Fishing is a treasured lifestyle for more than 700,000 people across WA — and we strongly believe everyone should be able to have access to it, including fishers with disabilities.
That is why Recfishwest is delighted to see the efforts and feats of 23 volunteers, who are actively delivering fishing programs and activities for people with disabilities across the State, be honoured at the recent annual awards for our partners Fishability.
“As all fishers in Western Australia experience for themselves, fishing provides enormous mental, physical, wellbeing and social benefits,” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said.
“Fishability shares Recfishwest’s goals in ensuring great fishing experiences for all in the WA community, helping more people of all abilities experiencing fishing and all the benefits it provides. The volunteers who were honoured at these awards have done a great job in encouraging more people to venture out on to the water, wet a line and enjoy what fishing has to offer.”
Fishability recognised the efforts of volunteers from Albany on the south coast up to Geraldton in our Mid-West, with 12 awards and 11 service pins presented.
The winners of the Fishability Chairman’s Award were Aldo Mendolia and Mark Gwynne, celebrating the 12th year that the pair have organised at least one annual fishing trip for Fishability participants and their carers aboard their premier charting fishing vessel, the Top Gun II — all free of charge.
Another recipient of the Fishability Patron’s Unsung Hero Award was Mandurah’s Steve Grandison, who has worked tirelessly in his metal work, anti-fouling, sanding, repainting work and volunteer skippering of the MV Fishability, the 8.5m purpose-built boat specially adapted to accommodate fishers in wheelchairs.
Recfishwest congratulates all the following Fishability award winners and individuals recognised for their years of service.
Nev Thomas Award
John May and Ed Szydlowski
Aldo Mendolia and Mark Gwynne
Patron’s Unsung Hero Awards
Geraldton – Chris Wilson
Perth North – Caroline and Paul Taylor
Perth South – Bob Hancock
Mandurah/Waroona – Steve Grandison
Busselton – Tim Jackson
Albany – Maureen Hanna
Five Years of Service
Perth – Rod Baker
Perth – Mike Concannon
Geraldton – Lyn Kendle
Geraldton – David Meder
Mandurah – Lisette Laval
Mandurah – Mike Neagle
Mandurah – Brian Neville
Mandurah – Gilber Turner
Busselton – Jim Wright
Ten Years of Service
Mandurah – Ian Metcalf
Mandurah – Brian Young
Recfishwest applauds the Fishability team for everything they do to help more people access and enjoy WA’s amazing fishing, with funds from licence fees helping support and improve fishing access and experiences for people with disabilities through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.