THE theme of the annual Community Sector Ball awards night this year will be a Midsummer Night's Dream, and amongst all the glitter and glam is an opportunity to say thanks to those who work hard to help those in need in our community.
The awards were officially launched at Interrelate in Lismore last Friday and nominations are now open for those working in the community sector and the general public to put up the names of people they feel have gone beyond the call of duty.
"It's an opportunity to recognise the extraordinary work done by community sector workers in our region who provide care, assistance support and advocacy for many people facing hardship in our community," said Northern Rivers Social Development Council communications officer Liina Flynn.
"People in the community sector don't work alone - it's a collaborative network involving youth services, mental health, disability, transport, housing and so many other things, like the volunteer who comes to your house to fix something or the person behind a desk at the Neighbourhood Centre."
"Don't leave it till the last minute to nominate," said last year's 'Inspirational' award winner, Colleen Thomas from Northern Rivers Community Transport.
"It's a great opportunity to thank people for the work they do.
"I had nominated someone in our organisation last year, but it turned out they had nominated me and I received an award for innovative leadership. There are more than 100 people in our organisation. This was a win for all of us."
Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell said the ball was a chance to "frock up", but more importantly, a chance for workers to recognise their peers and the work that goes unacknowledged, by people who are not highly paid and often work in "pretty crummy" surroundings, because the focus is always on client delivery.
"It gives recognition, validation and a big boost in confidence to people who don't have much time for letting their hair down and having fun," Cr Dowell said.
For more information, and to download a nomination form, go to www.nrsdc.org.au.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.