Deserving award recipients

Deserving award recipients

Judy Burgess, Jamieson Chester and the auspicing of the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed were the recipients of the town’s three major Australia Day awards on Saturday.

Presented at the annual Lions Club breakfast – again a hearty feast attracting more than 150 locals and visitors throughout the morning – Mrs Burgess, a member of the Lakes Entrance Ambulance Auxiliary, was awarded the citizen of the year.

Mrs Burgess has been a dedicated member of the auxiliary for more than 10 years, quickly becoming a “can-do” member of the team supporting the president and secretary with fundraising events such as sausage sizzles and raffles.

When the president’s position became available, Mrs Burgess took on the role, continuing to show her motivating skills and high energy approach at fundraising events while pushing the team to attend conferences and official events.

With Mrs Burgess at the helm, the auxiliary has raised a significant amount of funds to support local ambulance paramedics with equipment such as special vacuum mattresses for spinal patients, medication pumps, portable fridges for the transport of drugs and many other important items that are not supplied by Ambulance Victoria.

Mrs Burgess has also played a key role in the purchase of public access defibrillators for some community groups and facilities, while also being able to purchase upgraded cardiac monitors for paramedics to better manage patients suffering heart attacks well before the equipment became mainstream.

“What can I say, I’m flabbergasted,” Mrs Burgess said after receiving her award.

“None of us would be here today if we didn’t have the support of the community – it’s not one person, there is no point being a Major if you haven’t got an army.”

Jamieson Chester, a hard-working member of Lakes Entrance Surf Lifesaving Club, was awarded the young citizen of the year for her tireless work on the beach and within the club.

Ms Chester is a second year professional lifeguard and is in her eighth summer as a volunteer patrol member of the local club where she holds certificates for bronze medallion, senior first aid, advanced resuscitation, spinal management, defibrillation, IRB drivers and crew, patrol captain, beach management and gold medallion.

Ms Chester is the club’s vice captain and also assists the chief instructors to deliver training. She has been a committee member for four years and youth coordinator, committing over 100 hours of voluntary patrol each season.

“I’m very surprised,” Ms Chester said.

“I’ve been in the club since I was seven, starting out in nippers and I honestly don’t know what I’d do with my summers if I wasn’t in the surf club.

“The skills I have learnt in surf lifesaving, leadership skills, are definitely skills I put to practice throughout my life and hopefully I will use them in my future nursing career.”

The team behind establishing the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed were the recipients of the Lakes Entrance community event of the year.

In announcing the award, Lions Club president, Wendy Brady, who played a role in the auspicing, planning and building of the shed, said more than 250 people attended the official opening and hand over of keys to the shed’sp resident, Daryl Pattison.

Mrs Brady thanks those who donated time and money to help build the shed, as well as the state government and the Australian Lions Foundation for helping fund the building.

“It’s a shed, but there’s more than just the building, it’s the heart and soul of what goes on inside the shed that’s important,” Mrs Brady said.

“It’s not just the producing of good and tools for people, it’s about men’s health. Men shy away from health problems, women’ have a cup of coffee and talk about their problems.

“The Men’s Shed is a wonderful place for men to get together and talk about some of their problems.”

PICTURED: (back) Wendy Brady, Tony Mitchinson, Andrew Gowland, Tim Rogerson, Rob Young, Rob Irvine and Don Brady, who won the community event of the year for auspicing the Lakes Entrance Men’s Shed, with (front) citizen of the year, Judy Burgess, and young citizen of the year, Jamieson Chester, were announced as Lakes Entrance Australia Day award winners at the annual Lions Club breakfast at the Mechanics Hall on Saturday.