2016 Volunteer of the Year Annual Winners

by Team BV

Doing everything from being a board member to organising his club’s Come and Try Days, Owen Ross is the sort of volunteer any club dreams of having.
Luckily for Grangeburn Bowling Club in Victoria’s west, Owen volunteers for them. And his dedicated efforts have not only won him recognition by his club and the West Coast Bowls Region, but statewide as Bowls Victoria’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year.
“He has made an outstanding commitment and contribution as a club person,” Grangeburn BC wrote in their submission.
“Owen consistently volunteers his time willingly for the common goal of the Grangeburn Bowling Club and the members, without personal or financial gain.
“Owen has shown great dedication and integrity towards the success of the club, with his reliability, positivity, flexibility and initiative through his voluntary commitments and his consistency as a club person and teammate, as an individual and collaboratively as part of a team.
“The ability to inspire others to volunteer and help out, where they can, is also a wonderful demonstration of Owen’s character.”
Owen was presented with the 2016 State award at Bowls Victoria’s Annual General Meeting on October 24.
He was one of 15 regional Volunteer of the Year winners presented with their regional awards at the AGM at Hawthorn Town Hall by Bowls Victoria President John Fisher.
Owen’s success gave West Coast Region a second successive State Volunteer of the Year award. Greg Ritchie from City Memorial BC, Warrnambool, won the inaugural State award in 2015.
Bowls Victoria Chief Executive Graeme Bridge says the award is one Bowls Victoria is proud of to give appropriate recognition to its volunteers all around the State who give up their time to make bowls a great, accessible sport for everyone.
“Without our volunteers, we wouldn’t have a sport. It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Regional winners were (along with excerpts from their nominating clubs):

Bendigo Campaspe

Glenn Thomson

Deniliquin RSL

Secretary, Treasurer, Social Bowls Coordinator, Coordinated the calendar, bar man, Tournament secretary, Sponsorship Coordinator and looks after Club Championships. His role could easily be described as Bowls Club Manager, but unfortunately the role or the remuneration exist in our club.

Central Goulburn Murray

Rob Sceney


Instigator of the Kyabram BC Business Plan, committee member, organising and supervising local groups, communication to club members and mover behind the appointment of a Bowls Development Officer for the club.

Central Victoria

Scot Nicholson


Youngest person to hold office at the Ballan BC as President, also public relations officer social media officer. Helped update the Ballan constitution to be a truly unified organisation that doesn’t discriminate based on gender and successfully won grant for the club.

Eastern Ranges

Pam James

Yarra Glen

Pam is a social member of the club, and volunteered to run the kitchens on a Saturday, runs the bar, and Thursday night meals which have not only seen sales rise but also strengthened the clubs social atmosphere. Pam has been a huge contributor to increased participation at club functions and her personality has ensured that there are always others willing to come and assist her.


Peter Lalor


Secretary of the club last year he introduced the computer program for membership management, sponsorship, banking, pennant team management, bar management liaising with local council and Leisure Networks and introducing a successful Jack Attack program at the club. He has devoted his time 24/7 to the club and has made the club truly professional.


Graeme Bland 


Graeme has held a number of different committee positions, but in the past year has managed all of the financial affairs of the club and through his diligence and advice the Stratford BC is in a strong financial position. Graeme has had some health problems but hasn’t let that stop him from going the extra mile to assist the club. All of the club members believe that Graeme’s attitude and willingness to contribute, emphasises the fact that he is a worth recipient of the award.

Murray Mallee

John Louttit

Sea Lake Golf

John never shirks the many duties at the club and is involved with maintenance of the club, greens and surrounds, bar management, raffles, organising working bees, manages club tournaments, runs the social bowls and has encouraged the school to take up Jr. Jack Attack. John is always first to arrive at the club, and of course, last to leave.

Northern Gateway

Ken Docking

Fitzroy Victoria

Selector and delegate, Ken also organises social games over winter as well as helping with the maintenance of the club. Ken “is” Fitzroy Victoria he tirelessly gives himself to the club for the benefit of all members. Longest serving member of the club in his 47th year, he has been actively involved in the club each year and is still one of the most important volunteers.

Ovens & Murray

Robert Armstrong


Robert, or Bet as he is known at Benalla, is one of those people who will not say no to helping any one out. Assists with the very successful Yooralla program and schools programs, and other events the clubs runs by doing the BBQ and getting things ready. Recently helped put new shades around the greens and does a number of other jobs around the club. Robert is a very special member and thoroughly deserves his award.

Peninsula Casey

Len O’Brien

Narre Warren

Upon joining the club Len quickly became one of the club’s most active volunteers. Setting up for bowls days inside and outside, assisting with tournaments, corporate challenge and barefoot bowls, and many other activities. Always has a smile on his face and a positive outlook, never has a bad word for anyone and every time there is a problem he has a solution.


Diana Grosberg


Her volunteering spirit assists all of Armadale’s members for the good of bowls. Involved as Bar manager, midweek selector, assistant board secretary, fixture book manager and other general duties. Without Diana doing what she does, it would take 3 or 4 people to replace her. At times we have tried to stop Diana from taking on so much, to no avail, she will not be stopped!


Don Jeffrey

Lang Lang

Don took on the club presidency in the club’s hour of need when no-one else could be persuaded to come on board. Despite his own health concerns he was pivotal in keeping the club running smoothly. He is the convenor of a highly successful community bowls program, bar manager, as well as helping with the greens and maintenance when required. Ever friendly, always helpful Don plays an integral role in making the club a great place to visit and attractive place to join.

West Coast

Owen Ross


Approachable, kind-hearted and welcoming, involved in the club’s try bowls events. Board member, Greens keeper, Selection Committee, Tournaments, and social activities and also built a new outdoor area at the club.


Greg Matthews

Korong Vale

Tireless amount of work as the unpaid greenkeeper, tournament secretary and sponsorship fundraiser and many other volunteer roles. As well as his efforts for the bowling club, Greg is also involved in volunteering for many other organisations in our small town.


Marita O’Meara

MCC Kew Sports Club

Was awarded the MCC Kew Club person of the year last season, always the first to volunteer even if it means missing an opportunity to play herself. Has volunteered as Club Secretary, CCO, Delegate, Saturday pennant selector, organiser of social functions and central source of club communications.

Metro West Region did not receive any nominations from clubs, and therefore did not nominate a Region winner.