JEN STUART

Jen Stuart is a small-business owner who takes the time to dedicate herself to the education of her staff.

Establishing the non-profit organisation Abilities Plus - Learning By Doing Group Inc. Jen Stuart focuses on improving the lives of her students by encouraging them to learn and to support one another.

"With help and support, my students can achieve amazing results, giving them a future and a purpose." Jen Stuart said.

Employing a young man with an intellectual impairment in 2002, Jen Stuart realised through her business she would be able to help him improve his literacy, numeracy and life skills.

Jen now employs over a dozen staff members, where she also finds the time to teach. Every Wednesday, Jen teaches them how to read and write through teaching them horticulture and life skills.

To cater to the needs of her students Jen has committed to continuing her own education, completing numerous certificates, including her teaching attainment graduating with honours.

Jen dedication to the education of her staff has seen several of them graduate with a Certificate I in Horticulture.

"Seeing the group achieve goals and empowering them is what encourages me to continue this program and teaching", Jen said.

Recognised for her dedication and tireless effort in the community Jen Stuart was awarded Gold Coast Volunteer of 2014 at International Volunteer Day celebrations

       AWARDS FOR JEN

2009 Diversity @ Work Awards – Diversity and Inclusion Champion Individual -Bill Shorten Award (Bill Shorten presenter)

2010 Disability Action Week Winner

2011 Employment and Inclusion Award Finalist

2011 Australia Day Awards Nomination

2014 Volunteer Gold Coast Winner

2015 GCCC Citizen of the Year Nomination

2015 Australian of the Year Awards Nomination

2015 Northern Gold Coast Awards & Guest Speaker

2015 Qld Training Awards – South East Queensland Regional Winner for Employer of the Year Small Business

2015 Qld Training Awards – South East Queensland Regional State Finalist Employer of the Year Small Business

2016 Qld Training Awards – South East Queensland Regional Winner for Employer of the Year Small Business

2016 Qld Training Awards – South East Queensland Regional State Finalist Employer of the Year Small Business

LYN MANSFIELD

I have been an active part of the community for more than three decades, volunteering for a variety of organisations.

I have been volunteering for the past 35 years and currently volunteer with Abilities Plus - Learning By Doing Group Inc (Abilities Plus - Permaculture) and Gold Coast Organic Growers.  I started volunteering when my friend spiked my interest in being a Cub Scout Leader, a role I held for 22 years then moving to become the Scout Leader for 3 years (total 25 years as a leader), before moving on to volunteering at soccer clubs, P & C at Arundel School & Southport State High then moved to help start Gold Coast Permaculture and various Community Gardens on the Gold Coast.

I volunteer as a treasurer, secretary, grants officer, events coordinator and workshop coordinator.

I ensure to be able to educate or assist others to guarantee doing my best to help others.  I attend a lot of training workshops, learning new skills that better enable me to help others and share with others, and it also allows me to network with other volunteers and community organisations.

It is very rewarding when people appreciate the information I am able to pass on to them that I have learnt at the various workshops I attend or I am able to put them in touch with someone who is able to assist them.

Everyone should give volunteering a go.  It is very rewarding experience and you never know who you are going to help, there is always someone out there who would appreciate some company or just to be shown new skills.