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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Janine Halasz of Tilba named 2019 Local Hero

Tilba community stalwart Janine Halasz was named the 2019 Eurobodalla Local Hero at the annual awards at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden this morning.

Held during National Volunteers Week, the Eurobodalla Local Hero Awards seek to recognise local residents who make outstanding contributions to the community.

​Above: Local Hero 2019 Janine Halasz with Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes.

In the nomination submitted for Mrs Halasz, she was described as an enthusiastic fundraiser, a driving force in the Tilba CWA, a dedicated member of the Central Tilba School of Arts Trust, and the founding member of a knitting group that produced not only items for charity, but lasting friendships.

The nomination states she’s someone who “takes new residents under her wing”, ensuring they feel welcome, even while undergoing her own personal challenges.

“Janine is the backbone of our community,” it says.

“If people need help she is the first point of contact, providing meals, transport to medical appointments and sometimes, just company to anyone in need.

“Janine has freely given hundreds of hours of her time to various community groups… (The Local Hero Award) would be a wonderful and fitting acknowledgement of all her many years of voluntary service to our community.”

Finalists in the award were: Bernard Basevi, who was heavily involved in the development of Muddy Puddles in Batemans Bay and a volunteer for St Bernard’s Catholic Church, Red Rose Charity House volunteer, and Carolyn Harding, who has campaigned for years for a Batemans Bay indoor aquatic centre and volunteered for Carroll College canteen, the Batemans Bay Basketball Association and raising funds for Snowy Hydro SouthCare.

Above: Finalists: Bernard Basevi, Local Hero 2019 Janine Halasz and Carolyn Harding

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes, who presented the awards, paid tribute to all 31 Local Hero nominees.

“We know you don’t do it for the praise or recognition, but today we say thank you for selflessly giving up your time for the benefit of others,” she said.

“Volunteers are the glue that binds our community, bringing everyone together and making it such a wonderful place to live.”

Above: Local Hero Award nominees, representatives of absentees, finalists, Council representatives, and Local Hero Award winner Janine Halasz at the Local Hero Awards on Thursday.

Local Hero Nominees in the 2019 Eurobodalla Local Hero Awards:

Alison Walker

Alison is a Yuni/Djiringjan woman who grew up in Wallaga Lake Koori Village. She founded the female dance group Djiringanj Dancers and is also a member of the Djaadjawan Dancers. Alison has worked as a tour guide for Umbarra Cultural Centre and held positions on the board of Merrimans Aboriginal Land Council and the Umbarra Indigenous Cultural Centre.

Alison Walsh

Alison is a volunteer with Sustainable Agriculture and Gardening Eurobodalla (SAGE) in Moruya and is also the co-coordinator and driving force of the Deua River Landcare Group. Alison is an inspiration in her approach to tackling community and environmental issues. She advocates passionately to ensure food security in Eurobodalla and for the engagement and employment of youth in the region.

Anne Rault

Anne has been a dedicated advocate for her community, education and the environment for decades. She is a retired primary school teacher who opens her rural property to primary, secondary and tertiary students to learn about the environment. Anne has also been a group coordinator for Deua River Landcare group for more than 10 years.

Bernard Basevi

Bernard has volunteered countless hours as project manager during the construction of Muddy Puddles in Batemans Bay. He also holds a position on the Board of Muddy Puddles and Malua Bay Bowling Club. Bernard volunteers his time with St Bernard’s Church in Batehaven and has assisted in the building of the Red Rose Charity House.

Carolyn Harding

Carolyn has been president of the Batemans Bay Indoor Aquatic Centre Committee for 7 years. She has undertaken various fundraising activities for an all-inclusive year-round aquatic facility for Batemans Bay. In addition, Carolyn has also volunteered her time for the Carroll College canteen and fundraising for Snowy Hydro SouthCare and Batemans Bay Basketball Association.

Clive and Shirley Alchin

Clive and Shirley have worked tirelessly for all organisations they have being involved with since moving to Eurobodalla 20 years ago. They have dedicated countless hours to the hospital auxiliary, the Greek community and the local Clay Pigeon Shooting Association Club. In addition, Clive and Shirley have organised the ‘Fish Lunch’ in Batemans Bay for many years.

Colin Boxsell

Colin has been heavily involved with the Narooma District Woodcrafters Association with long periods as president of the Association. He has also volunteered much of this time with the Narooma Apex Club, the Rural Fire Service and is an active member of the Bodalla Parish of the Anglican Church.

Danielle Brice

After a family tragedy, Danielle campaigned and fundraised to build a walkway from Moruya to Moruya Heads. She also spends time training and volunteering with the Rural Fire Service. Danielle was also a Councillor with Eurobodalla Shire Council for four years and always gives back to the community wherever she can.

Deirdre Landells

Deirdre has been a nurse at Moruya Hospital for over 35 years working in emergency and maternity. She has contributed to the Narooma Scouts and Cubs, the Narooma Word Spinners and the Narooma Golf Club. Deirdre has also dedicated many hours to the local Legacy branch which stretches from Wollongong to Bega.

Georgie Rowley

Georgie has volunteered for the Eurobodalla Netball Association for over two decades training and mentoring players and umpires. She has strongly advocated for youth events in Eurobodalla and for women and girls participation in sport. Georgie has also been instrumental in the promotion of ‘One Hospital – Eurobodalla’.

Guy Brantingham

Guy is the President of the Eurobodalla Bicycle User Group (Eurobug). He promotes the social, wellbeing, health and fitness benefits that are provided for the community through bike riding. In this role, Guy volunteers many hours a week to organise trips away and encourage more participants.

