Award recog­nises years of giv­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Forty years of vol­un­teer­ing in and around Roe­bourne have not di­min­ished Beth Smith’s sense of the im­por­tance of lend­ing a help­ing hand, or her love for the com­mu­nity.

Last week the well-known Roe­bourne vol­un­teer was ac­knowl­edged for her many con­tri­bu­tions on the State stage as the re­cip­i­ent of the Vol­un­teer­ing WA life­time con­tri­bu­tion to vol­un­teer­ing award.

From es­tab­lish­ing the drug and al­co­hol-free Min­gul­latharndo Abo­rig­i­nal Com­mu­nity with her hus­band Mar­shall in the late 1980s to serv­ing up healthy meals at the Roe­bourne District High School can­teen ev­ery day for the past two years, help­ing out at the Pil­bara Abo­rig­i­nal Church and start­ing the an­nual Elders’ Birth­day event — to name a few ini­tia­tives — Mrs Smith has been in­volved in myr­iad vol­un­teer­ing projects since com­ing to Roe­bourne in 1978.

She said she felt hon­oured by the recog­ni­tion, and used the op­por­tu­nity to pay trib­ute to all those peo­ple, es­pe­cially women, who con­trib­uted in the wider Roe­bourne com­mu­nity.

“I’m re­ally hum­bled by it and re­ally my in­spi­ra­tion is drawn from the com­mu­nity and those heroes we’ve got in our com­mu­nity and in Roe­bourne,” she said.

“In these com­mu­ni­ties, vol­un­teer­ing is very im­por­tant, and last night at that award cer­e­mony, that award, I just felt it was for all the peo­ple in Roe­bourne.

“There’s women in Roe­bourne that never get a break — they’re re­spond­ing to com­mu­nity needs and I think a lot of peo­ple don’t un­der­stand how tir­ing that is, when you can never re­ally shut your door and say ‘go away’.” “There are women in Roe­bourne who are like that and they’re my heroes, they’re an in­spi­ra­tion.

“Roe­bourne’s full of peo­ple like that.” The pres­ti­gious Vol­un­teer­ing WA life­time con­tri­bu­tion to vol­un­teer­ing award recog­nises a per­son who has made an “ex­em­plary” life-long com­mit­ment to vol­un­teer­ing and, through their ef­forts, has helped im­prove WA and its peo­ple.

Mrs Smith was nom­i­nated by Roe­bourne Act-Be­long-Com­mit Abo­rig­i­nal project man­ager Les­ley Mur­ray, sup­ported by ref­er­ences from friends and the com­mu­nity.

In her sub­mis­sion, Ms Mur­ray said Mrs Smith had made an im­mense con­tri­bu­tion to the Roe­bourne com­mu­nity in her 40 years there and had ei­ther driven or helped sup­port a host of pos­i­tive projects. “In writ­ing this nom­i­na­tion I sat with Beth and it’s just in her whole be­ing to give, with­out any ex­pected re­turn,” she wrote.

“Beth likes to see peo­ple grow and is happy to be part of it but would never at­tribute her vol­un­teer­ing and men­tor­ing to their growth.

“She just sees their po­ten­tial and sows (the) seeds to bring it out.”

Pic­ture: Vol­un­teer­ing WA

Roe­bourne’s Beth Smith is win­ner of the Vol­un­teer­ing WA life­time con­tri­bu­tion to vol­un­teer­ing award.

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