​​​​YMCA Australia Awards- announcement of winners

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead


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YMCA Australia would like to formally recognise our valued staff and volunteers for their exceptional contribution to our National Movement. YMCA Australia would also like to acknowledge the innovative and inspiring programs held across the country throughout all 16 Associations. Our people across YMCA in Australia are recognised as the organisation's greatest asset. YMCA Australia would also like to thank all Associations for their contributions, and acknowledge the exceptionally high calibre of nominations received.

Click here to read about all of the fabulous nominees for 2018.

Congratulations to our winners…

The IC Howard/Y Service Clubs Staff Scholarship

Lachlan Graham, YMCA Geelong

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Lachlan commenced as a volunteer more than 10 years ago with YMCA Geelong and is now the head coach of the Men's Artistic Gymnastic Program. He has held the role as Coach Development Officer and represented the YMCA on the Gymnastic's Victoria Technical Committee and selected as a coach for the Victorian team in 2018. The professional development opportunity would directly assist to gain insight to the latest trends in club development, provide an evidence base for decisions around customer and coach engagement, and assist in the program development and design and also share his learnings collectively with the Movement.

Volunteer of the Year award

Kerry Holst, YMCA Brisbane

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Kerry has been a volunteer for YMCA Social Impact for over eight years now. Kerry spent more than 25 years working for Education Queensland, undertaking many leadership roles including Regional Director and Executive Director Roles for State Schools. She played a vital role in supporting the commencement of the YMCA Schools' Breakfast Program which started in 2006. When Kerry retired in 2012, she was immediately committed to being a volunteer for the Breakfast Program. She has been a supportive mentor to the program's Manager, assisted with administration duties and school supervision visits and remains committed to serving children breakfast.  

Program of Excellence

Youth for Causes, YMCA Victoria

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Youth for Causes is a six-month immersion into the world of social enterprise, where teams of young people, aged 14-18 years, have the opportunity to get an enterprise idea off the ground for a social or environmental cause they care about. Over 140 young people from diverse backgrounds have developed innovative products and services, tackling community issues such as homelessness, mental wellbeing, refugees and asylum seekers, environmental sustainability and domestic violence; and over 12,000 students have been engaged in social enterprise and community participation through involvement with Youth for Causes enterprises. 

Staff Member of the Year award

Marilyn Oliver, YMCA NSW

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As well as her Youth Week and Female Wellness Project activities, Marilyn has been involved in various community opportunities including Seniors' Week. Additionally, she has run various health seminars for the community to attend, including Gut Health, Eat Right for Your Body Type, and a Sleep. These events are generally free for participants and often result in many new memberships. Mount Annan's fitness centre has grown in the past 12 months from 1,400 members to over 2,000 and Marilyn has played a key role in this growth. During this time she has led the team through a major site redevelopment in 2017 which included a complete fit out of the gym. Throughout the redevelopment, and Marilyn was instrumental in keeping people engaged in programs and services. 

The Power of Inspired Young People award

Kelly Moore, YMCA Brisbane

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Kelly Moore first came into contact with the YMCA as an 18-year-young musician, who had recently formed a heavy-metal band with his best friend. Through his participation in the band project, his work ethic was clear. He was then successful in applying for a junior office position, immediately demonstrating passion and hard work. Over the next five years Kelly played a key role in campus operations. He was the face of the North Lakes reception counter, and frequently de-escalated emotional parents, placated agitated teenagers and supported stressed-out staff in more ways than could be documented. He has recently taken on the role of project worker with ease, and has commenced studying IT and Business at university.  

Safeguarding Extended Guardian Award

Emily Moody, YMCA Victoria

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Emily Moody is considered a subject matter expert in the Safeguarding children and young people area. She is quick to offer guidance to other staff to ensure that centres are safe and welcoming environments for all families. Emily plays an integral role amongst the four Boroondara Leisure and Aquatic Facilities (BLAF) overseeing and leading the highly regulated children's service space. This service encompasses four childcare licenses and two vacation programs each with a daily attendance of over 50 children.