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Source: Auckland Council

A special recognition ceremony was held last month at Estuary Arts Centre for the recipients of the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board Volunteer Awards 2021.

Community organisations nominated 12 representatives who were recognised for their contributions to a range of sectors, including arts, environment, sports, food rescue, citizens advice and surf lifesaving. The awards are biannual but COVID-19 restrictions meant last year’s ceremony couldn’t take place.

Board chair Gary Brown says there are many passionate, dedicated people and local groups who go above and beyond, and their contributions make the local board area a great place to live.

“Our volunteers are legends, giving their time and resources generously and often to many different groups. They quietly get on with what needs to be done, often tackling projects no one else wants to do. Their efforts are inspiring and they are improving people’s lives.”

Among those recognised was Pauline Smith from Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird for her involvement with environmental conservation that spans over 20 years. She founded Pest-Free Hibiscus Coast and mentors many of the volunteers. She’s also a well-known artist, teacher and exhibitor at Estuary Arts Centre.

Connie Tito volunteers over 30 hours a week at Love Soup Hibiscus Coast and is on call whenever needed. Taking everything in her stride, her efforts include food rescue and sorting, packing and distributing food and looking after donations of clothes and toys.

Brian Mooney chaired the Deep Creek Restoration Society (formerly Restore Deep Creek Action Committee) almost since its inception four years ago. Only recently stepping down as chairman, Brian inspires everyone he meets, he motivates volunteers, takes part in working bees, liaises with residents and organisations to progress the society’s goals and restore the estuary.

Volunteering for over 25 years at Browns Bay Citizens Advice Bureau, Elizabeth Wall tirelessly helps others. A life member of the Justice of the Peace organisation, she serves as a JP for several communities, supports many organisations and her support continued from home during COVID-19 lockdowns.

Other recipients were Paul Wilkinson, Hibiscus Coast Forest & Bird; Ray Urban, Orewa Bowls; Lynn Dewar, North Shore Riding for the Disabled; Liz Goodwin, Centennial Park Bush Society; Maree Johnston, Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Inc; Cori Tipton, Estuary Arts Centre; and Jon Goldie and Myka Copeland, Orewa Surf Life Saving Club.