Community volunteers honoured

Joseph Keane receives his Youth Volunteer of the Year award from Ballina mayor Phil Silver.

A surf-lifesaving-club captain and a volunteer supporter of stomach cancer sufferers have been named among the 2007 Northern Rivers winners of the NSW Volunteer of the Year awards.

Joseph Keane, of East Ballina and club captain of the Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore Surf Life Saving Club, was awarded the Youth Volunteer of the Year while Marie Jane Taylor, of Wardell, of the North Coast Ostomy Group, was named Volunteer of the Year.

Ballina mayor Phil Silver presented the awards at a brief ceremony in Ballina Shire Council chambers last Thursday, saying that without the volunteers selflessness and dedication many of the services we take for granted would simply not exist.

Marie was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1978 and has devoted herself to helping and counselling other ostomy sufferers for the best part of 30 years.

Joe, who was Ballina shires Young Citizen of the Years last year, has spent more than 120 hours each year on voluntary patrol duty for the past five years.

Senior Volunteer of the Year award was won by Jill Hepburn of Goonellabah for the time and skills she has devoted to various organisations in the Lismore region.

The regional winners will go onto the statewide judging for the inaugural NSW Volunteer of the Year Award which will be announced on International Volunteers Day, December 5.


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