Baker delights in volunteering
THE act of giving back comes easily for Glenn Baker who was honoured for years of tireless volunteer work at the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Mr Baker won the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award on Wednesday night.
He said the win took him by surprise and every nominee and volunteer deserved to be recognised.
“I suppose it goes without saying you never expect to win and in an environment like volunteering, there are so many volunteers in Australia, you never know whether what you have achieved comes close to what somebody else has achieved,” he said.
“When your name is read out and they say you are the winner you think wow, somebody must think what we have done is really special.”
Mr Baker was instrumental in establishing Ronald Mcdonald House Perth 27 years ago, initiating fundraising for the original RMH after losing his child to cancer.
Thirty years ago, his son Adam was diagnosed with leukaemia and was receiving intense chemotherapy at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Mr Baker identified the need for regional families with a seriously ill child to have a “home away from home”.
“We had a child who had cancer and my wife was confronted on a daily basis with parents that had come from the country and had no family support mechanism,” he said.
“That’s when the idea of a Ronald Mcdonald House in Perth was born. We were well aware of that particular charity in Sydney and Melbourne, so we became involved with a group and started fundraising with the ultimate aim of providing accommodation for rural families whose children were undergoing the treatments for cancer.”
He said that one of the key elements to running a successful enterprise was to keep the organisation refreshed.
Subiaco resident Juliet Williamson received the Excellence in Volunteer Management award.
Governor Kerry Sanderson, Glenn Baker and Andrew Allsop from Silver Chain.