YMCA Awards Night Celebrates the Year’s Best

YMCA South Australia held its 2021 annual awards presentation event on Saturday (28 August) where the best of our best were announced and celebrated.

The annual awards event celebrates the extraordinary effort and achievement of the organisation in another year that provided many challenges as the state continues to deal with the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

The evening was hosted by YMCA South Australia Regional Development Manager, Craig Hortin, and featured an address by CEO David Paterson who said the efforts of all across the organisation was an outstanding example of the strength of the Y.

Mr Hortin underlined the breath and influence of the organisation across South Australia in his opening remarks.

“As of today the YMCA operate in 36 locations across the South Australia, supported by 720 passionate and committed staff and, tonight, we are here together to celebrate our impact and achievements,” he said.

There were dual recipients of the George Williams Employee of the Year award – Elysse Hirschausen (Fleurieu Aquatic Centre) and Michelle Haine (Children’s Services). Ms Haine was thrilled with her award and said it was already an amazing feeling just to be nominated.

“I could not do this alone. My manager Komala and ‘second boss’ Tristian are always there to support me and so is my ‘co-captain’ Kylie who is always there to bounce ideas off. It’s also credit to my amazing team of directors, assistant directors and educators that I have had the pleasure of working with,” she said.

“The YMCA is the first organisation I have worked for that has given me the opportunity to extend myself and try new things. Also, the opportunity to share the award is a great reflection on the YMCA as an organisation that recognises those who deserve it.”

The night was also highlighted by Whyalla Recreation Centre being recognised as the leading YMCA managed centre in South Australia, taking out the prestigious Jack Massey Team of the Year award for 2020-21 and St Clair Recreation Centre Stadium Sports Coordinator Travis Beard winning the 2021 Community Partnerships Award.

Other award recipients included: Petra Majchrak (The Parks) – Excellence in Operational Management, Stacey Hazelwood (Craigmore OSHC) – Emerging Leader of the Year, Claudia Barrietos (Fleurieu AC) – Engaging Future Minds, Carers Wrist Band Program (Fleurieu AC) – Excellence in Innovation, Laura Cannon (Unley OHSC) - Outstanding Contribution by a Young Employee, and Youth Theatre (The Parks Theatre) – Program of the Year.