Community champions recognised

THEY are champions of the community. Working tirelessly and selflessly for the betterment of the community. They hail from all walks of life. From high school teachers, health care workers, youth workers and journalists, going above and beyond the call of duty.

A handful of these community champions have been recognised for their contribution to the community receiving Monaro Service Awards.

Four local residents were presented with awards by Member for Monaro John Barilaro at a ceremony in Queanbeyan on Tuesday.

They included former Cooma-Monaro Express journalist Elena Guarracino, Monaro High School principal Adrian Bell, Youth Project Coordinator Cathy Guion and president of the Michelago Region Community Association Cate Spencer.

The recipients were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the community in areas such as the arts, environment, multiculturalism, education, health, sport, heritage and pastoral care.

"The impact that volunteers have in our community is immeasurable," Mr Barilaro said.

"Imagine if one day all volunteers simply didn't show up; what would our cities, towns, parks, schools, libraries, sporting clubs and community groups look like.

"What opportunities to grow, learn, and thrive as a society would be lost; truth is you likely cross paths with a volunteer at least once if not several times a day, no matter where you are in the world.

"Today is a way of saying thank you to them."

Ms Guarracino was recognised for her exceptional service to the Monaro community through print journalism. Mr Bell was awarded for his longstanding dedication to educational excellence and student development. Ms Guion received the award for her outstanding service, compassion and support for the region's youth through the Cooma Youth Hub. Michelago's Cate Spencer was recognised as a tireless community advocate working for improved facilities in Michelago through the Michelago Region Community association.

"Today's entire list of award recipients are all incredible ambassadors of our community; it gives me great joy to formally recognise them today and in doing so demonstrate my and the community's appreciation of all their efforts," Mr Barilaro said.

Six residents from Snowy River Shire also recevied awards for their tireless community service. They included Berridale's Narelle Willems, Jindabyne's Tom Barry, Neen Pendergast, Jill Hodges, Bruce Hodges OAM and Vickii Wallace who was presented with a Premier's Community Service Award.

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