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APY Lands shelter project honoured at SA Volunteer Awards

– Volunteers from The Rotary Club of Onkaparinga built shelters in the APY Lands.
Abbie Tiller

South Australia’s dedicated volunteers honoured

The Rotary Club of Onkaparinga and an 89-year-old woman who has dedicated half of her life helping the homeless, are among the South Australians honoured at a ceremony marking the generous efforts of South Australia’s volunteers.

Dulcie Boag, who volunteers with the Hutt Street Centre, was awarded The Joy Noble Medal, South Australia’s highest distinction for an individual volunteer, at Wednesday night’s 2024 South Australian Volunteer Awards.

Coinciding with National Volunteer Week, the awards were presented by Minister for Human Services Nat Cook across a range of categories:

  • The Joy Noble Medal – South Australia’s highest distinction for an individual volunteer, to Dulcie Boag from the Hutt Street Centre
  • ‘The Andamooka’ Community Project Award – Recognising a community or group volunteer project of significant community benefit, to the Rotary Club of Onkaparinga for the APY Lands Shelter Project
  • The Young Volunteer Award – Honouring an impressive young volunteer aged 12 to 25, to Atiu Kuot Madut
  • The Excellence in Volunteer Management Award – Honouring a volunteer manager for their outstanding contribution to the profession, to Manju Shelke from the Northern Healthcare Volunteer Association
  • The Premier’s Award for Corporate Social Responsibility – Recognising the community contribution of a South Australian for-profit business, to Beyond Bank Australia

Established by the State Government in 2005, the South Australian Volunteer Awards are presented by Volunteering SA&NT and supported by the South Australian Department of Human Services (DHS).

Minister Cook said South Australia was well known as a state where volunteering is both widespread and warmly welcomed.
“In fact, almost one million South Australians – about half of the state’s population – volunteer their time and skills to help others,” she said.

The Rotary Club of Onkaparinga’s APY Lands Project

Through the APY Lands Shelter Project, the Rotary Club of Onkaparinga designed and constructed a number of purpose-built roadside shelters with accompanying water tanks, wind protection and table settings which are placed adjacent to roadsides in strategic locations.

With the APY Lands covering over 103,000 square kilometres, this very remote part of South Australia poses significant issues for the indigenous people when travelling between communities. Having a designated, known place to rest or to seek emergency shelter, to have access to shade, wind break and water is a vital component of keeping people safe in these remote areas.

Volunteers of the Rotary Club of Onkaparinga, based out of Lobethal, are also still working tirelessly replacing fencing in the Adelaide Hills, four years after the Cuddle Creek Bushfires. Two dedicated fencing trailers have been purchased, with a core group of volunteers dedicating two days each week to help property owners replace destroyed fencing.


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