Volunteer of the Year 2017

by Team BV

Peninsula Casey Region’s Suzie Powell has been named Bowls Victoria’s Volunteer of the Year State winner for 2017.
Suzie was presented with the award by Bowls Victoria President Barbara Gilbert at Bowls Victoria’s Annual General Meeting at Hawthorn Town Hall, and was among a shortlist of 15 regional Volunteers of the Year named from Victoria’s bowls regions.
Suzie, from Balnarring Bowls & Social Club, joined the club with her husband four years ago.
At the time she was unable to bowl so she became a social member.
In 2014, she offered her services as Sponsorship Coordinator and has held this and many other roles in the club ever since. As Sponsorship Coordinator, she’s brought in over $12,500 in sponsorship in the past 12 months.
The effort she’s made to extend the sponsorship has been incredible and has meant that through offering increased prizemoney, the club has been able to attract more and more people for the events they run. 
Suzie is the Barefoot Bowls Coordinator – a program which runs for about 26 weeks per year. The club gets 80 to 180 people attend every Friday of daylight saving, some who have become social members and others have converted to full members. We’re told that she knows every single person’s name.
Suzie is humble, never big noting herself, always interested in others and prepared to put in wherever there is a need. Suzie suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, but she tries not to let this interfere with her life. 
The club knows she’d love to play bowls, but her condition and some other injuries have prevented her from doing so. Not to be deterred, she’s become fully involved in the club and is an excellent role model for other members, even if they don’t all know the extent to which she’s involved. If only every club had a few more volunteers like Suzie.
Around 100 people attended the Annual General Meeting, at which the financials for the 2016-17 year were presented and the Bowls Victoria Annual Report ratified.
2017 Volunteer of the Year Region Winners


Bendigo Campaspe
Shirley Phyland  (City of Echuca Bowling Club)
Shirley may not be a bowler but she is the bar manager at the club as well as taking on a number of other roles. Whether it be placing orders, keeping on top of the RSA requirements, reporting to the Board of Management or anything else the club relies on Shirley. Not only is the bar a key fundraiser but the prompt and cheerful service and interest in how the club is performing is much appreciated by all the clubs members. At a bowling club that’s so reliant on volunteers, Shirley is definitely a standout!
Central Goulburn Murray 
Alan J Jones (Tocumwal Golf & Bowls Club)
People like Alan are almost impossible to find. He has always had the Club at heart, even when he wasn’t even a bowler! He is one of those rare people who gives his time willingly and happily. If there was a job to be done, Alan was always there. Whether it be as Secretary, Director,  assisting greens keepers, maintenance of the club, functions, welcoming of new bowlers and members, or assisting with the transfer of the club, Alan was the go-to man at the club.He’s worked tirelessly for 27 years and Tocumwal Bowls Club owes Alan a huge debt of gratitude for his amazing contributions.
Central Victoria – No nominee
Eastern Ranges
David Knowles (Bennettswood BC)
It’s hard to measure the impact David Knowles has had at the Bennettswood BC in the past 5 years. As Board Secretary, corporate facilitator and bar manager, the club has transformed through David’s work and dedication. More recently, David has also successfully received a grant from the Department of Health for the club, arranged the purchase and installation of solar panels on the roof, arranged and ran a nine week schools program with 50 to 60 students each week, writes the bi-monthly club newsletter, and the club was in profit this year stemming almost wholly from David’s efforts. David is so popular with members, and was awarded the inaugural memorial award in honor of former assistant Secretary Ian Jenkins, for his significant contribution to the welfare of the club. Bennetswood don’t know where the club would be without David’s quite extraordinary efforts, but today there is much optimism about the club and its future.
Barry Hair (Ocean Grove BC)
Barry is a tireless worker for the Ocean Grove Bowling Club. His bright, friendly and welcoming personality endears him to members and visitors alike and there is no doubt everyone goes home from an event run by Barry with a spring in their step and a smile of their face. Barry organises a number of events at the club, and assists with most others. He participates in the maintenance team and attends all working bees called throughout the year. Barry also organises and runs the Social Bowls every Wednesday throughout the year at Ocean Grove.
Alan Reid (Lakeside Club Sale)
Alan Reid has been heavily involved with the ongoing maintenance and preparation of the bowling greens at the Lakeside Club Sale. He has been instrumental in preparing all greens prior to pennant days, other tournaments and social functions. Alan’s involvement in our club goes beyond normal volunteer work. Alan is a hands on type of volunteer, that the club values greatly.
Metro West 
Linda Melrose (Deer Park BC)
Mrs Linda Melrose has been a volunteer at the Deer Park Bowling Club for the past 30 years, and continues her tremendous work volunteering to this day. She tirelessly assists in the fundraising efforts of the club where she gives her valuable time to organising and selling raffle tickets during the week. Every Friday night and Saturday, she’s there to make sure members are supporting the club. Each week she raises between $800 and $1,000. Deer Park advises that without the assistance of Mrs Melrose in raising this money, the grass greens would not be in the condition they are now.
Murray Mallee 
Robert Jay (Ouyen BC)
Rob Jay has been a member at Ouyen since 1975 and a volunteer greenkeeper for 26 years, the past 11 being full-time. Within that role he takes full responsibility for the preparation, ongoing maintenance and development of the two greens. Bowls is played competitively at Ouyen for 12 months of the year, meaning in 2016/17 the greens were presented for play on almost 200 occasions. An extension of this means Rob is also the general handyman, a job he completes without fuss, quietly and efficiently behind the scenes. Rob also volunteers his time to assist other smaller clubs, Underbool and Manangatang to oversee the maintenance of their greens. He’s also Chair of the Sunraysia Umpires Board, a Presenter & Assessor training new umpires, along with assistance and direction to new club members. He does all of this without accepting any financial renumeration, irrespective of the financial position of the club.
Northern Gateway
Andy Smith (Moonee Ponds)
Andy Smith continually contributes hours upon hours to support the good of bowls by his commitment to Moonee Ponds BC, through his tireless hours spent attending to our two greens as Greens Director.Andy also contributes many hours as tournament director of all Northern Gateway Region Bowls events when held at Moonee Ponds. Andy serves on the Northern Gateway Bowls Region Board as Vice-President, and is also Greens Inspector for the Region. On top of this he’s Chairman of the Bowls Victoria Greens Committee which he inspects and ratifies new green installations, meeting with clubs who have issues with their greens and contributes reports and recommendations about the state of greens in Victoria.
Ovens & Murray
Peter Graham (Dederang BC)
President Peter is a tireless volunteer for the Dederang BC. His multitude of volunteer roles include; President, grounds and facilities maintenance, green keeper, coordinator of tournaments and social bowls, representative at Ovens & Murray Bowls Region, catering manager and BBQ cook! It’s in no small way that through his efforts, the bowls club has continued to exist and develop. He oversaw the succesful combination of Dederang and Mt Beauty BC in a caring and empathetic manner which saw benefits to both communities. Former Mt Beauty members have harmoniously integrated with Dederang and a potentially stressful and anxious situation has been averted, largely through Peter’s commitment and effort. His selfless devotion to his community and the sacrifice of his hours and efforts are exemplary and inspirational.

