the Marathon Technical Officer through his implementation and modification of the RFID system  (automated timing system), which is now used at every race to record lap times and improve the overall efficiency of the event.
Geoff has also taken over the management and storage of Marathon race equipment which ensures that each race is set up efficiently.
As a Club Member Geoff has taken the lead role in the club house renovation which has allowed for a greatly improved gym space.

 

John Young – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
John Young’s contribution as the Chair of the Marathon Discipline Committee can be seen through the great improvement in every aspect of Marathon race days, from providing more detailed safety protocols to the introduction of the Webscorer entry system.

John’s contribution at the interclub training sessions ensures its increasing participation and high quality of the sessions.

He provides so much support and encouragement for younger members of Marathon racing – providing tips and congratulations both on and off the water.

We believe that John is able to do so much thanks to the fantastic support he receives from his wife Ruth Graves, who also volunteers much of her time to the club and to the discipline.

Tim Roadley – Yarrawonga Mulwala Canoe Club
Tim is a fantastic Clubman and his enthusiasm and passion for paddling is infectious!
He regularly runs PaddlePower and after school paddling programs for kids who want to try kayaking.  His instruction not only teaches the sport of padlding but also the equipment, safety and the dangers of rivers and lake’s.  He has provided a pathway for interested children to join and further their skills in an advanced training session to be able to compete.

Tim has been the secretary of the club for over 10 years and is the main organiser of our Summer Series Race.

Barry Bell – Shepparton Canoe Club
The Shepparton Canoe Club is Barry Bell. He never says no. Barry spends many hours helping new members and assisting existing members with their training.
He supports our members through coaching, repairing craft and increasing the amount of racks at the club.

Barry has been a great driver and supporter of the Canoeing Victoria PaddleHub days on the lake and PaddlePower programs.  He can be seen at every race and event and without his efforts there would be hundreds of people who would miss out on the fabulous experience of paddling!

Russell Bassett – Melbourne Canoe Club/ Slalom Chair
Russell Bassett was introduced to paddling in 2013 as most adults are via their children involvement and since then has volunteered on nearly every committee and chair position available for Victorian and Australian Slalom.

He introduced SIWI data into Victoria Slalom which is now used at every race.
He has been directly involved with the slalom training site at Westerfolds Park, upgrading it with permanent poles and gates.

The difference Russell’s contribution has made is significant. The training environment is more professional and easier to use. Equipment is up to date and functioning, allowing for races and results to be obtained quickly and with credibility.

 

Stewart Nicol – Footscray Canoe Club
The roles Stewart serves are numerous.  He is the first face for new members at the club, ensuring that is always available to help.He has spent an enormous amount of time creating plans and lobbying the Council to improve club storage.He is instrumental in drumming up support for club trips and external races, as well as organising handicap races.
Stew is always generous with his paddling knowledge to anyone who needs a little advice (whether they want it or not!), and the boundless enthusiasm he has.

Canoeing Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2017

Congratulations to Leanne Nicholls – Melbourne Canoe Club – who was awarded the 2017 Volunteer of the Year!


Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

Canoeing Victoria recognizes that reward and recognition are vital in effectively retaining the services of volunteers in our paddling community.  For these reasons, Canoeing Victoria has created a Canoeing Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award.

Canoeing Victoria appreciates the important role that volunteers play in our paddling community and value the way they tirelessly contribute to the day to day running of many clubs, discipline events, coaching sessions and club life.

The Canoeing Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Canoeing Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

The nominees for the 2017 Canoeing Victoria Award are :

Joe Alia – Marathon Technical Committee Chair : for his considerable contribution to running Marathon paddling in Victoria for so many years.  Joe contributes a huge amount of effort, running Winter Series races, leading the Marathon committee and coaching beginners and school groups at Fairfield Canoe Club.

Gayle Burke – Footscray Canoe Club : Gayle is a great club member who is always willing to help on land and water.  She is patient and caring when teaching new paddlers and is always up for a new challenge.

Brian Cooper – Kirinari Kayak Klub : For many years of mentoring many of the paddlers at Kirinari Kayak Klub and running the Kirinari Novice Improvement program (KNIP) in which he focuses on paddling skills and safety and ensuring that all paddlers feel welcome and included.

Warwick Draper – Melbourne Canoe Club : President of Melbourne Canoe Club and
Member of the working committee for Regional Paddle Hub development and involved in the development and installation of Fitzsimons Lane slalom gates.
He has been one of the main contributors to the sport of slalom in Victoria for over 20 years.
Warwick’s passion and enthusiasm has seen him being the driving force behind the development of Paddlepower in Victoria which has led to an increase in youth participation in many clubs throughout Victoria.

