Thank you to all our volunteers
In a small community like ours volunteers are the life blood of our community and this page is dedicated to saying THANK YOU to them.
Many of us would not even be aware of the amazing work our volunteers are involved with in our community. Whether it’s with Rotary, youth, or the elderly and one hour a day, week or month, the one thing they all have in common is a passion for seeing our community thrive and succeed.
Regularly sacrificing their own time for the greater good, we would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU on behalf of the community.
August – Volunteer of the Month – Ken Clark
Ken Clark has volunteered countless hours for over 16 years with St Helens Marine Rescue where he helps and ensured the safety of boaters, anglers and any other person in or on the water.
When Ken came to St Helens over 20 years ago on a Tuna Fishing weekend, he fell in love with our beautiful town. He promptly purchased a property in Stieglitz and has not left since.
Ken is a fun loving, kind natured man, who loves meeting and connecting with new people, the wild ocean, and the challenge of ‘making sure the boaties and fisherman are safe’.
One of Ken’s most memorable moments with Marine Rescue was back on 31st January 2020; Ken, JD and Rodney Treloggen got a call out at approximately 8pm at night to a dismasted yacht stranded below Eddystone Point. Ken tells us that when you get a call and you are free and able too, you just go and never know what you could be confronted with.
The crew of three volunteers set off in terrible weather conditions where the crew could not see 3 foot in front of the boat, were surfing off 3-metre waves and 30 – 35 knot winds South easterlies. The boat was rocking and rolling all over the place and would have been enough to turn any other experienced boater around. When they got to the yacht, the rigging gear was wrapped around the boat making it very unsafe to approach. The trio told the couple on board to abandon their yacht and essentially put all their trust in them in the pitch-black darkness. They stayed on the north side of the yacht to ensure that they did not get caught up in the rigging which was floating in the water. The tender floated towards them – as they went down in a trough…. the tender was on top of the wave and they managed to grab them and pull them into the rescue vessel – all the time making sure that everyone was safe.
After rescuing the couple, the Marine rescue team then started navigating the terrible conditions back to St Helens that saw waves washing every few seconds over the top of the rescue vessel.
Ken, we are sure that the seafaring community are very thankful that you, JD, Rodney Treloggen and the rest of St Helens Marine Rescue give up your valuable time for the sake of those (sometimes) in serious life threatening and dangerous situations. THANK YOU!
If Ken had one million dollars and with the huge increase in boats visiting our area, he would love to deck out St Helens Marine Rescue with all the equipment and every device required to perform their work safely and securely. He even dreams of receiving a bigger boat to increase their towing capacity because the boats and yachts of today are arriving bigger and heavier than ever.
On behalf of the Break O’Day community, we thank you for not only giving up your time to volunteer for our community, but also to you and your fellow volunteers at St Helens Marine Rescue, thank you for saving lives and for constantly putting your own on the line in the worst possible conditions and on quite a regular basis.
St Helens Marine Rescue are always looking for volunteers and hope to attract some more women and young people. They can provide you with funding to become fully qualified as a Radio Operator, Crew Member, and Coxswain or even be personally trained by the BBQ King himself to help with their fundraising BBQ’s, which they rely so heavily on to keep saving lives.
Tani adores our beautiful area and was drawn to our strong community. Her family moved to Scamander about three and a half years ago to satisfy Tani’s need for nature, her enjoyment of the ocean (without hoards of people) and a community with a big heart. Tani’s first connection to our community was walking through the St Helens Neighbourhood House front door. She really liked the feeling of the place straight away and knew it was somewhere she belonged.
Tani, along with other women in the community, developed Free2 Be – a group where teenage girls in St Helens can start appreciating their inner value, develop confidence and ultimately, be who they were meant to be. The Free2 Be group has been running for 3 years and is still gaining momentum. Tani comments “we’ve created another group in St Marys and the girls keep coming along which means it is working well!”
If Tani had one million dollars, she would set up the most amazing Youth Space based upon what young people in this area want and need. She believes volunteering has helped uncover skills she didn’t know she had. Her advice about volunteering if you’re thinking about it? “If there is something that makes you feel excited and inspired, do it and… when that excitement isn’t there anymore, stop doing it so you don’t get burnt out – or ask someone to take over or help.”
