1 December 2022

Selfless Riverina women honoured with state community achievement awards

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Two women with awards

Jone Pavelic (left) with the NSW Government Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award, and Transgrid Leadership Award recipient Vickie Burkinshaw. Photo: The Community Achievement Awards.

Two Riverina women have been recognised for their valuable contributions to the community through their service.

At the 2022 Community Achievement Awards, Wagga Wagga’s Vickie Burkinshaw received the Transgrid Leadership Award and Temora’s Jone Pavelic was honoured with the NSW Government Individual Excellence in Crown Land Management Award.

Ms Burkinshaw was acknowledged for her work as president of the Friends of the Gallery, president of the Wagga Women’s Health Centre, and an active member of the Wagga Women in Business community.

Through her cafe and events venue, Ms Burkinshaw has encouraged young artists of all genres and fostered engagement of diverse cultures and recognition of the importance of re-establishing connections with the First Nations Wiradjuri.

Ms Burkinshaw was not expecting to win the award and was “very much in shock” to have received the recognition.

“It was a nice surprise,” she said.

“We don’t do what we do for awards and acknowledgements … It’s always awkward to accept something you would just do because it’s the right thing to do.”

Ms Burkinshaw said her customers had nominated her for the award.

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“My customers have said, ‘We really want to nominate you for this award’ and I told them I don’t feel comfortable but with this one, they didn’t have to get my permission so they did it.

“They ended up coming to the awards ceremony as well, which was really beautiful.”

The award winner thanked Milena and David Dunn for nominating her and sharing the celebration with her on the night.

Ms Burkinshaw said the awards night had been “fantastic” and had given her an insight into some of the “incredible work” done by others across the state.

“It’s validating in terms of looking at how many amazing volunteers and people we have in our community that give tirelessly,” she said.

She said the food and the venue had been great and the event hosts had looked after everyone well.

Ms Pavelic was acknowledged for her work as chairperson of Temora Showground Land Manager. Temora Showground is a multi-use community facility comprising traditional showground activities.

Ms Pavelic is the point of contact for all facility bookings and site bookings for the caravan park. With support from her partner, Garry Cocks, Ms Pavelic’s work at the showground resulted in a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on WikiCamps.

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“I’m very happy for the town and the showground,” Ms Pavelic said. “I was very lucky to get what I got.”

She said the night had been orchestrated well and had left her with a good feeling.

Ms Pavelic said she would continue with her work for the showground and thanked her partner for his support.

“Garry is absolutely amazing … he’s a wonderful help for me. There’s a lot of work at the showgrounds with maintenance, which we would have to pay other people to do,” she said.

“The showground is the best it has been for as long as I know and we’re getting a lot of people … eight to 14 caravans a day.”

The Community Achievement Awards started in 2002 as the Regional Achievement and Community Awards, and are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions that individuals, communities and businesses make throughout NSW.

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