Home > 33rd Synod > Selfless saints awarded for service
Queensland Synod moderator Rev David Baker (left) and UnitingCare Queensland CEO Anne Cross (right) join this year's recipients of the Moderator's Medal. Photo: Supplied

Selfless saints awarded for service

Since 1999, the Queensland Synod, through UnitingCare Queensland, has recognised the outstanding and invaluable commitment of volunteers through the Moderator’s Community Service Medal.

UnitingCare Queensland outgoing CEO Anne Cross said 43 notable nominations were received this year.

“Today, we come together to commend the efforts of all our volunteers, but in particular, the 14 outstanding recipients of the Moderator’s Community Service Medal,” she said, recognising that five were able to attend the service at Alexandra Park Conference Centre on 22 October.

“UnitingCare Queensland’s mission is underpinned by the Uniting Church’s deep and abiding commitment to the well being of people and communities.

“The recipients of the Medals today have all truly demonstrated their commitment and dedication to enriching the lives of people in their communities, as part of that mission.”

Moderator Rev David Baker presented the awards with Anne.

Dr Robyn Pugh was awarded a Moderator’s Medal for her work as a palliative care volunteer for The Wesley Hospital.

Since 2005, Robyn has shared the end-of-life journey with many patients and has supported relatives and friends during their time of loss and grief,” said UnitingCare Queensland Director of Mission Bruce Moore.

For the past 25 years Jean Graham’s dedication and faithfulness to serving God through her volunteer work has been nothing short of exemplary. “For the majority of Jean’s life, she has involved herself in whatever capacity she could find, to support the work of the Church in the community,” said Bruce.

The long list of organisations she has volunteered for includes, Blue Care’s Boonah and Ipswich Day Respite Centres, and Brassall Village, Ipswich Hospice, Crossroads Ipswich and Raising funds for St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital.

At 87-years-old, Thelma Aslett approaches her role as friendly visitor volunteer and volunteer lay preacher at Blue Care’s Labrador Gardens and Woodlands Lodge services with both compassion and wisdom.

“Thelma’s open and inquiring mind, kindness and sincerity ensures she is well loved and very popular with all residents, staff and families she interacts with,” said Bruce.

Jan Newcomb has worked for Lifeline for over 21 years and is as passionate today as she was the day she started,” said Bruce.

Volunteering as a, Jan has always extended her work into the community. Jan always makes sure as many calls as possible are answered so people in need don’t have to wait in a queue – especially when they are in crisis.

Jan is a volunteer telephone crisis supporter and a dedicated ambassador for the services of Lifeline and UnitingCare Queensland.  She has also been involved in community recovery over the 20 years.

Described as a quiet achiever, Janet McCulkon contributes to the well-being of the community by giving her time generously without a second thought.

For more than 33 years, Janet has operated a Combined Charities Christmas Card Shop and been involved with Better Hearing. A long-time volunteer with Lifeline Bookfest, Janet has “the ability to walk alongside people from every facet of life, and contributes to the well-being of many people,” said Bruce.

Bruce also acknowledged the medal recipients who are unable to attend the service at the 33rd Synod. These people will receive their awards at another time.

These recipients are:

  • Bernice Peterson of Killarney, for devoting 75 years of service to the community, including Blue Care, the Cancer Foundation, The Lighthouse and many others.
  • Phillip Gibson of Cloncurry, for his tireless commitment to Blue Care’s Cloncurry Community Care, including fundraising more than $5000 for a client outing.
  • Jean Nissen-Wiis of Kenmore, for her outstanding commitment to supporting St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital for 24 years.
  • Roger Dennis of Lowood, for his tireless dedication to his local Blue Nursing Service and Blue Care Thrift Shop for more than 40 years.
  • Arnold and Avis Eggins of Birkdale, for consistently advocating for people with a disability through their work with Crossroads and Blue Care.
  • Terry Foley of The Gap, for dedicating more than 22 years as a volunteer chaplain at The Wesley Hospital.
  • Beryl Cook of Wishart, for dedicating more than 30 years to volunteering in many roles for Blue Care Community Care.
  • Merle Edwards of Home Hill, for tirelessly advocating for people with a disability and giving her time to the Bluey’s Thrift Shop in Burdekin.
  • Jean Keys of Dalby, for her outstanding commitment to supporting people in the community through the Blue Nurses Bookshop and local church initiatives for more than 70 years.

The church thanks these people for the vital work they do in God’s name.

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