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Monday, 26 November 2018
Congratulations YMCA Australia Award winners!

A big congratulations to our YMCA Australia Award winners who were announced on Saturday, 25 November, at our 2018 National Convention AGM.

Congratulations …

The IC Howard/Y Service Clubs Staff Scholarship

Lachlan Graham, YMCA Geelong

95 year old Ian Howard was at the AGM in person to present the award to Lachlan, and all attendees got to witness something truly magnificent. Ian, whose legacy is vast, spoke with humour and generosity, sharing that the sum of money was a lot when the Award first commenced, but now didn't seem as much... and that he would "see what he could rustle up"! and the way Lachlan crouched down at eye level so respectfully, to soak up this man’s wisdom was priceless. (Photographed together - Ian Howard with Lachlan).

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 will 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Congratulations again to our worthy recipients!