THERE was fierce competition in the Disability, Welfare and Social Inclusion category at the prestigious 2016 Clubs and Community Awards … and Macksville Ex-Services Club came up trumps.
Club CEO Judy Ward said “shocked” was an understatment.
“I had convinced myself we wouldn’t win,” Judy told the Guardian.
“The award to start with was going to be against 17 other clubs across the state, including some huge clubs.
“We were very excited to actually win it and have the recognition of the industry’s governing bodies.”
The club was recognised for their efforts to promote disability and social inclusion in the community, and with the assistance of local disability service provider CHESS Employment, the club has been instrumental in changing the life of Jonathon Wynter.
Jonathon’s evolution from a shy young man to a crucial team player has been well-received by members and the local community who have seen his confidence grow.
“He’s very proud of himself and we’re all proud of how far he’s come,” Judy said.
“Everybody who was involved in this from all our staff to the members deserve recognition for this achievement.”
Judy said the successful application and subsequent win had given the club board the confidence to apply next year.
“We’ll look at what we are doing and at different categories,” Judy said.
“It’s given us the confidence to apply again - we’d never applied before because of the process, but with the assistance we received this year and our result, we will give it another go.”
For the first time ever in the category the judges awarded a tie – so the local club will share honours with The Royal Price Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney’s Northern Beaches
In a coup for the Mid North Coast region, a Highly Commended Award was also awarded to C.ex Group in the Emergency Services Category for their crucial partnership with the Northern Region Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service.
ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball congratulated both Macksville Ex-Services Club and C.ex Group for their wins.
“Congratulations to Macksville Ex-Services Club and C.ex Group for their commitment to making a difference in the lives of people on NSW’s Mid North Coast,” he said.
“The encouragement and support that Macksville Ex-Services Club has given to promoting disability inclusion in the community is inspiring, and we are proud of the way in which they have dedicated both their time and resources to the cause.”