Tawa Community Civic Awards 2008

The 2008 Tawa Community Civic Awards Ceremony - under the auspices of the Tawa Community Board - took place on Friday evening, 18 July. People were able to nominate for an award any individual or group performing a voluntary role in the Tawa community.

The purpose of the awards is "to recognise and show appreciation to groups or individuals who enhance the Tawa community and make it a better place to live."

Nominations were received for 42 different people or groups. The judging panel - comprising members of the Community Board and representatives from the community at large - selected a winner in each of the five categories. At the Awards Ceremony the Mayor of Wellington, Kerry Prendergast, presented each nominee with a certificate reading "in appreciation of your voluntary work in the community of Tawa". The winners each received a framed certificate along with a tawa tree sapling.

It is just over two years since the first Community Civic Awards took place in Tawa. It really is a big occasion for this community, with three MPs present, along with four City Councillors, and more than 120 local people.

At the start of proceedings a young (primary school age) Mana Tiaki kapahaka group performed a number of items which were very well received. Tawa Community Board Chair Robert Tredger and Tawa Community Centre Co-ordinator Malcolm Sparrow then took turns reading out the names of the 42 nominees and a description of why they had been nominated as each came forward to receive their certificate. Those descriptions (mostly gleaned from information provided by those doing the nominating) and details of the winners are set out below.

The nominees
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- enhancing and increasing participation in arts, including music, and creative leisure activities.

Anthony Micallef
Anthony works with and is committed to the Maltese ethnic community in Tawa and in Wellington, including the production and distribution of its monthly newletter. He also does voluntary work with Porirua Healthlinks Trust.

Danny Muthumala
Danny plays a major part in organising activities for and bringing together the local and Wellington-wide Sri Lankan community, and he was instrumental in obtaining the old Scout hall at Willowbank for the Sri Lankan community's ongoing use.

Robin Thomson
Robin has gone out of his way to organise the Boys' Brigade band and involve young people in music. He is also associated with Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves and the Tawa Union Church, and will always go that extra mile. He is one of the unsung heroes of our community.

Tom Humphries
Tom is a brilliant choirmaster who gives unstintingly of his time and talents to train the Tawa-based Wellington Male Voice Choir which carries out public performances to entertain and raise funds for charities such as Wellington Free Ambulance.

And the winner of the ARTS & CULTURE category is a person who ... has been the main organiser and the driving force behind the Tawa Schools and Community Festivals. The first music festival was in 1979. This year's festival, 'Tawa Goes to Town', will be her twentieth. These festivals have brought the community together and established Tawa as a strong centre of music in Wellington. The participation of the primary schools and the Intermediate has encouraged children's interest in music throughout their schooling, and goes a long way to explain why the choirs are so big and popular up at the College. She has put in many hours of voluntary time in the selection of a festival theme, choice of music, rehearsal practices for 600 to 700 schoolchildren during the week and the adult choir on Sunday afternoons (and that's been taking place since early last month for the 2008 festival), and the performances themselves. She is a taonga of Tawa College and the Tawa community.

Shona Murray.

- improving and enhancing the development of young people and children.

Angela Leamy
Angela has taken on many roles at the Tawa-Linden Play Centre over the past 7 years. Her youngest son has just turned 5 but she still assists at the Centre with her many practical skills. She continues to offer the new president a lot of help and support.

Barbara Russell
Barbara has worked for many years as a teacher aide at Tawa Intermediate over and above the hours for which she is paid. She deals with children's problems, attends to admin and to sewing tasks, serves and cleans up after staff dinners, organises and sews for school productions. She is of immense value to the Tawa Intermediate School community.

Daryl Judd
Daryl is the Baptist Youth Pastor responsible for the youth of Tawa. He organises and runs youth events and teaches youth the value of the Christian faith, providing guidance and things to do to keep young people in the right arenas for development. He goes out of his way to work for them.

Dawn Jamieson
Dawn has given many years of service to support the Club Intermed programme at Tawa Baptist Church. She has taught Sunday School and Religious Education and is passionately involved with younger people, and was involved in running Girls' Brigade for 35 years. Her commitment is totally admirable.

Fiona Thomson
Fiona has been captain and leader of the 4th Tawa Girls' Brigade Company for the past 9 years. She is a dedicated leader of youth, a nurturing and creative person who aims to give the girls lifestyle skills and Christian values. Many girls have benefitted from her time and talent.

Jill Day
Jill spends a huge amount of time on a fully voluntary basis enhancing the quality of pre-school education and wellbeing at the Tawa-Linden Playcentre. She is professional, friendly and efficient, always welcoming new families and striving to improve the Centre. She is a star of our community.

Marie Prescott
Marie has been a board member at Tawa College since 2000 and Chair since 2006, following many years as the Board Chair at Redwood School. She gives hours of her own time to write minutes for disciplinary hearings and is also a valuable member of several sub-committees.