Peninsula Casey
Suzie Powell (Balnarring Bowls & Social Club)
Suzie Powell holds a number of different roles at Balnarring Bowls & Sports Club. She’s the Barefoot Bowls Co-ordinator, the Sponsorship Coordinator, and an active member of the social committee where she helps prepare dinners and the snack food every Friday night for Happy Hour. She’s also part of the catering team and volunteers her time behind the bar. She not only raises money for the club but also raises awareness about the facilities for businesses and the community in general.She’s an excellent role model for the club, Balnarring just wishes they had a few more people like Suzie.
Thelma Marcakis (Armadale Bowls Club @ South Caulfield)
Thelma is a member of the Tournament Committee, not only assisting in the running of all Tournaments, keeping everything on track, but also encourages and supports female members to enter tournaments. She’s the clubs most prolific marker, regardless of the weather, and trains and mentors others learning the role. Thelma is the best example of ethics, grace and integrity and never stops being cheerful and supporting everything the club does. She attends and assists with every club function. Her enviable energy, commitment and club sporit on and off the green are exemplary, and the club is inspired by her dedication. She’s truly loved by all.
Ken Mooney (Traralgon)
Ken’s helpful and friendly disposition with members, guests and new bowlers at the club is not only a credit to himself, but also for Traralgon Bowls Club and especially to the good of bowls. His welcoming nature has made him a most popular member of the club. Hi voluntary work around the club, in coaching, umpiring, juniors and coordinating several club events and tournaments, is execptional and beyond what one would expect of a volunteer. He is well-known and much respected throughout the Gippsland area, not just for his bowling, but also for the helpful and well-natured person he is. Because of his previous and ongoing work the awarded Ken their Club Person of the Year Award in 2016/17.
West Coast 
Phillip Allen (Grangeburn BC)
Phillip Allen is undoubtedly one of the most respected club members at Grangeburn, for his outstanding and willing contribution and commitment to volunteering in a number of roles. This was acknowledged by his peers crowning his ‘Club Volunteer of the Year’ this past season, an award held in high prestige at the club. Phil’s dedication and excellence towards the club’s Try Bowls activities has undeniably been the back bone behind increased club memberships with many new bowlers embarking on social and pennant bowls with eagerness, pride and passion. Phil is a quiet and humble achiever who does not like much fuss but has the ability to make everyone feel welcome, at ease, important and inclusive in all that he is involved with. On top of this Phil’s on the Board, runs Tournaments and events, assists with bar duties, handyman and maintenance jobs, private functions and more.
James Landt (Warracknabeal Golf Bowls)
Jim has been Greenkeeper at our club for the past 15 years. The club has a sand filled synthetic, which Jim has spent countless hours watering, marking, cleaning and maintaining. He willingly travels to the green several times a week to keep it in good condition. The club is always being complemented for the condition and pace of the synthetic, it’s widely regarded as one of the best in the Division. Jim’s diligence to maintaining it is the reason why.
Jennifer Morley (Burwood District BC)
Jen is always cheerful and willing to help. She’s established the Barefoot Bowls program on Friday nights, organises a monthly dinner for club members to keep in touch and initiated the hiring of the club rooms taking bookings for birthday parties, Christmas functions and corporate functions. Jen also organises community sausage sizzles to raise much needed funds for the club. In her six years at the club she has raised in excess of $60,000 whilst maintaining a full-time job. Without this lady Burwood District BC would not exist. BDBC runs close to the bone financially, so the money that she and other volunteers raise keeps the club viable. She has made a huge difference to he club in many ways and her efforts and very much appreciated by the Board (of which she is also Vice-President) and all of the members.