The Society was delighted to present Premier’s Certificates of Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Service to 4 worthy recipients at its Annual Dinner in December 2023. Details of the awardees contributions to the Society can be found below.
Melissa Gibbs is an outstanding and tireless volunteer for both the Royal Geographical Society of SA (RGSSA) and Scouts SA. Her service to both has been long-term, spanning over three decades for the RGSSA. Currently Secretary of RGSSA and Treasurer of the Balhannah Scout Group, she is 100% committed and utterly reliable, fulfilling her core volunteer duties with enthusiasm, skill, and diligence to detail. She consistently goes well beyond what is required and performs all duties with great competence. She reacts positively to any request and covers for other volunteers whenever needed. Melissa helps focus the efforts of others to produce the best results for the collective good. She typifies selfless volunteering in an organisation that relies on volunteer input. Through her sustained efforts over many years, the breadth of her achievements and the esteem in which she is held, she is the worthiest of nominations for the Premier’s Award.
Frances is an outstanding volunteer. Since joining the RGSSA in 2014 she has served with distinction in numerous roles including: as Chair of the Program Committee; as a member of the governing Council; and as a dedicated volunteer in the RGSSA’s world-renowned library. Frances continues to serve in all these roles.
Her leadership of the Program Committee has been instrumental in delivering a high-quality lecture program which brings prominent speakers to Adelaide to address a range of topics relevant to the public debate including: climate change, urban planning, environment and conservation, and many other matters pertinent to Australia’s geography and history.
Frances is a leader who develops innovative ways to encourage volunteers. She has ensured that new volunteers are well informed about the RGSSA’s activities, and its remarkable resources, and the many opportunities these create for them to contribute to the advancement of geographical knowledge, education, research and scholarship.
Over nearly 40 years involvement with the Society, including two terms as President over fourteen years, Rod has attended innumerable meetings, participated in all committees and undertaken truly enormous work loads to keep the Society as a relevant and professional institution. Rod has done much to raise the profile of the Society at the local, state and national level, providing invaluable public exposure for our collection and activities. He has ensured that the Library and Collections remain under the ownership and custody of the Society and has preserved our historically close relationship with the State Library of South Australia. He is highly regarded for his steady leadership and the collegiate way he continues to influence and support every facet of the Society.
Since 1999 the WTSG has made an outstanding volunteer contribution to the community and to the RGSSA through their development and maintenance of 230 kms of marked walks and trails in the Flinders Ranges and Barossa Regions. This exceptional work has been done with the support of local landowners and The National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia.
For almost quarter of a century WTSG volunteers of diverse backgrounds and skills have also produced excellent books for the RGSSA, interpretive leaflets, maps, and sign posting, promoting self -guided walks. These resources have been enthusiastically received by the public. The Group’s most recent initiative has been the production of a very well received ‘Flinders Ranges Walks’ app <https://apps.apple.com/au/app/flinders-ranges-walks/id1275979433>
The WTSG has led many other volunteers including international exchange students, overseas tourists, and members of walking groups to contribute to the creation of high-quality walks that present minimal impact on the environment.