Y celebration awards its best

YMCA South Australia held its annual awards presentation evening at The Playford on Saturday 1 October, showcasing and celebrating our organisation’s best for innovation, creativity and excellence.

Awards were presented across 10 separate categories on the night. Highlights included The Valleys Lifestyle Centre’s Sonia Goss taking out the Community Partnerships award for the Ride for a Brighter Side fundraising event, and acknowledgment of the extraordinary work put in by the Support Services Finance Team, earning them the Jack Massey Team of the Year award.

The Ride for a Brighter Side raised close to $59,000 for mental health support and also won the Community Event of the Year at the Clare & Gilbert Valley Council Australia Day awards. Accepting the YSA award, Sonia gave credit to the wider staff and support team at The Valleys, together with local community and businesses that supported the event.

The state office based Finance Team, led by Head of Finance Karen Polkinghorne, restructured and updated the organisation’s systems and processes in 2021-22, engaging expertise from local and international sources. Two support team members, Jholly and Crizie, who are based in the Philippines, attended the awards evening as part of a week engaging with their colleagues and visiting YMCA centres in South Australia.

The growth in the Children’s Services sector was endorsed with four awards. Southern Regional OSHC Manager, Tabitha Norris won the prestigious George Williams Employee of the Year, while Youth Empowerment Manager, Susan Britza, was announced as the Emerging Leader of the Year. Madeline Stansbie from Riverbanks College B-12 ELC took the Engaging Future Minds award, while the Mentorship Leadership Program was awarded for Excellence in Innovation.

The evening was facilitated by YMCA South Australia Regional Development Manager, Haydn Bellamy, who praised the outstanding work of all across the organisation.

“The YMCA is proud to acknowledge the dedication and hard work that our almost 800 staff and volunteers put in each and every year, to ensure we provide the very best in community-based programs and services,” he said. “Our awards are a chance to recognise those efforts and also celebrate the staff and management teams behind the winners.”

Other award recipients included: Toni Hayles (Glengowrie Gymnastics) – Excellence in Operational Management, Tara Krenske (St Clair Recreation Centre) - Outstanding Contribution by a Young Employee and The Wellbeing Committee – Program of the Year.

Volunteer of the Year went to Fleurieu Aquatic Centre’s Julienne Huppatz, who was acknowledged for her dedication to the local community in the Group Fitness area.

Check out all the details and view the photo gallery.