11 December 2020

Young St Clair star acknowledged

St Clair Recreation Centre young gun Travis Beard beat a field of 10 nominations to win the YMCA South Australia award for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Employee at the annual staff awards night on Saturday, 5 December.

This year’s presentation evening, held at the St Clair Recreation Centre, was reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions, with many regional staff teams joining the event online to celebrate the extraordinary effort and achievement of the organisation in a year that has provided, arguably, the greatest challenges in its history.

Travis’ award recognises his dedication, effort and initiative across a year that saw a significant change in the systems and processes required to maintain activity and engagement with Centre participants. His dedication to maintaining best practice and striving to support the community to stay engaged with indoor and/or outdoor recreational activities was exceptional.

The YMCA awards event featured a new award format with a number of new categories. Highlights included the announcement of The Valleys Lifestyle Centre in Clare as the Team of the Year, together with recognition of Whyalla Leap Takers Coordinator David Agius, who was announced as the George Williams Employee of the Year and also the Excellence in Innovation award recipient for the Leap Online program.

The onset of COVID-19 restrictions and the challenges which that entailed were acknowledged with the presentation of a special Exceptional Circumstances award. This was won by Support Services duo Locky Haynes and Michael Smith who worked tirelessly to maintain engagement and support across the Y staff network during the crisis period. Michael Smith was also announced as the Emerging Leader of the Year.

Award recipients included: Tristian Severn (OSHC Support) – Excellence in Operational Management, Ashlea Freer (One Tree Hill OSHC) – Community Partnerships award, Amy MacKenzie (Community Strengthening Camping) – Engaging Future Minds, James Meisner (Youth Parliament Taskforce) - Volunteer of the Year and the Holistic Wellness Program (The Valleys) – Program of the Year.

The evening was hosted by YMCA South Australia People, Risk and Compliance Manager Michael Collins and featured an address by CEO David Paterson, who said the efforts of all across the organisation was testament to the strength of the Y.