Melville residents get WA Volunteer Service Awards

Greg and Kaye Allen
Joan Anderson
Greg and Kaye Allen Joan Anderson

FOR City of Melville residents Joan Anderson and Kaye Allen, the companionship of voluntary service is its own reward.

Mrs Anderson spent 34 years volunteering as a respite sitter for the Activ Foundation while Mrs Allen has remained an active member of St Christopher’s Netball Club since its inception in 1967 – including the past two decades as a coach and committee member.

Both women were recently presented with WA Volunteer Service Awards in recognition of their more than 25 years of service.

Mrs Anderson said she decided to put her hand up as an Activ Foundation sitter after hearing a radio advertisement.

“My own daughters were teenagers at the time and I just thought it sounded like something that was worth doing,” she said.

“Parents that care for a child with a disability have a lifetime job so it’s good to be able to give them a bit of break when they need it.”

At the height of her voluntary service Mrs Anderson would act as a sitter once or twice a week but nowadays works only with one family she has known for years.

“I have really enjoyed my time as a sitter – you meet some wonderful families and children along the way and I’ve made some lovely friends over the years.”

Mrs Allen joined St Christopher’s Netball Club, which started as church choir team, at the behest of her schoolmates in the mid-1960s.

She was made a life member in the 1970s and has helped the club to numerous A1 Grade grand finals, both as a player and a coach – sometimes filling both roles in the same season.

“Part of the ethos of our club is that you always give back, so if you played then in a few years’ time you’re expected to do something – coaching or committee or anything really,” Mrs Allen said.

A dodgy knee forced her to hang up her playing shoes when she was in her mid-40s but she has remained committed to the club as a mentor, coach and administrator ever since.

“What I enjoy most is just seeing the girls develop, living a healthy active lifestyle and making friends outside of school which I think is very important for teenagers,” she said.

Mrs Allen was presented her volunteer service award alongside friends and fellow St Christopher’s stalwarts Michelle Buhagiar, Kylie Cormack and Di Gepp.

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