Anthony Duffin – Swan Hill Canoe Club : President of Swan Hill Canoe Club for 10 years and for assisting and encouraging paddlers of all abilities to paddle the Murray Marathon.

Gary Flanigan – Fairfield Canoe Club : President of Canoeing Victoria for 10 years and during that time has raised over $65,000.00 running Bunning’s BBQ’s that have contributed to running the organisation.  He is always a willing volunteer to run races, tow and drive the safety boat.  “without driven people like Gary around our sport would simply not survive or continue to be as active”

Paul Grant  –  Melbourne Canoe Club : For regularly volunteering his time during whitewater slalom races in Victoria, and for training on the Yarra slalom course at Fitzsimons Lane in Templestowe.  Paul has dealt in a successful and exceptionally diplomatic way with the persons who kept cutting down the wires and gates at Fitzsimons Lane in the past several months.

Jonathan Mayne – Fairfield Canoe Club : Jonathan has been awarded life membership of the Fairfield Canoe Club following 65 years of service to the club, the State and the Nation.  He volunteered at the cutting edge of the Red Cross Murray Marathon for 40 years and has been commentator to the Australia Sprint Championship since the 1970s.  When anything went wrong on the Murray Marathon the word was.”See Jonathan Mayne, he will fix that”.

Leanne Nicholls – Melbourne Canoe Club : Leanne’s involvement with the paddling community particularly in Warburton is incredible.  She is passionate, motivated, committed and always giving.
Leanne has been a major contributor to the increase in paddling in the Yarra Valley and promoting paddling in Warburton to the wider community.
Leanne has petitioned and received grants for extra equipment and has been successful in petitioning local Council for two new launch sites on the river in Warburton.
For the first time in its History, the Upper Yarra Valley had 4 local Schools enter the Victorian Schools White water Championships due to Leanne’s drive.
She has been an advocate of children with disabilities in the Yarra Valley and has initiated along with others, the first adaptive class, in Victorian history, at the Victorian Schools White Water Championships.  Enriching the lives of others with her generosity of spirit and energy, Leanne is an ambassador for Canoeing Victoria.

Dita Pahl – Canoes Plus Racing Team : a dedicated coach, paddler and mentor.  For her work as a coach for the past 15 years, coaching junior paddlers during the week and most weekends.  Dita has coached Slalom, Freestyle and more recently Wildwater racing.

Steven Parker – Geelong Canoe Club : Stephen was recently awarded life membership to the Geelong Canoe Club.  The first member in over 10 years to achieve this honour.
Stephen has redefined the Geelong Canoe Club over the last 5 years. His volunteer work commenced with the development of a five year strategic plan, creating a vision and purpose for the club.  He has united paddle disciplines, including marathon, canoe polo, multi sport, schools, scouts, dragon boating and recreational canoeing. These partnerships have lead to a vibrant paddling community in Geelong.
it is worth to noting that at the height of fund raising and negotiations with all levels of government, Stephen averaged 30 hours per week in volunteer time.

Jennifer Stevens – Fairfield Canoe Club :  Jen runs and organises canoe polo events and is very involved with developing and organising the Victorian and Australian Women’s canoe polo teams. With her help, the Victorian Women’s team has improved and grown so much which resulted in them winning in 2017.

Ian Wallbridge – Victorian Canoe Club : For his work at Canoe Polo at Lilydale Lake.  Ian is amazing with the kids and his down to earth nature puts paddlers at ease and encourages all kids to try new techniques and to do their best!

Ben Watts – Canoe Polo Committee and Fairfield Canoe Club :  For many hours of volunteering in Canoe Polo events.  Ben works very hard to organise and run canoe polo beginner sessions, rolling nights and come and trys.  Most importantly, Ben is passionate about growing Canoe Polo and making the sport accessible and inclusive to everyone.

Steve Vegh – Patterson Lakes Canoe Club : Steve is a Life Member of the club.  He is always available in times of crisis, ready to give advice and help.   He runs training sessions at the club almost every day of the week. Steve has expertise in relation to the Para-canoe members, and is very skilful in modifying the kayak to fit the person’s disability, allowing them comfort, speed and enjoyment.  Steve has expertise in kayak manufacture and repair aswell.  He repairs any damaged kayaks and is always available to answer questions or give advice about skills, or purchase of new equipment.

John Young – Fairfield Canoe Club / Marathon Technical Committee Treasurer : For his outstanding commitment to Marathon Racing.  John has worked tirelessly on the Canoe Victoria Marathon Technical committee since 2014 ensuring that marathon racing in Victoria is vibrant, innovative and well run.