2019 Staff & Volunteers Awards

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8 November 2019

Jewish Care Victoria held its 9th Annual Staff and Volunteers Service & Excellence Awards at Leonda By The Yarra on 7 November.

Two hundred and fifty Jewish Care staff, volunteers, Board Members, and supporters gathered to acknowledge and congratulate award nominees for their exceptional dedication and commitment to providing quality services and support to the Victorian Jewish community.

Bill Appleby, Jewish Care Chief Executive Officer, thanked award nominees for ‘making our world a better place’ and reminded the audience that, ‘because of the work you do, Jewish Care and those we care for are the real winners’.

Guest speaker Tammy van Wisse, world record-holding marathon swimmer, environmentalist, and motivational speaker shared her inspirational story of swimming the Bass Strait. Van Wisse reminded attendees of the importance of teamwork; highlighting how her personal achievements would not have been possible without the hard-work and support of her team.

The major award for the evening, the Samuel H. Harris Award for demonstrated pursuit of excellence exceeding expectation was presented to Jagdeep Singh, Registered Nurse at Gary Smorgon House. Jagdeep was presented with the award for his dedication to providing exceptional support to Elders living at Gary Smorgon House.
Volunteer of the Year was awarded to two recipients this year; Phillip Symons and Raisa Basman. Phillip has been volunteering at Jewish Care since 1999 and prepares for and runs a ‘news and views’ session with up to 60 Elders at Gary Smorgon House each week. Raisa has been volunteering at Jewish Care since 2012 and spends each day visiting Elders at Gary Smorgon House most days of the week, and gives generously of her time in supporting the Lifestyle team.

Each year, scholarships are awarded to staff to support the strengthening and development of professional skills. This year, two professional development scholarships were awarded with Shiyan Kekulkotuwage, People & Culture Business Manager, receiving a $2,500 scholarship and Lynette Maguire, Tenancy and Property worker, receiving a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Maxxia.

Service milestones were also celebrated at the event, with 108 staff and volunteers who have given 5-45 years of service to Jewish Care acknowledged for their dedication and contribution. Delysia Pahoff OAM and Jeannette Hopma were congratulated on 40 years of service to Jewish Care. John Zeleznikow was also recognised for 45 years of voluntary service to Jewish Care.

Other award winners included:

President's Award: Nellie Khoroshina, Program Support Worker- Active Living Services.

CEO Customer Service Award: Kavitha Govardhana, Direct Care Attendant- Active Living Services, and Michael Webster, Property Manager

Ethos Award: Irina Libman, Acting Practice Leader- Disability Services, and Freya Matthews, ICT Support

March of the Living Recipients: Rabbi Yoseph Nerenberg, Manager - Jewish Life and Ella Turner, Clinical Care Manager- Smorgon Family Nursing Home and Montefiore Homes.