Volunteer recog­nised with nom­i­na­tion

The Observer - - NEWS -

GLAD­STONE res­i­dent Mike Koens has been nom­i­nated for an Aus­tralian Of The Year award in recog­ni­tion of his char­ity work.

In­volved with The Py­jama An­gels, SES, and Tooggee Mar­tial Arts, Mr Koens spends time car­ing for foster chil­dren, help­ing with fundrais­ing ef­forts and teach­ing Tae-Kawn-Do.

Mr Koens says while he is grate­ful, it’s a feather in the cap for all vol­un­teers who work for the ben­e­fit of com­mu­nity.

“All the work that is for the ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity, and chil­dren in par­tic­u­lar, is wor­thy of recog­ni­tion, ,” he said.

“There are plenty of peo­ple who do a mag­nif­i­cent job and are not recog­nised for it.

“We’re all im­por­tant, we’re all small teeth on a big cog, and the more teeth on the cog, the lighter the work­load.”

Mr Koens moved to Glad­stone from Bris­bane’s North­ern Sub­urbs in 2004, and says he “hasn’t looked back.”

His work for The Py­jama An­gels sees him spend­ing time with foster chil­dren , while his volunteer work for the SES in­volves ex­er­cises, fundrais­ing, and an­swer­ing calls dur­ing storms.

But it’s his work in teach­ing mar­tial arts that gives Mr Koens the most sat­is­fac­tion.

“I started be­cause of my kids who wanted to do it.

“It is giv­ing kids a ground­ing in dis­ci­pline and self-con­trol. It’s get­ting back to ba­sics, teach­ing life skills, and how to han­dle ad­ver­sity.

“I think it’s im­por­tant for kids to have some ground­ing.

PHOTO: MATT TAY­LOR GLA061217KOEN

HUM­BLED: Mike Koens says every volunteer should be recog­nised for their com­mu­nity work.

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