The Ann Maddern Volunteer of the Year Award

The Ann Maddern Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded annually at GEALC’s Biggest Morning Tea and Volunteer Recognition Ceremony (held in May) to recognise the significant contribution a volunteer has made in that year.

Ann Maddern was a volunteer at GEALC for over 22 years. Ann generously volunteered her time as a Librarian, a member on our OH&S committee, as the Secretary and a general member on our Committee of Management member and was involved in catering for many of our events. Ann played such an important part in shaping GEALC into the wonderful Centre it is today and so GEALC’s Committee of Management not only decided to present Ann with a Life members’ award in March 2022, but they also decided to name our VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD after her.

2022 Volunteer of the Year - Elizabeth Amini Arabi

Elizabeth arrived in Australia from Iran as a refugee in 2019. We are lucky that she chose to settle in Glen Eira and join English classes at GEALC… from the moment she stepped through our door, she has brought warmth and generosity to everything she does.

Elizabeth embodies the volunteer spirit, with an ever-present smile (even when life is tough for her) and a willingness to help out. From supporting other students in the classroom to volunteering at many GEALC events, she has given of her time, energy and skills. Elizabeth has been our volunteer kitchen manager at numerous Multicultural Festivals and, just like this one today! And even this year, when she has had to move far from GEALC and is no longer able to study here, she has committed to coming to our events to volunteer in the kitchen.

Elizabeth’s dedication and love for GEALC is clear and she is a most worthy recipient of the Ann Maddern GEALC Volunteer of the Year award. Congratulations Elizabeth!