Charity Champion

STORY: Jakeb Waddell

She may be as humble as she is hard-working, but a dedicated volunteer has been thrown into the spotlight after being nominated for a State service award.

Ashlea Thompson has spent the better part of the past year establishing and developing a local rugby league competition to increase the range of sports available to residents of the Kimberly town.

Her hard work in launching the Broome Jets Rugby League, which kicked off just three months ago has led to her being nominated for an RAC volunteering award at this year’s WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

The 31-year-old has also become a familiar face around town after a decade of service to the Kimberly Girl program, sitting on the committee at the Broome Turf Club and Broome Toch Association, and volunteering for Feed the Little Children, all while working full-time.

Ms Thompson said she felt surprised and fortunate to have been nominated, and dd not expect recognition for the work she put in.

“I am so proud to have been a part of organisations that are providing great events, services and facilities to our town,” she said.

“I have met some truly remarkable people an, collectively, we have achieved some exciting things.

“There are so many events and services available in our town that would not be possible without people willing to fulfil volunteer roles, so if you are ever in a position to contribute or make a difference, do it.

“It is such a rewarding experience.”

Ms Thompson said she and other BJRL committee members had to take on multiple roles to get the competition off the ground.

“My role has been very fast-paced, but that’s exactly how I live my life,” she said.

“It has included registering players, establishing social media, managing club correspondence, coordinating travel, sponsorship and fundraising, creating artwork uniforms, merchandise and much more.”

Other Broome residents and organisations up for awards include Bjarindjin Airport, Roebuck Bay Working Group, Germans Kent Houe, Broome Volunteer Sea ResuceGroup, Joshua Linton, Anne Poelina, Kimika Lee and Dale Maree Rollason.

The categories range from community group of the year to leadership and innovation, teaching excellence, economic development, and community service.

Ms Thompson has also been short-listed for the community service prize. Judging of the awards will take place at the end of this month, with winners announced at a gala evening on October 19.