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Tuesday, 26 November 2019
YMCA Australia Award Winners 2019

I.C. Howard/Y Services Scholarship - Maddie Jordan, Hobart

YMCA Australia Volunteer of the Year - Rae Watson, of Whyalla, South Australia

YMCA Australia Staff member of the Year - Jenny Hocking, of Canberra

YMCA Australia Inspired Young Person of the Year -  joint recipients Alouise Turner of Brisbane and Anthony Lavars of Victoria.

YMCA Program of Excellence Award - StreetGym, YMCA NSW

YMCA Australia Safeguarding Extended Guardian Award Winner - Delina Wombold, of Brisbane.

Pictured: L-R:  Chris Lewis (President Y Australia), Alan Bray (CEO, Brisbane- accepting awards for Alouise Turner and Delina Wombold), Jenny Hocking (Staff Member of the Year), Rae Watson (Volunteer of the Year), Maddie Jordan (IC Howard Scholarship), Louisa McKay and Susannah LeBron (Program of the Year, Y NSW) and Anthony Lavars (joint recipient Inspired Young Person) and Melinda Crole (CEO, Y Australia).

More about our recipients

IC Howard/Y Services Scholarship  - Maddie Jordan

Maddie Jordan from the Y in Hobart  is the recipient of this year’s IC Howard/Y Services Clubs Scholarship Award, the Y in Australia’s $5,000 scholarship for staff development, so generously  sponsored by Life Governor of the Y, Ian Howard, 94, and Y Services Clubs.

Maddie has shown rapid development and maturity and has grown one of Hobart’s swim school businesses from under 500 to over 650 students. She is committed to providing a safe and high quality program and shows great potential for future opportunities within the Y. Maddie will use the scholarship to fund study with a Certificate III Business Administration TAFE course, which will enable her to help improve her day-to-day administrative tasks, as well as furthering her skill sets to assist with the annual budget and planning of Swim School. 

Volunteer of the Year - Rae Watson

Rae Watson is a retired teacher and 2-3 times a week aqua aerobics instructor for the Y in Whyalla, rural SA, since 2010.   She has been volunteering as an instructor and in several other roles with the YMCA since the organisation assumed management of the Centre in 2010. Rae has consistently volunteered 2-3 times a week instructing Aqua Aerobics for avid and loyal participants. She has been involved in Aqua Aerobics in Whyalla since the 1990s. As a retired teacher, Rae became an Aqua instructor to ensure longevity of the program in Whyalla and has been an instructor for over 20 years. She has a passion for helping others which she brought to the YMCA from her teaching days. She now passes this on to her participants by promoting mobility, movement and socialization to the aging population.
YMCA Aqua Aerobics instructors are not easy to come by in Whyalla and Rae always offers to help other instructors who want to learn. Rae, along with a number of the participants, undertook research on options for the purchase of pool mobility steps. The steps were purchased and installed and, as a result, every Aqua Aerobics participant can now access the water easily.

Staff member of the Year - Jenny Hocking

Jenny Hocking joined the YMCA Canberra team in 2007 and has been an exemplar of excellence, selflessness, work ethic, and values based leadership ever since. Jenny has been described as a “powerhouse of administrative support”, reflecting her diverse skill set, incredible efficiency, willingness to do whatever is needed, and relentless commitment to completing work to the highest standard. Jenny is now the Executive Assistant to the Executive Manager – Children’s Services and the Office Manager of YMCA Canberra’s primary office.  Jenny is currently the leader of YMCA Canberra’s Customer Service Team and the coordinator of a program that places vulnerable children in the ELCs, in order to optimise their development. Jenny is a leader.  She lives the values and behaviours that we all aspire to, making everyone around her better.  Her care for her colleagues is unparalleled.  She organises and delivers care packages for sick colleagues, makes sure others are celebrated with cake or morning tea, and spends time with anyone who is struggling.  

Inspired Young People Award - Alouise Turner and Anthony Lavars

Aloise is a barista who runs the coffee cart for Y Brisbane, a graduating of the YMCA Brisbane School who gives back to the Y and her community in a multitude of ways, not the least being a smile for everyone at 6am wanting coffees!  And Anthony has been a member of Y Vic’s Youth Leadership and Development team for 9 years, contributing countless hours volunteering on top of his everyday role, to empower and support young people.

Safeguarding Extended Guardian Award - Delina Wombold

Co-ordinator of the Gap State School OSHC service for the last 7 years safeguarding is, and always has been, at the centre of everything Delina does. 

As Co-ordinator of the Gap State School OSHC service for the last seven years safeguarding is, and always has been, at the centre of everything Delina does. The service remains committed to truly listening to children and young people and amplifying their voices because all children deserve the right to be valued, heard and respected. Delina and her team consistently involve both children and their families in safeguarding conversations and activities. Broadening awareness of safeguarding and speaking out helps to keep the community safe. This collaborative approach helps ensure the service is safe, inviting and inclusive, resulting in high occupancy and the inclusion in main stream programming of a number of children with special requirements. Delina is the driving force behind safeguarding at her service, training and mentoring all of her staff to ensure best practice is consistently met. Delina’s commitment to the YMCA’s safeguarding program is demonstrated in her receiving 100% in her last two YMCA safeguarding audits.

Program of the Year - Streetgym, YMCA NSW
The Streetgym program brings the gym to the streets. Streetgym is a free, early-intervention, recreational outreach program for at-risk young people aged 12 to 18. The Streetgym program primarily takes place in a local park or community space, running 45 weeks of the year during school terms. The program provides young people with an opportunity to participate in physical activities in a safe, inclusive and positive space where they can meet new friends and engage in team sports, mindfulness exercises and a healthy afternoon tea. The program also focuses on linkages with other
community groups and support networks, such as mental health support, youth workers and police liaison officers. Streetgym began in 2017 in Telopea, a low socio-economic community in Parramatta.
This program proved to be a huge success, achieving great results for participants who felt safer and more connected to each other. Over the past 12 months the reach has grown to three new Streetgym locations, including Constitution Hill, Mount Annan and Hawkesbury Stadium. In this current financial year, the program has expanded across another two locations.

See all 2019 YMCA Australia Award Nominees here. 

Congratulations to everyone honored with a nomination from their YMCA.