Cobar’s Gordon and Therese Hill have been named the Australasian Rotarians of the Year.
Rotary District 9670 Governor Graeme Hooper presented the prestigious award to the Hills on Saturday.
The award recognises continuous club and district activity reflecting Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”.
Gordon and Therese are both devoted community oriented volunteers.
“Being a Rotarian of a very small Rotary Club (11 members), a lot of work falls on the shoulders of the very few, and yet Gordon and his team can ably and successfully assist the Outback Science and Engineering Challenge, operate a very successful ‘Return and Earn’ recycling project, and still continually focus on the severity of the drought by caring for the farming community in remote NSW,” Governor Hooper said.
They regularly undertake relief drops to farmers who are “drop points” and the round trip can be as long as 250-300km.
“Gordon has served four terms as President of Rotary Club of Cobar and is the current club Secretary.
“Working with the Rotary Club of Cobar, Gordon has been instrumental in securing substantial funding for drought relief via District and RABS fundraising to provide for fodder, groceries, bill relief, water, working dog food, fuel etc.
“He has liaised with Rotary Clubs from around Australia, other major benevolent funds and other local organisations securing funds to enable the farming community to survive through the drought and keeping families together.
“Over $600,000 has been expended to date, and the relief effort is on-going.”
The pair has shopped locally to fill food parcels and purchase vouchers to help local farming families (and the local community) who were doing it tough during the drought.
“An aspect of Gordon’s community service
is his involvement in providing Critical Incident Support, assisting with mental health
issues in his local area and across NSW
during the recent bushfires,” Governor Hooper said.
The award also recognised the Hills other voluntary work in the community including Mr Hill’s time spent with emergency services, and the health council.
The pair have also volunteered their services to the Men’s Shed (of which Gordon is the co-ordinator), the Uniting Church, the Lilliane Brady Village and served on numerous local committees.
“It is quite evident that Gordon’s passion for his local community and Rotary goes well beyond “Service Above Self” given his location and ability to see others are cared for with dignity, and Therese, also a Rotarian, plays a huge part in supporting him and the community,” Governor Hooper said.