An act of kindness and selflessness contributing to the community is never ignored by the Western Sydney Wanderers. Acknowledging and assisting those in need has been a prime element of the Wanderers mission since the club’s inception.Rhonda Hawkins, ex-deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) is one of these individuals who have dedicated her life to giving back to the community and was awarded the Chairman’s Award at the Medal Evening this year.
Rhonda has been a part of the glue of UWS having spent the past 30 years working at the institution prior to her recent retirement. UWS is an iconic part of Western Sydney and Rhonda can be credited for creating much of that perception.
It wasn’t a case though of self-glorification for Rhonda who rather just wanted to encourage the community to know that education is the most important thing to the community and the development of Western Sydney.
Giving back to the community in the eyes of Rhonda is essential.
“For those of us who have had the privilege of education we should always try and do whatever we can to help the community to develop.”
During the Wanderers Medal Evening it was noted that Rhonda not only devoted her time towards the development of the university but also on the region itself.
But this wasn’t a one-way road – Rhonda also learnt a lot about the people of Western Sydney and all the similar characteristics each person shared.
“The people of Western Sydney are amazing. They are hard-working, gifted and they are part of a very diverse community.
“To a person they want the best not only for themselves and their family but also to the greater community.”
Thus her passion for the community instantaneously linked with the community club, the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“I heard of the Wanderers coming into being and I thought ‘What a great idea to galvanize the Western Sydney community in such an amazing football club!’”
“When I saw the work the club was doing in promoting Western Sydney and having Western Sydney in its name and caring about it, how could you not follow them and be so passionate?”
The Wanderers and UWS have such a strong connection together as they have both developed a sense of pride for the people of Western Sydney according to Rhonda.
“They showed the community what they could do and they could do whatever they want to do. The Wanderers have been responsible for developing this sense of pride in Western Sydney.”
Wanderers CEO said Rhonda epitomised everything that Western Sydney stands for.
“We are proud to award Rhonda the Chairman's Award as she encompasses what Western Sydney is all about and what we strive to provide the region," he said.
Rhonda Hawkins is a quintessential example of an individual who has shown generosity, compassion, self-less acts and ongoing commitment to a cause that supports and positively affects our region.
She is not only inspiring for the people around her but for the people of the region, simply ending our conversation with the statement that “anything is possible for the people of Western Sydney” and that is very much thanks to the work of Rhonda.
If you would like to nominate an individual for next season’s Chairman’s Award who like Rhonda have had a huge impact on Western Sydney email firstname.lastname@example.org