Scouting Tawa
... involves at least 74 young people in Tawa trying new experiences every week and learning new skills. They also take part in community service under the guidance of 14 adult leaders. 3 leaders in particular have given 75 years between them to Tawa Scouts which they have kept running successfully in Tawa for many years.

Upali Salpadoru
Krishna Salpadoru
They are retired science teachers who give much of their time contributing their teaching knowledge and experience in a website called SimpleScience.info which helps both children and adults to learn science using very simple examples and learning methods, and all at no cost.

And the winner of the EDUCATIONAL AND CHILD/YOUTH DEVELOPMENT category is a person who ... has worked tirelessly over the years to build Maori pride in the Tawa community. She is the backbone of Mana Tiaki and was the driving force in this support group's establishment. Her hard work, determination and passion has ensured this organisation continues to cater to the evergrowing needs of our community. Mana Tiaki and she have provided assistance to many families in Tawa, whether it's been liaising with schools or providing pastoral care where families are struggling. She has assisted several schools in this community when she has been asked for advice on Maori education. Each Thursday she is involved in the Community Centre hall in tutoring four kapahaka groups comprising over 100 children and young adults. She is always offering encouragement, support and advice to local children, and is a treasure in our community.

Karen Hill.

- providing services which enhance the wellbring of people.

Alf Levick
Alf has been belonged over the years to Lions, the Scouting movement, and various school committees. He has always been available for every community working bee as well as collecting food and fruit for the aged. He has also been involved and worked in his local church.

Brian Turner
Brian is Courses Co-ordinator for U3A Tawa Inc and is tireless in his pursuit of the wellbeing of U3A members. He organises and strongly leads a team of volunteers who match over 400 members to over 40 courses. He quietly beavers away without fanfare, impressing with his ability, efficiency, and willingness to please.

Elaine Harvey
Elaine volunteers for and plays an active part in Civil Defence in Tawa, and is involved with neighbourhood watch, and Arohata Prison visiting. She has also been known to organise transport for hospital appointments for a local resident, and to visit and provide hot meals.

Faith Delaney
Faith has been working as a volunteer at Longview Rest Home since 1998. She has helped with gardening and flower arrangements, assisted in the therapy room and repaired clothes for residents. She gives generously of her time and talent to help make Longview residents feel 'at home'.

June Martindale
June searches for ways to assist whenever she sees a need in our community - sewing, cooking, transporting, childminding, providing a listening ear, or advocacy. She is an active member of the child cancer and cot death associations.

Mal Fyfe
Mal is a very giving individual who is "Drivers for Cancer Patients" Tawa Co-ordinator, Riding for Disabled Co-ordinator, a Tawa Community Patrol volunteer, and has been a JP for over 20 years. He puts far younger people to shame with his energy and community spirit.

Malcolm Sparrow
Malcolm has worked tirelessly to promote and improve the marvellous community spirit of Tawa. He puts in uncountable hours at the Tawa Community Centre, many unpaid, and works hard to promote communication amongst local groups, both in his personal life and by means of the community website, TawaLink.

Mana Tiaki
... is a community-based whanau group in Tawa providing support network for local Maori families. It serves to culturally strengthen the Maori community of Tawa. Mana Tiaki offers kapahaka for the Tawa and Porirua communities, and provides school and pastoral support through volunteers.

Michael Farrand
There is not a day when Michael will not step into the fire station to do some work. He is a highly supportive individual who encourages every person in the Tawa Volunteer Fire Brigade, which is operated on a fully voluntary basis, to do their best for the community.

Sharla Arnold
Sharla has put many hours' effort behind the scenes into liaising with Community Patrol New Zealand and the local police to enable the Tawa Community Patrol operation to get up and running. She herself is part of the team providing extra eyes and ears for the police in Tawa.

St Vincent de Paul Society
... is an international Catholic, parish-based organisation.whose Tawa members collect goods for those in need - anyone, not just Catholics. The local group also helps run a shop in Mungavin Ave, Porirua. They are there to help, as best they can, anyone in need of food or furniture.

Tawa Community Centre Volunteers
The volunteers at the Community Centre are always friendly and helpful, giving of their time to make the Centre a welcoming place for both locals and visitors to Tawa. They organise great events, and are really helping to build a strong community spirit in Tawa.

Tineke Timmermans
Tineke has since 2002 organised and managed a monthly luncheon for the elderly at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, tirelessly encouraging and organising volunteers to assist. She participates wholeheartedly in the kitchen work, setting and clearing up, making these events easy and enjoyable for the elderly.

U3A Tawa Inc
... is responsible for stimulating, both physically and mentally, the large group or Tawa residents aged 55 upwards. There are well over 400 members benefitting from over 40 courses, talks, activities, crafts and current affairs that are presented by U3A Tawa volunteers.

