Youth worker named citizen of the year

John van der Marel  Neerim Community and District Citizen of the year award 2020 presenter Jim Rae Chairman Australia Day Committee

John van der Marel Neerim Community and District Citizen of the year award 2020 presenter Jim Rae Chairman Australia Day Committee

Almost two decades of outstanding service to Neerim and district youth by John Van der Marel has been recognised with him being named the district’s 2020 citizen of the year.
The award was presented during Australia Day celebrations at Neerim South by the event’s chair Jim Rae.
Mr Van der Marel moved to the district in 2001 and immediately involved himself in community work.
He has spent most of his adult life in youth work as a volunteer and in a professional capacity as a youth work, as a school chaplain and co-ordinating camps.
Eighteen years have been spent as a youth worker at the Neerim South Co-operating Church and he has juggled full-time work as program manager at Forest Edge camp with running a weekly youth program.
The youth group provided a safe place for many young people, some from as far as Noojee, to join in fun and character-building activities.
Mr Van der Marel’s help has also extended help to youth group members’ families in times of difficulty.
The citizen of the year award further highlighted the Positive Choices Mentoring Program; his programming, facilitation and leadership of adventure-based activities for youth and school groups since 2003 including an annual 10-day wilderness camp that was expanded to incorporate an eight-day sailing program.
Mr Rae said Mr Van der Marel’s mentoring and personal development programs had benefitted countless young people with impacts that were immediate, ongoing and long term.


    Tagged with: , , , ,
    Posted in News

    To read the full article, get the Gazette newspaper each week in print
    from all good newsagents and convenience stores
    or in digital format here

    If you have subscribed to the digital format --- login here

    Real Estate Lift Out

    Feature