Harry Bate

Harry works tirelessly to ensure the history and heritage of the Tilba district is preserved, recorded and promoted. He dedicates his time organising events, giving talks and contributing to community projects. Harry is a local champion of our heritage and is not one to wait for someone else to do what must be done to preserve our heritage.

Jacki Harding

Jacki has generously volunteered her time over the last thirty years to many different community groups. These include the Batemans Bay Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business, Batemans Bay Lions Club, AFL, Seaside Carnival, Snowy Hydro Southcare and Sailability. Jacki loves being involved and supporting the Batemans Bay community.

Jan Frikken

Jan has been pivotal in supporting the migrant community and increasing residents’ awareness of multiculturalism throughout Eurobodalla. She has been a key driver in organising free English courses and set up the English conversation group. Jan has also organised successful fundraisers for causes in Eurobodalla.

Janine Halasz

Janine has given hundreds of hours of time to community groups such as the Red Cross, Tilba CWA and the Central Tilba School of Arts Trust. She has raised money for various organisations in Eurobodalla such as the Moruya Women’s Refuge and Moruya Oncology unit. Janine also established a knitting group which knits blankets for hospitals, beanies for premature babies and items for Aboriginal communities.

Jaylah Hancock-Cameron (below) holding a silver medal won at the Youth Olympics in Argentina in 2019 in the 1500m.

Jaylah is a 16 year old sports woman who is striving to achieve her Cross Country/Athletics goals. She has placed at local, state, national and international levels on numerous occasions. Jaylah Is looked up to by many up and coming runners and dedication to her training is to be admired.

Jeff Garrad

Jeff has been a volunteer with the Narooma Rescue Squad for 16 years and has had many roles during this time including Marine Rescue Captain, Squad Captain and Deputy Captain. He has also volunteered his time with the Central Tilba Rural Fire Brigade as a Deputy Captain and Crew Leader.

Jeffrey Ganderton

Jeffrey has dedicated more than 60 years of service to the NSW Rural Fire Service in Eurobodalla. He was also one of the foundation members of the Eurobodalla State Emergency Service (SES). Jeffrey has dedicated 10 years of service to St John Ambulance in Moruya and is a life member of the Moruya Basketball Association.

Judy Thomson

Judy has dedicated countless hours over the past 25 years to the Lilli Pilli/Malua Bay Landcare Group and to the Friends of Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden. She has also volunteered with Legacy for 30 years and advocated strongly for improvements to the facilities at Malua Bay Tennis Courts.

Kathryn Maxwell

Kathryn is the founder of the South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) which promotes renewable energy to people and organisation in Eurobodalla. In this role, Kathryn has organised bulk buys of solar energy products, run public seminars on climate change and has advocated to all levels of government.

Kimmi Saker

Kimmi has worked for 2EC and East Coast Radio for 22 years. During this time she has gone above and beyond her role to support local charities and organisations such as Muddy Puddles, Relay for Life, A night of Brown and the Christmas Carols in Tomakin. Kimmi has also been the key driver of the Radiothon for the past 13 years.

Lei Parker

Lei Parker is the head of the publication team responsible for ‘The Beagle’. The Beagle, a free, online, newspaper covering various topics that affect the Eurobodalla Shire. He provides the community with an additional platform to voice their concerns and opinions.

Maryanne Nye

Maryanne has been working in the Home and Community Care industry for 25 years as a support worker. She provides support to generations of Aboriginal clients and advocates on their behalf when required. Maryanne also volunteers her time at the Rally for Recovery in Tomakin and at the Boomerang Centre in Mogo.

Matt Hoar

Matt is one of the founders, and the current president, of the Dalmeny Boardriders Association. He dedicates many hours to provide a platform for development of up and coming surfers in Eurobodalla. Matt is also the Head Chef at a Narooma restaurant where he supports local businesses by buying local produce where possible.

Michael Holland

Michael is a committed medical practitioner in Moruya and has been for the past 16 years. He advocates to all levels of government for improved services and models of care for Eurobodalla. Michael has dedicated his time over the past seven months advocating for a new regional hospital in Eurobodalla successfully.

Nancy Casu

Nancy is a local fitness specialist who runs Older Fitter Better in Narooma. She dedicates her time to empowering her clients through various fitness classes which help to improve the quality of life for people in Eurobodalla. Nancy is extremely passionate and often volunteers her time as a motivational speaker at seminars.

Naomi Foster

Naomi has been on the board of the Little Yuin Preschool at Wallaga Lake for five years. Through the Red Cross, Naomi also runs the Homework Centre for primary and high school aged children. Naomi has also recently started working with the Merriman’s Lands Council in an administrative role.

Phillip Elton

Phillip has dedicated time to overseeing Community Services workers for a number of decades. He is an ongoing member of the Hall Committee, Festival Committee, Central Tilba Fire Brigade and the Chamber of Commerce. Phillip also regularly undertakes the maintenance work on Tilba Halls and Fire Shed.

Stuart Whitelaw

Stuart is a local architect and artist who has designed a number of homes and other buildings throughout Eurobodalla. He is also the founder of Sustainable Agricultural Gardening in Eurobodalla (SAGE) and started the Tuesday afternoon Farmer’s Markets in Moruya.

Thea Yates

Thea is a mentor, friend and hands on caring neighbour to many older residents within Easts Van Village. During her life she has undertaken missionary work in New Guinea and nursed friends and family members through illness. Thea has also dedicated time to cleaning up the environment and volunteering with the Montys.

Tim Burke and Fiona Brown

Tim and Fiona are well known in Narooma for their friendly smiles and ready chats. Their business, Slightly Twisted Productions, has brought many top billing acts to Narooma. Tim and Fiona are always willing to support any good cause and this can be shown by their support for previous Relay for Life and the Motor Neuron Disease Fundraisers.

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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