2017 Stan Henwood Award winner announced at annual volunteer reception

Published: 12 May 2017

Nar Nar Goon resident Ray Coombs was announced this year’s Stan Henwood Award winner at the annual Mayor’s volunteer reception dinner at Cardinia Cultural Centre in Pakenham last night.

The award, now in its 13th year, honours the late Stan Henwood and his lifetime contribution to Tynong and the municipality. Stan’s wife Bev Henwood and daughter Denise Davidson joined Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Brett Owen in presenting the award.

Cr Brett Owen said, the award, paying tribute to Stan’s community service, is a way for Council and community to acknowledge similarly motivated individuals from across the shire for their significant contributions to the Cardinia Shire community.

“This award is particularly special as it gives us an opportunity to remember Stan and his efforts, as well as recognising individuals who are following in his footsteps by improving local sporting and community facilities for the enjoyment by the whole community,” Cr Brett Owen said.

Award winner Ray Coombs, now in his 70s, is regarded by his community as a quiet achiever and has been supporting his community through more than 50 years of charity work and involvement in many sporting and volunteering roles.

Having undertaken various committee roles for Nar Nar Goon Football Club since his 20’s, he has also been a delegate for West Gippsland Football League (30 years), and is still helping out at Nar Nar Goon Recreation Reserve. Ray has volunteered at the community centre, is a founding member of the bingo club, and has given 42 years to Nar Nar Goon Fire Brigade.

Ray was delighted to accept the award: “It is a great honour to receive this award. I knew Stan Henwood for a long time, and I have a lot of admiration for him.

“I think it is very important to be a volunteer. Somebody has got to do it! Once I got started, I just carried on doing it and didn’t know how to stop. I must have been born to be a volunteer,” he said.

Also nominated for the award were Mr Maurice Potter, Mr Brian Hannan, Ms Nancy Boura, Ms Sharyn Thomas, and Mr Frank Crameri.

Coinciding with National Volunteer Week, the reception also acknowledged hundreds of volunteers across 560 organisations in the shire, giving Council and the community an opportunity to thank volunteers for their vital contribution to Cardinia Shire.

The guest speaker for the evening was Emerald SES Unit Manager Ben Owen, who inspired as he shared his personal accounts and insight into the support that SES volunteers deliver to the community.

Cr Brett Owen said: “I praise all the nominees and all volunteers across our shire, for your passion and your achievements, and I thank you for your time, effort and commitment. Whether you volunteer for a sporting club, community group, emergency and support services, a school or kinder committee, you are all making a difference.”