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