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2023 Volunteer of the Year Winner - Corey Bakes - Doncaster JFC

The YJFL congratulates Corey Bakes from the Doncaster Junior Football Club on being named the 2023 Volunteer of the Year Winner.

Corey is the dedicated President of the Doncaster Junior Football Club.

YJFL President Rob Gould presents Corey Bakes, Doncaster JFC with Volunteer of the Year Award.
YJFL President Rob Gould presents Corey Bakes, Doncaster JFC with Volunteer of the Year Award.

The DJFC is situated in the most highly multicultural area of the Manningham LGA. The Doncaster area has a very high Chinese population (44%) and a number of the feeder schools have over 80% non-English background enrolments. This has obviously made recruiting players and Auskick participants extremely difficult in the past 6 years and has put the DJFC under serious pressure. The DJFC is also surrounded by neighbouring clubs trying to capture this very small market.

Corey’s dedication, passion, engagement skills and foresight has seen the club stabilise and now start to grow again by connecting with the local demographic and thus ensuring a sustainable and viable future for the Doncaster JFC. Due to Corey’s foresight and working in close collaboration with AFL Victoria, the club has seen growth in Auskick numbers and was able to field 5 junior teams in 2023. This appeared highly unlikely in February.

Corey facilitated the following programs in conjunction with AFL Vic staff and the YJFL which enabled this growth to occur:

  • 2 x Multicultural Footy 4 Fun Days

  • 2 x ‘Come and Try’ Footy 4 Fun Days

  • 2 x Girls Gala Days

  • Several Primary School clinics including the Doncaster Gardens PS Term 1 Auskick program

  • Corey is also the Doncaster Auskick admin coordinator in 2023

Corey’s mantra is focusing on the learning, playing, growing, participating, and having fun as part of a team, rather than focusing on winning.He is always willing to go above and beyond to put others first to put Doncaster JFC in a better place. Corey is very hands on in all aspects of the club and truly puts in everything for Doncaster having previously been a Coach, Secretary, Vice President. He only wants the best for his club. DJFC is in very good hands and will continue to progress whilst Corey is involved at the club.

Volunteer of the Year Award:

This award honours and recognises a YJFL member club volunteer who has demonstrated significant contribution or commitment in helping at a club and team level.

In presenting this award, the YJFL hopes to raise the recognition and profile of volunteers within the league’s member clubs.

It is acknowledged that an army of volunteers assist clubs, and this award aims to draw attention to the important contributions of some of those volunteers.

2023 Nominees:

Ashburton Redback JFC – Leigh Sando

Brunswick JFC – Sally Siega

Doncaster JFC - Corey Bakes

Heidelberg JFC – Roger Golland

Preston Bullants JFC – GabrielleOlarenshaw

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