Di’s a Deni treasure
After dedicating many years to volunteer work, Deniliquin’s Dianne Hand (pictured) has been honoured on the 2017 Hidden Treasures roll.
Hidden Treasures is an annual initiative of the Department of Primary Industries’ Rural Women’s Network which recognises the outstanding efforts of women volunteers in NSW, promoting the valuable role of volunteering to the community.
The 2017 Honour Roll was officially launched on October 28 at the NSW Rural Women’s Gathering held at Narrandera.
Ms Hand, who started volunteering in 1965, said she was honoured just to have been nominated.
‘‘It was Bunty Driver who asked to nominate me and I agreed to let her go through with it,’’ she said.
‘‘I only found out when the list was put up on Facebook.’’
Ms Hand was born and raised in Deniliquin, devoting her life to her much loved community.
She has been involved in numerous nonprofit and volunteer organisations, which initially included Inala Mirradong, various roles in the basketball association committee, the Deniliquin Business Enterprise Centre and volunteering in any activities in which her children were involved.
She was instrumental in the local Girl Guide movement, helping fundraise for the establishment of the new Guide Hall in the mid 1980s.
When disability and day care organisation Yallambee was opened, Ms Hand started volunteering, including a stint as treasurer for over 10 years.
She is a volunteer for Meals on Wheels in Deni, delivering meals since 1992.
Ms Hand has also been heavily involved with the Rotary Club of Deniliquin, serving as a board member for 20 years and being one of the main helpers behind Rotary’s efforts at events such as the Deni Ute Muster, Australia Day Breakfast, Fishing Classic, Easter Art Show and countless fundraisers.
In fact, she is one of only two recipients of the Paul Harris Sapphire Pin in Deniliquin for her services to Rotary.
Since retiring from work in 2015, Ms Hand has also been busy knitting clothing for the Angel Babies project. She has knitted more than 900 sets of beanies and booties.
Ms Hand said her passion for volunteer work came from her parents.
‘‘My Dad was involved with the South School when it first opened and was heavily involved with the swim club,’’ she said.
‘‘My Mum would help out wherever she could as well.
‘‘It was a natural progression for me into volunteering.’’
Moulamein’s Kirsty Harris was also inducted onto the Hidden Treasures honour roll, for her tireless work for the Moulamein Football Netball Club.
She has been involved with the club for 19 years, with 17 of those years spent in the role as netball coordinator.
Ms Harris helps run the netball competition, helps out with cooking, helps apply for grants and takes on many other tasks to ensure the club remains financially viable.
Her hard work at the club was rewarded last year, when she became the club’s youngest life member at 41 years old.
‘‘It’s very rewarding being involved in the club,’’ Ms Harris said.
‘‘We had all of our senior grades play in finals this year which was special to me.
‘‘I watched most of the girls grow up and develop their netball from the junior ranks.
‘‘I love my club and I want to do all I can to make sure it can survive for many others to enjoy.
‘‘To be part of the Hidden Treasures honour roll for helping out a club I love is very humbling.’’