Media response - National Volunteer Week

Published on 17 May 2022

Response to The Advertiser.

  • We are currently writing a volunteers piece about the unsung heroes in our local communities. I was wondering of the council had anyone in mind? It’s just a simple who they are, what they do and why along with a picture.

Hetty Browning and Phyllis Corin

Neville Radford

  • Hackham West’s Neville Radford joined City of Onkaparinga’s Graffiti Removal Volunteer Team in September 2012.
  • A decade later—and some 4770 hours, removing an incredible 29,500 pieces of graffiti—Neville recently hung up the paintbrush for some much-needed R & R.
  • City of Onkaparinga’s Graffiti Removal Volunteer Team, which includes around 24 people, operates from Monday to Friday using fully equipped graffiti removal vehicles.
  • Their work, combined with that of a contractor that does pressure cleaning and elevated work, covers every inch of the City of Onkaparinga. Neville’s patch was mostly in the north of the city, covering suburbs such as Aberfoyle Park, Flagstaff Hill and Morphett Vale on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Asked if he felt he’d made a difference, Neville responded immediately.
    • “Oh yeah,” he said.
    • “It’s [graffiti] been getting less and less. That’s what we’re out there for. It gives you fulfilment, that you’re cleaning up the area. It gives you a sense of wanting to be there and wanting to do it.”
  • Neville’s work has also seen him recognised with multiple awards, including a 2020 Premier’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by Volunteers, and the Amanda Rishworth’s 2018 Annual Southern Suburbs Volunteer Service Award.

Leo Oliver

  • South Port Surf Life Saving Club member Leo Oliver, 15, was recently recognised as the Young Citizen of the Year in the 2022 City of Onkaparinga Australia Day Awards.
    • “Being named Young Citizen of the Year confirms for me that I’m doing the right thing in my community,” Leo said.
    • “I love the South Port club and the community there. The club only runs because of help from volunteers. It’s a fun place to be. I love competing, being with friends—enjoying each other’s company and looking after the beach—and doing good deeds to support other people. It’s the best.”
  • President of the South Port Surf Life Saving Club, Richard (Dick) Olesinski nominated Leo for the award, acknowledging his level of maturity and responsibility that far outweighs his years.  
  • Leo joined South Port Surf Life Saving Club in 2014, progressing through the Nippers ranks to become Junior Club Captain in the 2019-20 season.
  • Since finishing Nippers, Leo has continued to provide mentorship and support to the club’s junior members. He completed more than 51 volunteer hours in 2020-21, including water safety cover for Nippers on most Saturdays and at junior carnivals.
    • “Leo is always the first to put his hand up for anything at the club that needs volunteers, and often not for jobs that are glamourous or give the most accolades. That doesn’t bother Leo. He helps carry equipment on and off the beach whenever required and he is a regular helper in the canteen and kitchen, where he serves meals at the club's monthly Sunday Sessions and other events.
    • “In terms of his competition on the beach and in the water, he’s multitalented, and has already been successful in senior board races and as part of the March Past team,” says Dick Olesinski.
  • In December 2020, Leo’s years of dedicated training helped him and two other Under 15 South Port members save the life of a snorkeller who was in distress 300 metres offshore in windy conditions.
    • “When my friends and I noticed the snorkeller was in danger, we clicked into rescue mode. Our training means it becomes second nature to act when we see someone in trouble,” Leo said.
  • Leo was awarded the prestigious statewide Surf Life Saving SA Youth Member of the Year Award for 2020-21 in honour of his calm and confident rescue of the snorkeller and his many other contributions to surf life saving.