Community hero 'Webby' receives Honour Award nomination
With a life spent giving to others, Cheryl Webby Webster’s name is synonymous with volunteering. No wonder she has been nominated for an Honour Award.
Members of the LGBT community will no doubt be familiar with Cheryl ‘Webby’ Webster. Over the years, she has made her mark at various LGBT organisations having served in various roles including as treasurer of Dykes on Bikes, President of Sydney Leather Pride Association, a Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association board associate and Lemons with a Twist member.
Since leaving behind a career in the armed forces, Webby has constantly put her hand up to assist with many of our community organisations, volunteering for the likes of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Bobby Goldsmith Foundation. She even played a part in Sydney’s bid to host the Gay Games in 2000.
Indeed if Webby sees a need in the community, she jumps in with both feet. A typical case in point would be her annual Anzac Day event. Realising the girls needed a safe space to party, Webby opted to throw a free event. The party has been going strong now for over a decade and is a highlight on the lesbian calendar. This year’s event was held at the Imperial Hotel and raised money for Twenty10.
So it should come as no surprise that the community now wants to say thanks. When Webby learned of her Honour Award nomination for Community Hero, she said her first thought was, ‘Oh my goodness”.
“It’s all very exciting and unexpected – and whoever nominated me, I’m very pleased,” she told SX.
Asked why volunteering is so important, Webby suggested it was essential to the wellbeing of the LGBTI community.
“Our community actually survives on volunteers and sometimes that isn’t appreciated enough. Mardi Gras wouldn’t survive without our volunteers – so I think our community has a lot of quiet achievers in the background.
And while sometimes people may feel unappreciated, Webby said volunteering is not without rewards.
“My reward is when you’re at a big event and you’re all frazzled and you look around and you see everyone else is having a wonderful time. And you think, ‘I helped make this happen’. That’s the reward – when you see you can make people happy.”
She urges more young people to take up volunteering, saying it’s good karma.
“It’s rewarding and it would be good if more people could be encouraged to volunteer. But you need to find something you align to and have a passion for. Everyone’s passion is different. But even half an hour of someone’s time can make a difference. It all adds up.”
[Image] Cheryl ‘Webby’ Webster’s annual ANZAC Day event has grown to be a key fixture in the annual lesbian calendar. Photo: Cec Busby.
KNOW A COMMUNITY HERO?
Nominations are now open for the 2014 Honour Awards, an event that recognises people and organisations whose work and achievements have made a difference to the lives of people in the LGBTI community in NSW. Nominations can be submitted in categories covering the business, health, education, community, legal, political, youth, media, arts and cultural sectors. Nominations close August 27. The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony at The Ivy Ballroom on Wednesday, September 7. Go to the Honour Awards website here.