• Mary Porter

Mary Porter AM (Retired MLA)

Labor Member for Ginninderra in the ACT Government from 2004 until retirement, Feb 2016

Clubs ACT Awards for Excellence

    From the Porter Report July 2006 - Clubs ACT Awards for Excellence

    Big Awards for Little club: Bill Donovan and Mary Porter at the Belconnen Bowling ClubBig Awards for Little club: Bill Donovan and Mary Porter at the Belconnen Bowling Club

    One of Canberra's smallest licensed clubs has been honoured with two major awards at the recent Clubs ACT Awards for Excellence. The Belconnen Bowling Club in Hawker received the Small Club Category Awards for both the Promotion of Sport and Community Assistance at the award ceremony held in the Auditorium at the Vikings Club in Erindale.

    The Awards are particularly significant as most of the work necessary to keep the club functioning on a day to day basis is performed by the 74 volunteers who are part of the club's membership of around 700 of who 400 are bowlers . It is the largest bowls club in Canberra and the only club that is not part of one of the larger licensed clubs. The members are rightly proud of the club's independence and their members represent almost 20% of all of Canberra's bowlers.

    The only paid staff are the greenkeepers and some casual bar staff with volunteers undertaking all of the other duties such as cooking, cleaning, bookkeeping and the myriad of other jobs that are necessary to keep a club functioning.

    Club Director Gary Green carries out all of the functions that would normally be the responsibility of a Secretary Manager in a larger club but Gary does them in his own time as a volunteer. As part of his duties Gary also runs the Friday night raffle and was present at the ceremony to proudly receive the Awards.

    During the year the club contributed $25,000 in cash and a further $17,000 in "in kind support" to local community organisations such as Sharability, the ACT Hospice, the ACT Cancer Council, the Leukaemia Foundation through Shave for a Cure as well as providing support to a young person who was recovering from meningococcal disease.

    The club encourages members of the public to become physically active by inviting non bowlers to come and try their hand under the guidance of expert coaches any Sunday morning from 10. Training days are also held for school children and on the last Saturday of each month sessions are conducted for people with disabilities with the aid of specialist coaches.

    "I had the great privilege of being present on the night of the Awards." said local member Mary Porter "I was thrilled that my local club was recognised for the outstanding work they do in our community. For a club that is primarily run by volunteers to give so much is an outstanding effort and I am proud to say that I am a member of the Belconnen Bowling Club."