Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -

There will be no in­tro­duc­tion of a ‘vol­un­teer of the month’ award from the City of Can­ning, de­spite a re­quest from Coun­cil­lor Yaso Pon­nuthu­rai.

THERE will be no in­tro­duc­tion of a ‘vol­un­teer of the month’ award from the City of Can­ning, de­spite a re­quest from a City coun­cil­lor.

A ma­jor­ity of Can­ning coun­cil­lors diplo­mat­i­cally dis­missed the sug­ges­tion dur­ing Tues­day’s meet­ing as a well in­ten­tioned but po­ten­tially di­vi­sive scheme.

Cr Yaso Pon­nuthu­rai had sug­gested the coun­cil start a pro­gram to recog­nise lo­cal vol­un­teers, in­di­vid­u­als and com­mu­nity groups for their ex­cep­tional com­mit­ment and work.

She said a $100 monthly prize and a certificate would make it an af­ford­able way to thank peo­ple who gave to the com­mu­nity, and thought coun­cil­lors could choose each win­ner based on their knowl­edge, sup­port­ing sub­mis­sions from mem­bers of the pub­lic or a vol­un­teer’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Oth­ers, such as Deputy Mayor Chris­tine Cun­ning­ham, did not sup­port start­ing a re­ward pro­gram when coun­cil staff were al­ready in the process of im­ple­ment­ing some­thing sim­i­lar.

“I strongly be­lieve all of our vol­un­teers are he­roes and try­ing to choose one per month is not some­thing I am com­fort­able with,” she said.

Cr Lind­say Hol­land said it was un­fair to com­pare the dif­fer­ent work done by, and sit­u­a­tions of, vol­un­teers.

“We should not be in­di­vid­u­al­is­ing some­one over this,” he said.

In a re­port, com­mu­nity and com­mer­cial di­rec­tor Garry Adams said the coun­cil’s re­cently ap­pointed vol­un­teer of­fi­cer was in the process of de­vel­op­ing a Can­ning vol­un­teer recog­ni­tion pro­gram that would start in mid-2019.

“The City’s recog­ni­tion pro­gram will be fo­cused on how our vol­un­teers them­selves want to be recog­nised and will be de­vel­oped in con­ver­sa­tion with City vol­un­teers,” the re­port said.

Cr Ben Kunze said the coun­cil should al­ways be look­ing at ways to bet­ter recog­nise vol­un­teers.

Cr Yaso Pon­nuthu­rai.

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