Steiglitz BLOG

Recognition for a job well done

Volunteering has many benefits.  Usually, it’s the joy of seeing a community goal achieved.  Sometimes, it’s receiving an award for a job well done.

Recently, although not quite an award, the Back to Steiglitz Association volunteers received something equally as wonderful…a Certificate of Recognition from our local Shire.

Why?   In the words of Golden Plains Shire CEO, Rod Nicholls, ‘In acknowledgement of your outstanding contribution to the community.’  In particular, the 2016 ‘Back to Steiglitz Festival & Reunion’. 

Asked to attend the International Women’s Day Award Ceremony in Bannockburn, on March 28th, BtS members sat amidst a ‘packed house’ in the historic Shire Offices.  The room was alive with excitement & nerves.

On one side sat six women from across the Shire. Most of whom, for decades, had worked quietly behind the scenes throughout the Golden Plains Shire community. They were receiving awards.  All smiled, though looked nervous, and slightly embarrassed, at being labelled ‘Amazing.’   

Among their ranks sat one lone English woman, her crutches beside her chair. She couldn’t stop smiling either.  Though her excitement was due to the joy she felt at knowing, within minutes, she would be an official Australian Citizen.

In the audience sat BtS members, Kathy & Ralph Nordin, and Terry Allinson.  Like everyone, their faces were lit with giant grins.

Now Kath didn’t know it yet, though she was about to accept the Shire award on behalf of the entire Back to Steiglitz.   When Golden Plains Shire Mayor, Des Phelan began talking about why BtS deserved this public recognition I looked up and, like the rest of us, saw Ralph & Kathy beaming broadly.

Until, that is, I began discreetly pointing to Kath, then to Des, and back again.  Like many country women, Kath rolls up her sleeves and simply jumps into whatever task her community needs done.  She doesn’t crave the lime light.   Instead, for decades now, she’s eagerly toiled away in the background of various local groups.  One example is her years of dedication to the local Maude CFA.  For Kath spearhead’s the women’s unit of this life-saving local group.  Her wide range of abilities, love of people, smile & easy laughter, have been major factors in the CFA ladies raising tens of thousands of dollars over the decade she’s been in charge.  While she fills BtS meetings & events with a real sense of mischief & fun.

Making Kath Nordin the perfect BtS representative to accept this Certificate.

However, the sudden realization of what my mad miming meant, combined with the shocked look on her face, told me she thought otherwise.  While Des continued speaking about BtS achievements, Kath was wildly shaking her head, and mutely mouthing a big ‘NO!’  Countered by me, nodding my head equally as vigorously, mouthing “YES!” right back at her. 

Suddenly our Mayor finished speaking.  Kath’s eyes opened wide.  I didn’t move, determined to not even look at Des. Instead, with eyebrow raised, I continued to grin at Kath.  Like the trooper she is, Kath quickly stood up, a broad grin in place.  As the room erupted with cheers and applause, this wonderful woman shook hands and thanked everyone.  Assuring all, the entire BtS was honoured to be awarded such a generous gift.

And we sure were.  The bush echoed with our whoops & cheers when we’d first heard!  

This country runs on volunteers…all just as wonderfully hard working as Kath Nordin. Though every group also face the same problems -  such as attracting new active members.  Meaning, we all know, appreciating the volunteers we have is essential. Understand, acknowledging individual efforts plays a large part of that appreciation.  As is having your entire group’s efforts valued.  

So the BtS would like to say, we’re stoked our Shire recently recognized all the effort behind creating the incredible Back to Steiglitz Festival & Reunion.  It’s our pleasure to provide the public with such a quirky, fun-filled event.  Our privilege, as today’s custodians, to be a part of this long-standing, local, cultural tradition.                                                                                                                                        

Just like all the other volunteers across Australia, we don’t do any of this for recognition…though it sure is nice to receive it.  Thank you! 

If you’d like to find out more about this fabulous not-for-profit Association, interested in becoming a member, or intrigued by what our latest goals & events may be, browse our webpage here.     Or if you need to speak to one of us, ring me, Lindy, on 52819390.  

With thanks & big grins, Lindy Allinson and the entire team of the BtS Association.