We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Tani and all she does in our community. Well done Tani on inspiring these girls to become great young women.
Carol and Michael Lefevre have been volunteering for over 20 years together with the Pyengana Euchre, Pyengana Hall Committee, and East Coast Swans Football Club. Michael started volunteering at the Pyengana Cricket ground as a young boy, because he realised if you couldn’t look after your ground, you couldn’t expect others to. He believes that others did more than he did at the time, but it taught him that if you want something to be proud of, do it yourself!
Carol really enjoys helping cook the weekly Thursday night training teas for the local footballers. She’s always satisfied when the plates come back empty and knows the meals have been enjoyed! If Carol had one million dollars, she would like an Indoor swimming pool for all people of the St. Helens area and Michael’s response “You can’t please everyone all the time. Get the community’s opinion, form a five-person committee, and go from there. Personally, I’d use it on more than one project!”
Both are very community minded and believe that if you see things that need doing in the community, just get some mates and do it! You’ll gain immense satisfaction, contribute to something that really matters and it’s so rewarding to help where you can. We all have different skills to offer and everyone can make a difference!
We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Carol and Michael Lefevre for all they do in our community. Well done team on consistently making our area a better place to live and demonstrating how lending a hand makes such a difference.
Richard and his wife moved to the east coast 18 months ago after spending a weekend here volunteering. At the time, Richard was volunteering for Ambulance Tasmania, and they instantly fell in love with St Helens, the friendliness of the locals and the opportunities the area presents for retirement.
Richard started volunteering for Ambulance Tasmania in St Helens in the winter periods, as most of the other Ambulance Tasmania local volunteers would do what many retirees do and head north to the warmth.
Richard volunteers for The Lions Club of St Helens, Get In2 Gear Learner Driver Mentoring Program and the Break O Day Fishing club. He volunteers for these community groups because he enjoys helping people with the health, confidence, socialisation and building friendships. He believes that the rewards from volunteering far outweigh his contribution. Richard’s most memorable moment was pushing the charge button on an AED, delivering the shock which caused the patient’s heart to restart and consequently his life was saved.
If Richard had one million dollars, he would set up a Community Gym, with programs and facilities to get everyone from all walks of our society more fit and healthy. Asking Richard for his thoughts on volunteering, you’d hear “Don’t think it, just do it. There are so many areas and volunteer groups, find one that fits your interests and get involved, you won’t regret it.”
We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Richard and everything he does within our community. Well done Richard on consistently helping others and selflessly, making our community a better place.
Matt and his wife Marg have lived in St Helens and been volunteering locally for over 39 years. They relocated to St Helens from Melbourne as they believe it’s a great place to bring up children.
The first group Matt volunteered with was the St Helens Little Athletics Centre inaugural committee, which was made up of some committed parents through the local school.
Matt’s most rewarding volunteer role is his current role at the East Coast Swans Football Club. He’s enjoying his current role with the club so much because of the players commitment, their strong and efficient committee, community support and the great reputation of the club.
If Matt had a million dollars, he would Finance and arrange the construction of a caretaker’s residence on the St Helens Sporting Complex so that we could have a full time person charged with the development and maintenance of this unique facility.
Matt is currently approaching his 80th year and still looking at local volunteering options, and there are plenty of choices in St Helens. He says “After being involved in Little Athletics, Cricket, Health, Athletic Carnival, Lions and Footy….. I might try Bowls.”
Matt’s advice on volunteering is “Don’t volunteer to get something out of it, do it to put something into it, and the rewards will come.”
We’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to Matt and his generous contributions to our community of many years. Well done Matt, our community is stronger, fitter and more motivated because of you.
Introducing Paul Aulich, President of St Marys Community Space project. Over the past 4 years the group have been working on the development of a skate park, bike track, BBQ area, swings and exercise equipment. Through their hard work and dedication, the group have secured a grant for $386,000, so their dreams are now becoming reality.
After moving to St Marys 49 years ago, the first community connection was to the St Marys Football Club, where he helped with the Lions and their Christmas Parade each year. Paul was Vice President of the School Association for 13 years, which lead him to his current role as President of the St Marys Community Space. Paul’s family have called Break O’Day home for 3 generations and he still lives in St Marys with his wife Genevieve and three beautiful grown up children.
