International Awards for Variety Heroes

August 12, 2021 by nswadmin

The Olympics may be over, but the international awards and well-deserved recognition keeps coming for some of Australia’s unsung heroes!

Each year, Variety International take submissions from Variety offices all over the world for their Presidential Citation Awards, Corporate Awards and Innovation Awards.

We were thrilled recently when members of the Variety NSW/ACT community were announced as winners of three of these awards!

Greg and Jeanette Cocks won a Presidential Citation award for 2020. This award applauds the invaluable contribution made by donors, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and staff in meeting the demand for Variety’s assistance and encourages everyone to strive for excellence in everything they do. The award is presented to honour an unsung hero for their exceptional and sustained contribution to Variety.

Greg and Jeanette are Variety’s radio base for various Bashes and have been a crucial part of our motoring events since 2000. Most of the Bashers have never actually met them face-to face- but many of our officials will know their voices well.

Greg and Jeanette provide safety and communications. They mostly camp in the bush, setting up their communication towers and their bush office with computers, radios and all the essentials.

Before we leave on the Bash, they review the roads we will travel on, research where hospitals and emergency services are located and have maps on hand if we require a detour due to flooding, road closures or any other emergencies.

Their Bash Day starts around 5.30am and doesn’t finish until the sweep gets to town and all Bashers and officials are accounted for, often late into the night.

These two volunteers provide the safest and most professional outback communications possible. Greg and Jeanette epitomise unsung heroes with their outstanding and continued contribution to Variety NSW/ACT and we simply couldn’t run our motoring events without them.

Our long-time partners, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Newcastle Hunter were also recognised with a Corporate Award. This award recognises corporations that demonstrate a high level of support for Variety in achieving the mission of improving the lives of children who are sick, disadvantaged or living with special needs.

AHA have been supporting Variety NSW/ACT in a number of ways for many years now including nine years of sponsoring the NSW Bash. In 2020 the AHA NSW Newcastle and Hunter made a direct contribution of $76,000, despite having been hit extremely hard with the closure of their hotels and ongoing restricted trade due to COVID-19.

It was extraordinary to receive such a contribution when their own businesses needed support. Their commitment helped to ensure our Kids Xmas Drive Thru happened in 2020 – despite COVID restrictions – giving kids in the Hunter a day to remember.

Thanks to Michael Starkey and Nikki Lee Taylor from AHA for continuing to believe in our cause. The AHA partnership has provided Variety with opportunities to partner with suppliers of the AHA NSW networks and to develop new relationships that now actively fundraise and contribute to Variety NSW. We’re looking forward to celebrating 10 years next year!

Last but certainly not least, one of our Variety Australia partners, Swysh, have also been awarded a 2020 Corporate Award. Swysh gives sports fans the most exciting and personalised fan experience from the convenience of their mobile phone. In just a few clicks, you can get a sports star to wish someone happy birthday, tell a career story or banter with your mates. The best part? Every video on Swysh supports children through Variety – the Children’s Charity in Australia.

The company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the seven Variety offices across Australia, as well as the Swysh team helping to organise event MC’s and participating in fundraising events, such as Variety Spin 4 Kids. We are so proud of these award winners and are incredibly grateful to Greg and Jeanette Cocks, AHA Newcastle Hunter and Swysh. Their dedication and support over the years – and especially during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis – means that we are able to help more kids in need.