Manningham Council has announced its 2023 Manningham Civic awardees who go above and beyond for our community through volunteer or paid work.
The Civic Awards, held in September each year, shine light on the incredible and selfless people in Manningham who give so much of themselves to the community without expecting anything in return.
To the award recipients, helping others and volunteering their time comes from a deeper sense of purpose.
“It’s what we are born to do.
It’s what life is all about.
“Nothing in this world gives more of a sense of achievement,” says Dennis Clarke, Manningham Citizen of the Year.
Manningham’s Mayor Cr Deirdre Diamante attended the award ceremony last month and thanked the winners for their service to the community.
“Manningham is home to remarkable people who go above and beyond for our community.
“I feel privileged to recognise and celebrate their achievements on behalf of Manningham and to share their inspiring stories,” Cr Diamante said.
The five category winners are:
Citizen of the Year
Dennis is a pillar within the community through his work with Doncaster RSL as the Senior Vice President, Secretary of RAEME Vietnam Southern Chapter (previously Inaugural President), Anzac and Poppy Appeals, active participant of committees such as VVAA Box Hill Committee, ALPGA, VACC, RACV and more.
As well as the many hours volunteering and working for committees, Dennis spends time calling other Vietnam veterans, talking to them, checking in on their mental health and making sure that they are okay.
Though he considers himself extremely lucky, Dennis’ own traumatic experiences from the Vietnam War influenced his sense of purpose to unite, acknowledge and take care of others with similar experiences.
Dennis championed mental health for war veterans before awareness was prevalent in society. His compassion for people who are struggling and his determination to help those in need is an example of how important Dennis is to the RSL community and Manningham more broadly.
Dot Haynes OAM, Doncaster RSL Secretary, told the Bulletin, “Dennis does so much for so many and is a high achiever for the members and community.
“Doing maintenance when there is no one around at the Doncaster RSL as well as initiating some of our events, especially ensuring our ANZAC, Remembrance and Vietnam services and Appeals get much support from others as well.
Doreen Stoves Volunteer of the Year
Frank has been volunteering for Manningham organisations for over 30 years.
He has dedicated himself to those groups including, Manningham Uniting Church, LinC Manningham Inc., MannaCare nursing home, Outback Links, Blaze Aid and planting trees for the Tree Project.
Janet van Leerdam, a fellow LinC Manningham Inc., member, nominated Frank for the award.
“Frank is a selfless person who has been giving to others for many years, especially since retirement.”
Sports Volunteer of the Year
Caroline has devoted her energy to the Committee of Doncaster Dolphins Masters Swimming club in various roles such as, club Registrar, Recorder, Secretary and President.
Community Organisation of the Year
LinC Manningham Inc
LinC Manningham Inc. is a community organisation made up of volunteers from various Christian churches within Manningham.
It provides house cleaning, social support to new migrants and women affected by domestic violence, home cooked meals, decluttering homes, gardening, goods from Eastern Emergency Relief, or even the little things like taking clients out for a coffee or to do their shopping.
Young Volunteer of the Year
Shin Thant (Berry) Eain
Berry is committed to making a difference and is determined to bridge the gap between local and international students within her school and also wider community.
Berry is an incredible role model to her peers and an advocate for student voice.
“As a young teenager and a female student (in Myanmar), I never had the privilege to explore concepts like human rights and democracy.
“I intend to grasp any opportunity that is presented to me and make the most out of my experience here as a proud international student by volunteering and helping those who may experience the same circumstances as me,” Berry said when describing her inspiration.
Highly Commended Community Organisation
Doncaster Junior Football Club
DJFL fosters the importance of sportsmanship, diversity, teamwork and pride in local community whilst also consistently working towards a community culture that enriches friendships and fosters joy in sport.
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of children have transitioned through the club over its 50 plus year history.
“Each child has brought with them an extended family who have visited and contributed to the club culture.
“All of them have benefited from the club’s environment and in turn the community it has created,” Michelle Taylor, who nominated the club, said.
Manningham Council is exceptionally proud to have such outstanding local heroes and recognises their invaluable contributions to the local community.