Posted on Monday 13th May, 2024

MSQ Volunteer of the Year 2023

Masters Swimming Queensland (MSQ) is proud to announce that Colette Southam has been awarded the prestigious MSQ Volunteer of the Year trophy for 2023.

Colette Southam’s dedication and contribution to the Miami Masters Swimming Club (QMM) has been nothing short of remarkable. Her decade-long tenure as QMM Treasurer was marked by groundbreaking achievements. She modernised the club’s financial systems, introducing online payment and accounting software that streamlined operations and ensured financial security. Colette’s efforts have not only secured the club’s financial future but have also paved the way for future treasurers through her mentorship.

As a committed and respected member of the management team, Colette’s attendance and input over the past decade have been invaluable. Her strategic thinking and attention to detail have greatly contributed to the club’s governance and operational efficiency.

Colette’s efforts in attracting paying sponsors to both QMM and its annual swim meet have been commendable, significantly boosting the club’s operating budget and forging strong relationships within the community. Her role in developing and maintaining the club’s website has been pivotal, ensuring the site remains current and informative through collaboration with Bond University students and another member.

Her initiative in organizing an annual fundraising swim has not only raised substantial funds for rare ovarian cancer research but has also increased the club’s public profile and membership. Initially these swims were to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. Since 2021, on Colette’s initiative, the QMM annual fundraising swim has been aimed at raising funds for research into rare ovarian cancer which fellow club member, Claire Reaburn, is currently surviving. Through Colette’s initiative and continued commitment, that swim has raised over $20,000 for life-saving research into rare ovarian cancer, including $9452 in 2023.

Colette’s passion for swimming extends to competition, where she consistently performs well at various levels, including local, state, national, and Pan Pacific Games, demonstrating her commitment to the sport.

Furthermore, Colette’s involvement in the MSA Endurance 1000 program has not only earned her maximum points since 2016 but has also inspired other QMM swimmers to participate, highlighting her leadership within the club. Her dedication to every aspect of the QMM Club over the past decade is truly commendable, shaping QMM into a club that values excellence, inclusivity, and professionalism.

In summary, Colette has made a huge contribution to every aspect of the QMM Club over the last 10 years. In 2023, she maintained that voluntary contribution not only as a dedicated trainer and competitor, but giving up her time to work diligently and professionally behind the scenes to ensure QMM provides first class service to members, supporters and sponsors, adheres to high standards of governance, and functions efficiently in its operations. Importantly, Colette has always operated professionally, and has encouraged and accepted swimmers from novices to high level competitors to engage in every aspect of masters swimming. Colette is an outstanding example of a masters’ swimmer who exemplifies the values of fitness, friendship, and fun that our club, MSQ and MSA espouse.

Congratulations to Colette Southam for earning the title of MSQ Volunteer of the Year for 2023 for her outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to Masters Swimming.