Winner of the James Ridgeway Award – 2017

Andrew Parker receiving the James Ridgeway Award Certificate by Chairman of the Board, Jason McDonald.

Pictured: Jason McDonald handing Andrew Parker the James Ridgeway Award Certificate.

We are delighted to share with you our first staff profile for the year – showcasing our Housing Worker, Andrew Parker – who was the winner of the James Ridgway Award for 2017.

Andrew was recognised and nominated by his colleagues as a person who has displayed attributes that serve to fulfil our Mission and Vision. In staff nominations, staff mentioned that:

“Andrew is always willing to help out even when the tasks are outside of his job requirements. He is a team player and is loyal to both the organisation and his team.”

The James Ridgway Award is a perpetual award presented to one staff member who has displayed outstanding servanthood, integrity and loyalty in their work practice and life across the previous year. This award is in honour of Rev. Dr. James (Jim) Ridgway, who passed away in 2012, and recognises Jim’s support as a Board Member and his contribution to our work over many years.

Andrew has worked for Concern Australia for over 8 years as a Housing Worker within our Inside Out program and we are very proud to congratulate him on all of his achievements. He is not just recognised for his work with us, but also for the hours served in running a Men’s support group and supporting people with intellectual disabilities.

We spoke with Andrew about how he felt about receiving this prestigious award and he said that he was very honoured and thankful, but he admitted he was a little embarrassed by this. When asked why he said, “I just know there are a lot of other worthy people around. Part of being a Christian is you are called to go over and above.” We are proud to have such a wise and humble man as part of our team at Concern Australia.

Some of Andrew’s key highlights and achievements over the last 8 years are focused around his work with staff, young people, live in mentors, and house maintenance.

“It’s always good when a young person finishes up with us and goes to live with their family, gets their own place or finds work. We do this work to develop a decent outcome for the young people and help them grow up. I also see myself as a mentor or support for our volunteers. There has been many times where I have spent an hour encouraging them and talking things through. At the end of it they’re feeling better about the challenges they’ve faced and I get a lot of enjoyment out of that.

I’ve managed to get a lot of major works done at some of the houses, inside and outside that makes it more comfortable for not only the young people but the volunteers who live there. The relationships I’ve developed with DHHS property managers has been a highlight as they have been very supportive of both the program and me. They have advocated on our behalf to help get improvements through, such as refurbishing kitchens, opening up walls, putting new flooring in, installing pergolas and new carpet, painting, building garages and landscaping garden beds.

Staff and their support has been fantastic, particularly at the start, when staff would sit down and have coffee with me to encourage me.”

Well done Andrew for all your hard work and effort to support staff, volunteers, young people and your community. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

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