Congratulation to the 2016 Jean Simpson Award winners

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  • Volunteer of the Year: Olivia Conan-Davies and Isobel Leggett (joint winners) and
  • Employee of the Year: Jan Bence


The Jean Simpson Award was established to celebrate the life and achievements of the late Jean Simpson (1950-2002).  A long time campaigner for flexible respite for families who are caring for a child with a disability, Jean’s influence and vision have left an on-going legacy at Interchange.

The Award recognises excellence, dedication and long and outstanding commitment to the Interchange community.

The Awards will be presented at a ceremony to be held immediately following the Interchange Incorporated Annual General Meeting on Friday 18th November 2016. We look forward to acknowledging and thanking the 2016 winners.


Volunteer of the Year

Olivia Conan-Davies and Isobel Leggett, Interchange Inner East

Close friends, Olivia and Isobel, began volunteering with Interchange Inner East in 2008, at the young age of 13. Over the years, both Olivia and Isobel have provided continued and invaluable support at discos, regular weekend activities and camps through the recreation program.

Isobel was one of the first volunteers to participate in the mentor program, which provides regular monthly support to a child or young person with a disability. Both Isobel and Olivia continue to volunteer with this program.

The selection panel were very impressed that both Olivia and Isobel:

  • committed to volunteering at a young age
  • maintained their enthusiasm and dedication to volunteering while completing secondary and tertiary studies, and working part-time
  • promoted the significance of volunteering and inspired others to volunteer

Congratulations Olivia and Isobel, you have made a positive difference to so many individuals and their families – this Award is well deserved!

Olivia and Isobel_Volunteer of the Year_2016

Employee of the Year

Jan Bence, Upper Murray Family Care (UMFC)

Jan is the Manager of the Interchange program at UMFC, a position she has held for 17 years. Jan and her family have also volunteered in the host program since 2000, and have provided support to many children with disabilities in their own home.

Jan is a strong and passionate advocate for people with disabilities and their families, and has served on various boards and committees over the years. Jan is currently Vice President of the Interchange Incorporated board, and served as President from 2007-2009.

Jan is greatly admired and respected by her colleagues and team and also within the local community. Jan has been instrumental in driving the growth of the Interchange program at UMFC and meeting the growing demands of individuals, families and the community.

Congratulations Jan – a worthy recipient of this Award!

Jan Bence Photo 20161031

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