And the winner of the HEALTH & WELLBEING category is a group which ... provides outstanding civic protection to Tawa residents against fire and other natural emergencies. They are a well organised fully voluntary group, limited to 30 in number at any one time, who work hard for the community. Between them, their current members have amassed a total of more than 420 volunteer years in looking after the residents of this community. They not only tend to between 360 to 380 callouts a year, approximately half within Tawa and half in neighbouring areas, but they spend a lot of time proactively - like installing smoke alarms (which you may have read in the local papers they'd be doing the following day), providing training in schools and regularly turning out at community events and galas. They are a dedicated bunch of people and without them we would be in trouble!

Tawa Volunteer Fire Brigade.

- improving or revitalising the environment, culture or heritage.

Bruce Murray
As president of the Tawa Historical Society, Bruce has been instrumental in resurrecting interest in Tawa's heritage and has encouraged the collection and writing of historical materials related to the valley. He has also been involved for many years in education and church life in Tawa.

Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves
... is doing a magnificent job in building the beautiful bush tracks throughout our suburb. Members of the group plant and generally care for all the various reserves in the Tawa vicinity. Because of the efforts of a few, birds are returning!

Pam Edmonds
Despite no family association with the school, Pam produced a publication to commemorate the 150th reunion celebration of Tawa Flat School, an important aspect of Tawa's history. Since the reunion in 2005, she has continued to restore and archive school-related material for future generations.

Pete Turney
Pete has on a completely voluntary basis been cleaning drains around Tawa and playing a very much behind-the-scenes role over a number of years in keeping the streets of our community tidy.

And the winner of the HERITAGE & ENVIRONMENT category is a person who ... has been an active member of Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves for some years and has recently become its president. He is responsible for monthly working parties clearing space for and maintaining new native plantings, and that involves liaison with the Wellington City Council and others. He maintains the Friends' website as well as that of the Tawa Historical Society with which he is also actively involved. He is responsible for most of the computer layout for the Historical Society publications that Bruce Murray keeps compiling (in long-hand). He is current president of the Tawa-based Wellington Male Voice Choir, a member of Tawa Rotary and a committee member of the Tawa Progressive and Ratepayers' Association.

Richard Herbert.

- enhancing and increasing participation in physical sport, leisure activities and recreational pursuits.

Bev Lindsay
Bev is the coach for the fast-growing Tawa College Lawn Bowls team. She successfully coached Michael Johnson and Nathanael Lucas to first place in the National Secondary Schools Championships in 2006-07, and second place in 2007-08. She is involved in organising, selecting and umpiring at all levels in the sport.

David Banks
David has been highly involved as chairman of the Tawa Rugby Club, and managing the Colts rugby team, along with being treasurer. He is very giving with his time and generous to new players, helping them out when necessary in trying to find work for them.

Doug Widdowson
Doug was instrumental in getting the Tawa jump track redevelopment under way. With his sons producing a track design and having approached the Wellington Makara Peak Supporters Club to gain their backing, he lobbied the Community Board and Council and eventually got their agreement to complete the work required.

Maarten Romijn
Marten has coached the Tawa College Soccer 1st XI team for over 6 years. He has continued coaching in 2008 even though all his children have left Tawa. This year the team is undefeated after 8 games. He has also coached the Tawa under-19 soccer team.

And the winner of the SPORT & LEISURE category is a person who ... has been coaching Tawa hockey teams for 7 or 8 years, starting with the organising and coaching of Redwood School teams which she still organises today. She is into her 4th year of coaching at the Tawa Hockey Club, and into her 2nd year of coaching a Tawa College hockey team. 3-4 nights a week plus Saturday mornings are given to meetings, training, planning, coaching, and encouraging children at the actual games. Many Tawa children have benefitted over the years from her enthusiasm for the game, the huge number of hours she voluntarily dedicates to the sport and the knowledge she passes on to the players.

Jan Loader.

This year, for the first and possibly the only time, the judging panel decided that this special category should be added to recognise a nominee who received several nominations and who has shown excellence in leadership and all-round community service in Tawa over many years.

This very special award for EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE goes to a person who ... was described by one of those nominating him as being "into everything". If Tawa had an elder statesman, he would fill the role admirably. With the backing of Rotary, he set up a committee about 12 years ago and has put a lot of time and effort into getting U3A established in Tawa, a group which, as has already been stated, provides a great service for almost 500 local people. Whilst still involved in U3A, he plays an active part in numerous other groups in Tawa, including Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves, Rotary (of which he was a recent president), the men's group at the Union Church which he organises, and he is also a Tawa Community Police Volunteer. A man well worthy of the award for Excellence in all-round Community Service.

Allan Todd.

The winners:
Bert Campbell & Michael Farrand from the Tawa Volunteer Fire Brigade,
Jan Loader, Karen Hill, Richard Herbert, Shona Murray. Absent: Allan Todd
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The photos on this page have been provided courtesy of Neil Price, Wellington City Council photographer

Award Ceremonies in other years:   2006   2010