Aurora Energy Lifetime Achievement Award

The inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award has been introduced to the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards program in recognition of an individual’s exemplary long-term commitment to the volunteering sector. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognises an individual who has an established history of distinguished service, who has made a lasting impact, who has exhibited community spirit and provided inspiration to others, and who has positively influenced the community or communities they have volunteered in. It is presented in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contribution accumulated over a minimum of 25 years.

Edna Pennicott – winner

Edna Pennicott has volunteered in the Kingborough community for over 40 years. In 2013 she established Kingborough Helping Hands Inc. to provide charitable assistance to people in need. The main focus of Helping Hands is to provide food, vouchers and household essentials to people experiencing hardship.

Edna also runs the Kingston Loui’s Van, providing food and information to homeless people and others experiencing hardship. She collects gifts and household essentials to give to people at Christmas and provides support to Jireh House and the Annie Kenney Young Women’s Refuge. Edna organises various fundraising events to support Kingborough Helping Hands’ work, and motivates and organises an army of volunteers to get things done.

During many of her volunteering years, Edna raised her own two children as a single parent, fostered five children full-time and provided part-time and occasional care to many other foster children.

Edna has a much-deserved reputation as a community leader who makes a substantial contribution to community life in Kingborough.


The finalists are:

Beverley Allen

Beverley Allen has served the Longford Branch of Meals on Wheels since its inception in 1971. The longest-serving member of the Managing Committee, Bev has shaped the culture and ethos of the organisation, mentoring hundreds of community members over the years. Through her wise counsel and guidance, Bev has fostered a regional pool of people to whom volunteering has become second nature.

Bev is a driving force behind activities which have raised, protected and distributed funds to the Longford community. She is instrumental in ensuring the vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the community receive the best possible meals.

Bev brings wonderful stability to the group with her consistent and enthusiastic personality. During her nearly 50 years of service, she has flexibly adapted to changes in practices, funding, and administrative demands to ensure the service continues unabated.

Bev’s dedication, long memory, and unbroken service provision have inspired generations of committee members and volunteers, and contributed significantly to the stable social environment for which Longford is known.

Rhonda Foster

Rhonda Foster has volunteered in numerous roles in the Bagdad, Brighton and Bridgewater communities for over 43 years. From fundraising efforts to running monthly social clubs, Rhonda has contributed to building community resources and creating inclusive social environments.

Her achievements have been significant, including working diligently to improve the kitchen facilities at the Bagdad Community Centre to have them classed as a commercial kitchen. The Centre can now provide these facilities to the community for fundraising and other functions. Rhonda’s successful fundraising efforts with the Bridgewater High School Farm has helped the farm to modernise and continue to function as an educational tool.

Rhonda has earned a reputation as a respected community member who is always willing to give a hand to those in need. She contributes her time and skills without seeking reward or favour, and encourages others to participate in community events. Her focus on building sustainable community and educational resources will benefit the area for generations to come.

Kaye Fox

Kaye Fox has served the Tasman region since 1978 as an officer with Ambulance Tasmania, and is committed to providing emergency care in her community. She generously volunteers 40 hours a week to provide emergency medical assistance—most voluntary hours performed of all team members. As the group’s coordinator, Kaye actively recruits new members and contributes her skills to provide training and guidance to new members.

Kaye holds a pivotal role in frontline support and was part of the first-response medical intervention during the Port Arthur tragedy.

Kaye dedicates her own time and resources, without financial support, to local elderly residents when they require additional support and care. She improves the quality and enjoyment of life for our elders, helping them to maintain dignity and independence. Kate is involved in many local organisations and charities, even donating her time to teach water-safety and lifesaving skills to children. Kaye is an wonderful example of a committed community volunteer.

Christine Knight

As a volunteer of over 50 years, Christine Knight has made a vast contribution to her community in a wide variety of areas. She has been volunteering continuously since she was 17 years old and continues to do so. She was a Cub Scout leader for 24 years and a Girl Guide leader for 30 years.

Christine established school holiday programs in her local area and has run school holiday programs at the Tasmanian Maritime Museum. She is a volunteer tutor for adult literacy and a primary school reading program. Chris has also worked in programs for older people such as the Wesley Do Care program, visiting older people to diminish social isolation, and is a member of a friendship group at Freemason’s Home.

Much of Christine’s volunteering activity has been where she has seen a need. She has initiated many programs herself—from school holiday programs for kids to Calvary’s rehabilitation ward games afternoons. Christine seeks to help others in any way she can, at all times.


Douglas Renshaw

Douglas Renshaw has been actively involved with numerous organisations in the Bicheno community since moving there in the 1980s. Prior to this, he coached basketball and was a member of the Australian Army Reserve.

Doug is a standout person in Bicheno. He volunteers with many groups including the RSL, the Lions Club, volunteer ambulance service, fire brigade, golf club, Men’s Shed and local primary schools. He has facilitated and provided substantial practical input towards many community projects over some 33 years.

A testament to the high regard in which Doug is held is his election to office-bearing positions within many of the organisations and clubs in which he has been active. The club memberships benefit enormously from his encouragement, positivity and practical input. Doug’s affable nature and ability to his communicate ideas have encouraged membership and participation, drawing others into the wonderful world of volunteering.