Rotary hands out community awards

Winners and runners-up with president Lynne Carlson and Vocational Director Marita Scott. (pictures supplied)

Ocean Grove Rotary hosted its Community Awards at Ocean Bowling Club on June 4.

Nominations for the awards were open during March and April for people who lived or worked in the southern Bellarine area with judging held during May.

The 2024 winners were selected from a large field of strong submissions.

The Team Member of the Year Award winner was Brooklyn Sacchetta from Salon Utopia.

Brooklyn was chosen for her commitment to ongoing personal development through study in community services and mental health. Her newly developed skills have contributed to the team wellbeing through dedication and a positive attitude. She has actively supported and guided her team to face a range of challenges.

Runner-up was Nola Laverty from Piping Hot Chicken & Burger Grill.

Volunteer Organisation of the Year Award winner was Compassionate Hearts on the Bellarine.

This organisation is volunteer-based, offering support to people facing the challenge of end of life to remain at home. They are creating a more caring and connected community through compassion, kindness, respect and dignity.

Runner-up was Barwon Heads Arts Council, whose vision is to develop a sustainable community arts hub for the Bellarine.

Leanne Ward of Salon Utopia was the winner in the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Award.

Leanne’s experience in beauty and hairdressing, plus a preparedness to tackle administration tasks, make her an ideal employee for any salon.

Runner-up was Layne Buttler of Ocean Breeze Dental. Layne’s bubbly personality and breadth of skills allow her to excellently deal with the requirements of the patients and the dentists in her workplace.

The Small Business Excellence Award of the Year was Point Lonsdale Health & Wellness.

This business excelled in all of the required criteria, in particular, the way they support their staff and build a collaborative environment for the workplace. Runner-up was Salon Utopia, a popular provider of hairdressing and makeup solutions.

This year a new award was introduced – the People’s Choice Award. Members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite nominated small business. The winner was The Grove Coffee Co.

“Rotary is pleased to promote service excellence within our community through the annual vocational awards program,” Vocational Director Marita Scott said.

“It is evident in the number of nominations received, the excellent standard of the submissions and the obvious delight of the winners and runners-up that community recognition matters.”

The awards sponsors were Barwon Heads Community Bank, Ryman Health Care, Ocean Grove, Ocean Grove Bowling Club, 360Q, Beach Terrace Cafe, Barwon Heads IGA, Barwon Heads Pharmacy, Barwon Heads Hotel, Ocean Grove Business Association, DC Roofing, Chopped & Bobbed and Coastline Alfresco.