At the Christmas Concert we came together to celebrate the community that embodies Yarra Road Primary School and watched as our children presented another fantastic performance. What a great night it was! Congratulations to all the students and their teachers. To start the evening three amazing people in our community, who have done so much, not only for the Yarra Road community but for the community at large, were presented with YRPS awards.
Margaret Spano School Community Award
Margaret Spano began at the school in the late 90’s and served as the School Council President, Vice President, after school care convenor, PA Rep and was part of the buildings and grounds and finance committees. As School Council President, Margaret oversaw the completion of the stage two of the school buildings upgrade, the schools recovery from the fire in 2004, the 80th anniversary celebrations and establishment of the after school care program in 2005. Fittingly, Margaret was the inaugural recipient, and every year since, this award has been presented to a member of our community who has made an outstanding voluntary contribution to our school.
The Margaret Spano School Community award was presented to David Stevens.
David has been a member of our school community who ‘puts in’ on all levels. He is a long-standing member of school council, including taking on the role of president, a member of the parents association and a key driver in the development of the Yarra Road buildings and grounds program.
David has worked to continually improve the grounds and facilities of YRPS playgrounds, landscaping, development of the apple orchard, gardens and the list goes on and on.
David was the expert presenter at the Think U Know parent information evening on cyber safety and has organised, and coordinated, events such as Trivia Night and Election BBQ.
Brett Styles Community Service Award
This award was struck to recognise the selfless contribution Brett made during the horrific 2009 Victorian Bushfires. This award is specifically for a community member who makes a significant contribution to the wider community through a voluntary service.
This year the Brett Styles Community Service Award was presented to Tanya Patrick for her volunteer work at Animal Aid in Coldstream, where they speak very highly of her and the dedication that she has shown over the past four years. Tanya volunteers weekly, in a leading role, where she manages the care of kittens and older cats. She is also Animal Aid’s number one foster carer.
The Shirley Robertson Youth Community Service Award
This award is named after a devoted teacher, Shirley Robertson, who started at Yarra Road in 1992 and spent her career dedicated to student welfare, and more importantly developed and implemented the highly successful Mateship program. The Mateship program is the cornerstone of student connectedness at Yarra Road, enabling students to look beyond themselves and build networks and connections outside their own classroom.
This year the Shirley Robertson Community Youth Award and was presented to Matthew Phillips for his dedication to supporting youth sport in the community.
When he was in Grade 6, Matthew coached his brother’s after school basketball team. Every child he coached went on to play basketball the following year. He was assistant coach of an under 10 cricket team, coached an under 12 team and last year he was team manager for the under 12 team.
Matthew was a boundary umpire for two years at the Croydon Junior Football Club. This year Matthew has had a paid job as field and boundary umpire with the EFL. His dedication to support sport has continued with his voluntary work with Cricket Victoria. He has also been selected as a 2019 Sports House Prefect at Mount Lilydale Mercy College.
Matthew received his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and been sponsored by Rotary Club of Healesville to be involved in the Lord Somers Camp in January 2019.