THE Rotary Club of Wonthaggi presented its Australia Day Awards to outstanding members of the community for selfless efforts of volunteering and building better communities.

Among those to receive a Community Service Award was Barbara Bowman.

Barbara represents good old-fashioned community spirit, with over 50 years’ commitment in many ways to Glen Alvie and the wider Bass Coast community, including the Glen Alvie State School until its closure, netball coaching and umpiring at Bass Valley Primary School, and a huge involvement with the Glen Alvie Cricket Club in all sorts of roles including transporting the juniors, providing the essential lunches and even scoring matches.

Community Arts Award recipient Wayne Moloney grew up in Melbourne and, in 1989, bought a property in Ryanston to use as a retreat. He and his partner then joined the community full-time in 2000.

Wayne was recognised and rewarded by the Rotary Club of Wonthaggi for the contributions he has made to the arts as a performer, mentor, director, leader and passionate advocate for the arts in Bass Coast over his 20-plus years.

Rotary Club of Wonthaggi’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year, Leigh Phillips, was recognised for his ongoing selfless relationship with both the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club, Wonthaggi Moonya and other groups.

There’s more to his story with volunteer work of various lengths of service in the Board Riders Club, Disability Surfing, working underground with the night maintenance crew at the State Coal Mine, the establishment of Mitchell House in Wonthaggi and his compassion and support of young and vulnerable people in police hearings as an Independent Third Person.

His connection with the community has been exceptional; a volunteer who has gone about his work quietly and effectively, all while deriving a lot of fun and personal satisfaction.

Another Community Service Award recipient, Andrea Bolch chose Kilcunda and the Bass Coast as her home some 18 years ago and has been a very active, positive contributor to the community ever since.

She is now the president of the Kilcunda Community Association, with the award recognising her can-do attitude and leadership, caring spirit and determination that gets things done and links people together to make a strong, happy community.

Wonthaggi CFA captain Arnaud Marion was awarded the Spirit of Community Service Award.

The Wonthaggi Brigade has a proud history of turning out to assist its neighbours.

In the Bass Coast area, there is a well-established network of cooperation between the local brigades where crews turn out to help each other.

Crews were sent to the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires and 2009 Black Saturday fires, and also more recently to French Island.

Rotary members helped with the transport of local and district firefighters in the Black Saturday response – some 30 bus trips in all. Rotary was proud to help out.

Caroline Donohue received a Community Service Award.

A serious health issue would not diminish her love of life and community or slow her down.

Caroline was determined to do whatever she could to raise the awareness of breast cancer, to support others in the community and to support the work of the National Breast Cancer Council.

She was happy to talk to others and to actively raise funds to support the research work that was being done to find a cure.

Since 2013, Caroline and her great team have put together the local Mother’s Day Classic. It is a fun, healthy and inspiring day with the proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

This day, which has united and inspired many communities like our own, honours those touched by breast cancer and participants can choose to walk or run 4km or 8km – or more – each year.

Dr Terence Shannon OAM delivered a good news presentation titled ‘Why serve’.

A much-travelled man, recently retired from his international consulting and mentoring practice in the area of human and corporate behaviour, Dr Shannon fondly looked back on a very busy commercial life including his time as vice-president of the world’s largest private company and his proud involvement as a community volunteer.