Paul volunteers because he likes to see progress in the community and assist with improvements to the town. He enjoys accomplishing things that benefit younger children in the area and feels he can be a role model for his own children. Paul’s most memorable moment of volunteering is the hours of work that has gone into the planning of the St Marys Community Space, which he is now helping to develop and construct.
If Paul had one million dollars, he would build a multipurpose indoor sports stadium in St Marys, so that people could have a space to play sport, exercise and be able to socialise all year round.
If Paul could give anyone thinking about volunteering some words of encouragement he’s say “It can be very satisfying when you see your hours of work turn into something that people will use and enjoy, and someone has to do it.”
We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to Paul Aulich and his family for all they do in our community. Well done team on consistently making our area a better place to live and demonstrating how lending a hand makes such a difference.
Beris has lived in Break’O Day since 1984, and came here because of the natural beauty and diversity of the landscape. Having native wildlife and bush around was a big draw card for Beris and she is passionate about conserving the local area.
In 1996, Beris and a group of likeminded friends formed the “Friends of the Blue Tier.” They recognised the impacts of felling in the north east forests and began investigating and advocating for alternatives. Their sustained effort was instrumental in stopping the logging and the creation of many very popular walking tracks in the blue tier forests, including Halls Falls and the Big tree walking track.
Beris is currently involved with the North East Bioregional Network, a diverse group of locals from all over the municipality with the aim to maintain our natural landscape. Beris is also involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of native wildlife, fostering joeys orphaned as a result of road kill and supporting their eventual release.
Sarah Lloyd’s “sound idea “project aims to understand bird populations in Tasmania, specific threats, and how to reduce them. Beris has been involved for over 12 years and understands the importance of local birds, and how their presence or absence reflects the state of the surrounding landscape. She attends monthly walks with a group of keen birdwatchers “BONE” (Birds of the North East) to gain further knowledge and understanding of our regions bird life.
Beris’ motivation for volunteering is the belief that it is possible to make change through gathering information, acquiring local knowledge, consulting experts, being patient, determined, not thwarted by disapproval or disappointment, and prepared to be in it for the long haul. As for her best experience so far, she can’t name one. For Beris, they are all part of the one thing, being aware of the natural world and being part of a growing movement to preserve, protect and maintain it wherever possible.
And if she had a million dollars to spend, she would donate it to the NEBN towards the establishment of the East Coast Conservation Corridor proposal to connect and conserve the unique ecological landscape from Cape Portland to Cape Pillar
Beris has some words of encouragement for those thinking about volunteering. “Get involved in whatever touches your heart. Be prepared to change your life as you know it and keep your sense of humour.”
We’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to Beris and her generous contributions to our community of many years. Well-done Beris, our community and environment is more beautiful, accessible and protected because of you.
Jackson is a born and bred volunteer coming from 3 generations of volunteers and is passionate that everyone should have a go at volunteering for their community; “it is a great way to help your community, meet people and make new friends.” He said.
Jackson has lived in St Marys all of his life with his loving family and is involved in a wealth of volunteer groups; the St Marys Volunteer Fire Brigade, St Marys Community Car & Bike Show, Rural Youth Tasmania and the St Marys Christmas Parade which, he said was they highlight of every year as he gets to watch everyone come together and have fun.
Jackson said he loves volunteering because he loves to help people in their time of need, it was seeing the devastation of the 2006 fires that led Jackson to volunteer for St Marys Volunteer Fire Brigade. He also said that volunteering allows him to learn new skills and meet new friends. Simply put he volunteers because of his love of his community and a real desire to help people.
If Jackson could give other volunteers some words of wisdom; “Listen to your mentors, be open minded and help out where you can. Have fun.”
If he had one million dollars, he would build an aged care home in St Marys because he cares so much for our older generations, and if he had one wish granted, it would be to “get the St Marys Lions Club back up and running”.
Jackson, on behalf of the Break O’Day community we say THANK YOU, we appreciate the countless hours of valuable volunteering you selflessly do in support of those in need. We especially thank you for always considering others needs and we hope that you can continue to encourage other young people to volunteer for their communities. You are making a BIG difference in your community.