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Volunteers rewarded for four decades of selfless service

Their work may sometimes go unnoticed but without their help and support of the game's volunteers, clubs wouldn't be able to survive.

Coffs Harbour Rugby League Club life members Max and Lorna Dawes are a prime example of the integral role volunteers hold in sustaining local football clubs.

The husband and wife have been a part of the coastal club for more than 40 years where they've served in various volunteer and administrative roles, including president, secretary, treasurer, general committee member, ground announcer, ground licensee and canteen coordinator.

Max and Lorna also continue to coordinate social functions and annual fundraisers that provide a significant income stream for the club that enables them to consistently upgrade their facilities.

Wests Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds, NRL head of government and community relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder and NRL community program deliverer David Shillington presented the award on behalf of the NRL at one of the club's games in August.

Although the pair had recently just won a Country Rugby League Award for their volunteer work, they were completely shocked to receive this year's national Volunteer of the Year Award, proudly supported by Coca Cola Amatil.

"We're blown away, truly," Lorna said.

National Volunteer of the Year 2018 - Max and Lorna Dawes

The pair have been committee members at the club since 1978 when they registered their two sons, Dion and Vaughn into the club's junior ranks.

"We had a caravan at home that was painted red and gold for the canteen," Dion said.

"We'd have to take that to home games and set it up – Mum was always setting up the canteen."

Wests Tigers star Josh Reynolds said it was nice to see these long-serving volunteers get recognised for the hard work they've done over the past 40 years.

"I'm glad that the know they're appreciated, Reynolds said.

"It probably does go under-raps a bit and they don't mind that they're not getting the recognition but it's nice to come here and surprise them and present them with the award."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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