GM Malcolm Blandthorn (left) was on hand to receive Maryborough Highland Society's Community Club of the Year award. Images: Mark Avellino Photography.

The Community Clubs Victoria (CCV) Gala Awards Night was held on 29 July at Leonda by the Yarra, Hawthorn.

Over 400 people comprising Members of Parliament, club presidents, boards, managers, important partners and suppliers from member clubs from all over the state were in attendance.

The achievements of high-performing individuals and clubs whose efforts contribute to the social and economic well-being of their local Victorian communities were celebrated. These clubs make an annual $1 billion contribution in activities and partnerships to the Victorian economy.

“With the continuous hard-work our Clubs and employees have sustained post-pandemic, the Gala Awards Night presents as the appropriate platform for these leaders in our industry to be acknowledged and celebrated,” stated CCV chairman and president Greg Roberts.

“It’s an honour to be able to provide an opportunity to recognise the success of many of our clubs.”

The major award winners on the night included Maryborough Highland Society and Frankston RSL, who were named the Community Clubs of the Year, regional and metropolitan, respectively. Malcolm Blandthorn, general manager of Maryborough Highland Society, attributes the win to the club’s long-term activities within its community.

“To win such an award solidifies the community ethos that the Highland Society has and the programs that we’ve put together over the last few years.”

Rosebud RSL president Bruce Turner (left) was named Club Person of the Year, but he viewed the accolade one for his entire team.

“I was humbled to receive the award, but if it was not for the support of the Rosebud RSL Management, Staff and Committee I would not have succeeded. They, collectively are the ‘wind beneath my wings’”, Turner told Club Management.

Rosebud RSL took out two other awards on the night, including being one of the winners of the Mental & Social Wellbeing Program award, as well as a joint winner of the Best Community Club Bistro/Restaurant award.

Hussein Dergham (pictured below) was named Club Manager of the Year, with Pakenham Racing Club also winning Best Customer Experience.

“Receiving the Manager of the Year award brings a flood of emotions—happiness, joy, and a touch of disbelief. Being acknowledged among so many talented managers and industry colleagues is truly humbling,” stated Dergham.

The club manager said that the award win has fuelled him to keep striving for positiove change, both within himself and his team.

“With 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry, beginning from the bottom, winning this award carries special meaning. This acknowledgment fuels my motivation to strive for excellence, setting an example for my team and driving positive change.

“Winning this prestigious award is an unforgettable and heart-warming moment that encourages me to make a positive impact as a leader. It inspires me to embrace new challenges, knowing that hard work and dedication bring genuine rewards. A big thank you to Andrew Lloyd and the hardworking CCV team for organising this event and recognising the clubs’ efforts in this tough and challenging environment. Your support and recognition mean the world to us.”

You can view the full list of the 2023 CCV Awards winners below.

Best Sustainability Initiative                                    Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Best Member Experience                                        Pakenham Racing Club

Social Impact Award                                                 Bendigo District RSL

Best Community Club Refurbishment                  Buckleys Entertainment Centre

Best Community Club Redevelopment                Ballarat and District Trotting Club

Best Community Club Bistro/Restaurant             Yarram Country Club

                                                                                      Ocean Grove Bowling Club

                                                                                      University House

                                                                                      Rosebud RSL

Best Community Collaboration                               Craigieburn Sporting Club

Emerging Young Leader                                            Jake Hilson – St Arnaud Sporting Club

                                                                                      Brooke Cooper – Craigieburn Sporting Club

Mental & Social Wellbeing Program                      Kyabram Club

                                                                                     Rosebud RSL

                                                                                     Amstel Club

Club Manager of the Year                                       Hussein Dergham – Pakenham Racing Club

Best Hospitality Team                                              Buckley’s Entertainment Centre

Club Person of the Year                                           Bruce Turner – Rosebud RSL

Community Club Award                                           Maryborough Highland Society

                                                                                      Frankston RSL

Check out the NSW Clubs and Community Awards of 2023

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