YMCA celebrates its 2020 award winners

Although this year’s YMCA South Australia’s annual awards presentation was different due to COVID-19 restrictions, the best of our best were acknowledged on Saturday evening at the St Clair Recreation Centre.

Many Centre teams joined the presentation event online to celebrate the extraordinary effort and achievement of our staff and volunteer teams in a year that has provided, arguably, the greatest challenges in our organisation’s history.

The event featured a new award format with a number of new categories. Highlights including The Valleys Lifestyle Centre taking out the new YMCA Team of the Year award, along with recognition of the dedication of Whyalla Leap Takers Coordinator David Agius who was announced as the George Williams Employee of the Year and also the Excellence in Innovation award recipient for the Leap Online program.

The onset of COVID-19 restrictions and the challenges which that entailed were acknowledged with the presentation of a special Exceptional Circumstances award. This was won by Support Services duo Locky Haynes and Michael Smith who worked tirelessly to maintain engagement and support across the Y staff network during the crisis period. Michael Smith was also announced as the Emerging Leader of the Year.

Other highlights were the announcement of Youth Parliament Taskforce member James Meissner as Volunteer of the Year, together with Travis Beard from St Clair Recreation Centre taking the award for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Employee.

Award recipients included: Tristian Severn (OSHC Support) – Excellence in Operational Management, Ashlea Freer (One Tree Hill OSHC) – Community Partnerships award and Amy MacKenzie (Community Strengthening Camping) – Engaging Future Minds.

The evening was hosted by YMCA South Australia People, Risk and Compliance Manager Michael Collins and featured an address by CEO David Paterson who said the efforts of all across the organisation was testament to the strength of the Y.