The 2017 Compassion Australia SCA Champions Dinner finished the night on a tremendous note with long-serving SCA Chaplain Allan Dunn from the Essendon Bombers AFL receiving SCA Life Membership.
Award winners included long serving Swansea Belmont and Nobbys Beach Surf Life Saving Club member Rhonda Scruton who received the Compassion Australia Building Stronger Communities Award.
Former NBL and Australian Basketball player Brett Wheeler received the ACS Insurance Compassion in Sport Award for his ongoing sacrificial work with indigenous communities in Northern Australia.
The Rhino Bins & SCA Values in Sport Award was presented to NSW’s Murray Elborne for his outstanding commitment to caring for able bodied and disability sport athletes.
The Friend of SCA award was presented to Jennifer Van Groningen for her selfless, caring and encouraging support of the work of sports chaplains across Australia.
The Panel made up of former Melbourne FC CEO Cameron Schwab, international basketball and Ballarat Miners SEABL player Joy Burke, Perth Motor Plex Chaplain Terry Dorrington and 2018 Commonwealth Games CEO Mark Peters all spoke openly about their challenges in sport.
Cameron Schwab graciously opened up about the challenges he has faced with depression, helping the audience understand the challenges faced in Australian sport at every level. Cameron also reflected on the importance of identifying and cultivating your personal gift. “I have come to discover my personal gift is for ‘mercy’.” “It wasn’t a surprise when i came home and told Cec about it. I’ve come to realise I’m passionate about mercy.” Adding, “I’m also the owner of a rescue dog.”
Guest speaker Mike Sanfratello captured the audience with his Alligator Story emphasised the importance for both athletes and chaplains to be positioned well, having a big heart for people and sure of their identity. Reflecting on his own journey, saying, “Identity based on performance can be a very rocky foundation. I know… because it was happening to me.”
The night was attended by a many interstate visitors and league CEO’s and managers including the team from Basketball Victoria including Chris Angus, interstate visitors, chaplains and local politicians.
SCA National Director Cameron Butler invited guests to consider supporting the mission of SCA to see a volunteer chaplain serving in every club in Australia by becoming a member of a new VIP Donor group called SCA Club 72.
72 Donors supporting the work of SCA with $2000 or more a year for 3 years. The night was finished in thanksgiving and a final video encouraging faith and sports communities to stand with SCA in their vision.
Many thanks to all those who participated, gave and served on the night.
The SCA Team look forward to seeing you in 2018 (Wed May 16 TBC) at the MCG.
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