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2021 Bill Wilkins Volunteer Award recipient

Published on 10 December 2021
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Bill Wilkins award winner Pamela Catling.jpg 2021 Bill Wilkins Volunteer Award winner Pamela Catling.

A love of indigenous plants and local native bushland has led to more than 27 years of volunteering for Pamela Catling, who has been named the recipient of the 2021 Bill Wilkins Volunteer Award.

The Maroondah resident was presented with the prestigious service award on Wednesday 8 December as part of Council’s annual International Volunteer Day celebrations at Karralyka.

At 90 years young, Mrs Catling has enjoyed a long association with Heathmont Bushcare and CRISP Nursery and has significantly contributed to both the preservation and rehabilitation of valued environmental areas in Maroondah.

Mayor of Maroondah, Cr Mike Symon, said Mrs Catling’s outstanding contribution to the community as a dedicated conservationist had resulted in many positive environmental outcomes on a municipal scale.

“Mrs Catling has been a champion for the protection of Maroondah’s biodiversity. Her volunteering efforts have helped propagate thousands of plants that have, in turn, improved the health, biodiversity and ecosystems of our natural bushland areas, green spaces, and our local community,” Cr Symon said.

“There are six bushland sites overseen by Heathmont Bushcare that have been improved over the course of her involvement, where we now have a notable increase in native plants and improved habitat for local wildlife,” he said.

Mrs Catling has also volunteered at Maroondah Hospital for 17 years and Delivered Meals for four years.

“We value the enormous contribution that volunteers, like Mrs Catling, make to our community and the vital role they play in strengthening and enhancing community connectedness,” Cr Symon said.

“I congratulate Mrs Catling, who is a shining example of the importance of community stewardship and who shows that age is no barrier. The commitment, dedication and compassion she has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate through her involvement with CRISP and Heathmont Bushcare, as well as other community volunteer work, is to be commended and admired,” he added.

Upon receiving the award, Mrs Catling said she was completely stunned to win.

“I was just happy to be nominated, I never expected to actually win,” she said.

“I only do what I do because I love doing it so much.”

In nominating her mother for the award, Pamela’s daughter Wendy said:

“Pam is an inspiration to other volunteers. Her commitment to CRISP and continuous involvement in both the work and social aspects of the nursery are admired by many of our younger volunteers and members.”

Named in honour of community stalwart Bill Wilkins, the award is presented annually in recognition of those volunteers who inspire and embody the spirit of volunteerism through their exemplary contribution to the community.

The award ceremony was attended by all award nominees and those who nominated them.

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