Celebrating selfless citizens

MP Daniel Mullino chose three winners to celebrate for their volounteering efforts, Robyn Cowell, Darvey To and Nazish Rafique. (Damjan Janevski) 335100_01

Jennifer Pittorino

Three powerful, selfless, devoted women have been awarded for their efforts at the inaugural 2023 Volunteer of Fraser awards, run by Fraser MP Daniel Mulino.

Two women received Volunteer of Fraser awards , Robyn Cowell and Nazish Rafique, while Darvey To received the Young Volunteer of Fraser award.

Ms Rafique said she was surprised and overwhelmed that her volunteer work had been recognised.

Ms Rafique has been a volunteer in the city of Maribyrnong for several years organising events for homeless and vulnerable people of her community, among many other volunteer projects.

After living in Australia for 15 years after migrating from Pakistan, Ms Rafique said she saw the living conditions first hand and knew she wanted to help.

“We live in a society where we have to help each other regardless of race, religion, age or circumstances.”

“I can easily feel people’s pain so whenever I am free I give my time to my community.

“My culture says we must always be ready to help someone in need, it brings me joy I might empower someone to give them strength,”

Like Ms Rafique, Ms To and Ms Cowell said they feel extremely lucky to have won this award.

“I wasn’t expecting to be nominated so I didn’t consider winning, but it feels great,” Ms To said.

Ms To is passionate about writing and expressing creativity through words and has been volunteering with the 100 story building for several years.

“100 story building means a lot to me because it is built around my core values of imagination and having a solid space to work and express yourself,” she said.

Ms Cowell has been devoting her time to the Braybrook Football Club for more than 25 years participating in crucial game day duties.

“Robbo is truly is the heart and soul of the club, she keeps the club alive, she is the backbone of the club,” former club president Robert Hutchison said.

Ms Cowell selflessly said volunteering is a team effort , speaking volumes about her character.

“It’s not just me, it’s everyone working as one to come together to help others,” she said.