Our Patron, the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency David Hurley ACDSC (ret’d) was acutely aware that last year COVID was having a huge impact on volunteer organisations of which he was Patron.
At the time of our earlier request to him to become our Patron we provided his office with details about our charitable work here in Australia and overseas and he had obviously taken a personal interest.
He called to enquire how we were coping.
We talked about the head winds Ryder-Cheshire faced, all the usual challenges around leadership and volunteering in a changing world. The history of Klibur Domin and the role of his predecessor, Sir Peter Cosgrove, was of particular interest to His Excellency.
Usually he and his wife would invite key volunteers to Government House, but the COVID lock down made this impossible. Instead he chose to make a special Volunteers’ Medal available to charities like Ryder-Cheshire.
Later last year he decided to offer us his Governor General’s Medal in recognition of the work of volunteers to Ryder-Cheshire. He advised that it was intended for a volunteer who had made a significant contribution for the year.
I choose to go further and look not only at the remarkable contribution made during the year but also consider selfless volunteering over many years.
I am relatively new to Ryder-Cheshire but am acutely aware that we have been blessed with hugely talented and generous volunteers over many years, volunteers beavering away at home assisting in raising desperately needed funds, and volunteers at their own expense to assist Klibur Domin and Raphael.
To choose just one greatly deserving individual was always going to be a challenge but Anthea Swann immediately came to my mind. I was well aware of the very valuable time she and Ian gave to Klibur Domin in its beginning days. It was more recently that I experienced firsthand her remarkable skills and generous volunteering of her time, effort and expertise. Her services to the Ryder-Cheshire Australia Board since its formation some ten years ago have been monumental. National Secretary and Board Minute Secretary require an eye to detail and an ability to bring together a diversity of views and succinctly capture them for the record.
Few people have this skill. Anthea is remarkable. Her record keeping is meticulous. She is a stand out.
Congratulations Anthea on receiving the Governor General’s Volunteers’ Medal Award.
Rory McEwen, RCA President
Message from Dr Elizabeth Cheshire
Many congratulations to Anthea on the award of The Governor General’s Medal in recognition of the enormous contribution she has made to Ryder-Cheshire Australia, so well deserved and wonderful to see the high regard her colleagues have for her.