Volunteer is given major recognition

By Lachlan Durling

VOLUNTEERING isn’t something you get into for accolades.

There’s no red carpet, no stunning awards ceremony, but there is that sense of satisfaction that you’re doing something good for the community.

It’s that exact feeling that drew Judy Anderson in to work with the Red Cross more than 20 years ago.

The selfless work she did in those two decades in Echuca-Moama and beyond has now earned her a national Red Cross award for distinguished service.

She was the face that was keeping a register of the families who had lost everything in the 2009 Black Saturday fires, one of the ones who was welcoming donors to Echuca’s blood bank and someone for families who had lost everything in house fires to call for help.

She is also the 2019 Campaspe Shire Citizen of the Year.

‘‘I do what I do to help people, not for the recognition,’’ she said.

‘‘I like people and that’s why I got involved in the first place.

‘‘Sometimes helping is just talking to the people about what has happened and offering some emotional support.’’

She has seen people in their darkest times, helping people by taking them shopping for food and clothing — when the Echuca Red Cross would provide that service.

While Judy was a part of the Red Cross Emergency Services, she became the deputy divisional operations officer — a role she would hold for more than 15 years.

She was fundamental in co-ordinating volunteers and resources in emergency situations, as well as promoting the organisation with recruitment drives, organising training for new volunteers and more — as is often the case with volunteer roles.

‘‘Judy has demonstrated a commitment to a breadth of roles and displayed great enthusiasm in all roles that she undertook for Red Cross — and this was ever so evident while she worked in any capacity for Red Cross,’’ Australian Red Cross president Ross Pinney said.

‘‘Her willingness and enthusiasm to Red Cross highlights her dedication and commitment to the organisation, making her a very worthy recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.’’

Judy has since retired, however is still active in the community, reading for Vision Australia and assisting at the hospital kiosk regularly.

‘‘I’m not young any more and I thought it was time to retire. (My husband) John is still involved in the Red Cross though,’’ she said.