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Awards recognise commitment to improving the lives of others

Dec. 07, 2021

Kyabram Parkinson’s Peer Support Group leader Christine Anderson is the 2021 recipient of the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for her outstanding volunteer service to the Parkinson’s community.

It was the pivotal award announced at the Parkinson’s Victoria AGM, held online on 25 November. Manningham Peer Support Group leader was named the Harold Waldron Carer’s Award recipient, while Jill Goss and Nola Matuschka were awarded life memberships for their contributions.

Christine is known as a passionate supporter and advocate who shares her own story with openness and humour, both with her own group and more widely on social media.

As a founding member and leader of the Kyabram PSG for more than seven years, Christine has grown the group and built support for others in her community. In 2019, she helped transition the group to connect electronically via a Facebook page.

Christine is a strong local advocate, promoting Parkinson’s in the media to raise awareness of condition and break down barriers. However, that passion and commitment has not been limited to Kyabram.

Christine has made an invaluable contribution to the broader Parkinson's community, as an ambassador for A Walk in the Park and 27forParkinson’s, raising awareness and more than $12K in funds.

Christine was the face of the 2019 mid-year appeal, which raised more than $95k.

Sharing her story with others has been a constant, as is her generosity sharing her expertise as a teacher to help both Parkinson’s Victoria, and now Fight Parkinson’s, to improve online education program delivery.

Harold Waldron Carer’s Award

This award honours a family member or friend touched by Parkinson’s, who’s made a significant difference to the Parkinson’s community – an apt description of Keith Anderson.

Keith and his wife Margaret have been active members of the Parkinson’s community for eight years, after Margaret was diagnosed with the condition.

They were early members of the original Manningham Peer Support and have worked to build an inclusive and much needed support group in the area.

Keith’s ongoing support for the of broader community extended to new heights in 2017, when the community came together to acknowledge 200 years of Parkinson’s Disease at a special anniversary dinner he organized.

The event raised more than $15K for the community. Keith and Margaret have also been key supporters of A Walk in the Park, bringing family and members of the Manningham PSG together each year.

More recently, Keith provided advice and support to help inform Parkinson’s Victoria projects. including updating the Peer Support Group Leaders’ manual.

Other Awards announced at the AGM:

Honorary life membership

Jill Goss

Member of Essendon Support Group since 2002, Jill has supported Parkinson’s Victoria in many activities - volunteering for tin rattles and sharing her story with local community groups. She has been actively involved in every Walk in the Park since its inception and has made media appearances as event ambassador.

Nola Matuschka

Now retired after more than 18 years as Portland Peer Support Group leader, Nola remains engaged with the group, supporting the current leader and many community members who reach out to her.

15 year service award

  • Barbara Lester (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Graeme Mason (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Margaret Nickson (Essendon PSG)
  • David Goss (Essendon PSG)
  • Moira Lewis (Echuca PSG)
  • Gwenda Husson (Moe PSG)
  • Pam Crosthwaite (Beechworth PSG)
  • Palma Noblet (South Gippsland PSG)

10 year service award

  • Geoff and Lyn Bales (Mildura PSG)
  • Alan Flavel (Werribee PSG)
  • Lyn Gardner (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Laurie Young (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Fran Rankin (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Narelle McClean (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Tania Tinker (Warrnambool PSG)
  • Max McPherson (Essendon PSG)
  • Rene Vivien (Wimmera PSG/Fundraiser)
  • Bev Grant (Ballarat PSG)

5 year service award

  • Kate Marshall (Williamstown ParkinSong)

Community Recognition Award

In recognition and thanks to people who’ve made a significant contribution to the Parkinson’s community.

Jennifer & John Wilson

Chair of Bentleigh Braeside Peer Support Group since 2012, Jenny is supported by husband John in her various roles. The couple were the face of the 2020 Christmas Appeal.

Michelle Mendes

Michelle has been a big supporter of A Walk in the Park over a number of years and together with her community fundraising, has raised $12.5K across three A Walk in the Park events. Michelle was the face of the 2021 Tax Appeal.

Dr Luke Smith

Dr Smith has made a continued invaluable contribution at many Parkinson’s events, sharing his specific knowledge. His sensitive insights have supported many families and healthcare professionals to better understand the cognitive impact of the condition.

Associate Professor Scott Ayton

Assoc. Prof. Ayton has been a longtime collaborator in research at Parkinson’s Victoria, developing many research proposals and supporting the research revealing the incidence of Parkinson’s across Victoria. His support and collaborative relationship in designing and delivering the Insearch research program has been essential in its success.

Val Staddon

Val was instrumental in the launch of ParkinSong Boronia in October 2015. With Val’s leadership, energy and inspiration, ParkinSong Boronia makes the most of a wide range of opportunities for community participation and engagement.

Dr Richard Blaze

Dr Blaze is a neurologist who has been a frequent guest speaker at Parkinson’s Victoria seminars & webinars, including as guest speaker at the 2019 AGM.

Rhys Chamberlain

Rhys has worked with Parkinson’s Victoria over many years, putting together joint webinars & seminars for the Parkinson’s community and providing support for the Parkinson’s Victoria AGMs held onsite at the Maurice Blackburn office.

Sheenagh Bottrell

Sheenagh has actively engaged in a variety of Parkinson’s Victoria activities, including launching and leading the Yarra Peer Support Group, giving her time and telling her story at Recently Diagnosed Seminars, and as A Walk In the Park Ambassador 2019 and 27forParkinson’s Ambassador 2020

Bobby Danchin

Bobby Danchin was the face of the 2021 Autumn Appeal

Steve Moneghetti

Steve was a guest speaker at the World Parkinson’s Day event held at the National Gallery of Victoria in 2017 and was an Ambassador for A Walk in the Park in 2019 and 27forParkinson’s in 2020 & 2021.

Certificates of Appreciation

For support of Parkinson’s Victoria  programs, education, fundraising and  promotional activities.

Jacqui Raymond

Jacqui is a speech pathologist and member of the Speech Pathologist Movement Disorder Committee of Practice. She has stepped up to acting chair role for most of the year.

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth is an occupational therapist and a member of the O/T Movement Disorder Committee of Practice. Elizabeth has been guest speaker at multiple meetings over the past 18 months.


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