COVID Recovery Heroes

a small gesture of thanks for our heroes throughout the coronavirus pandemic

COVID Recovery Heroes

a small gesture of thanks for our heroes throughout the coronavirus pandemic

Join us each week in reading the stories of our COVID Recovery Heroes

These are the people that we believe have gone above and beyond throughout the COVID pandemic by contributing to their communities in any way, shape or form. We'd like to thank each COVID Recovery Hero with a $100 gift voucher of their choosing as we celebrate their kindness.

Danielle Watkins

Project Manager of the Community Skills Cafe

The Community Skills Cafe was formed after Waverley resident, Danielle Watkins found herself with some excess fresh food and wanted to share it with her community. Danielle, Project Manager of the Community Skills Cafe, was one of the vast number of us affected by Covid 19 restrictions. She placed the food outside her front fence with a sign encouraging her neighbours to, "take what you need, share what you can". Before long others added to the stall with their own donations. In a very short time the stall was offering things such as pantry items, personal hygiene items, books, seeds, plants, gifts and cards. Hundreds of kilos of food is being dispersed to the community each week.

Since then, partners have come on board such as The Salvation Army, Rotary Clubs, Loaves and Fishes and Bridget Archer Federal MP for Bass. So many community projects were starting up that groWaverley, Tasmania's first town team, came into existence to ensure Waverley kept the momentum going.
Plans are in the works to have a permanent dedicated space for the stall and other community based activities which will be operating very soon.

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Danielle has requested a $100 gift voucher from Rebecca Coverdale Photography to update her family portrait.

Congratulations on being a COVID Recovery Hero! We'd like to thank you for your act of kindness that has developed into something truly wonderful.

Cory Hearn

Cory Hearn Personal Training

Cory owns a personal training business that offers personalised and individualised personal training sessions for clients on Wellington Street. His business was highly regarded for his quick transition to virtual personal training when the pandemic hit. As soon as Australia went into lockdown, Cory arranged for all members to join a virtual training community so that they could all continue to train and focus on their health and wellbeing. He delivered equipment to their homes, implemented nutrition programs and encouraged everyone to keep moving. With the help from some tech-savvy clients, he was able to offer a few training sessions online for his members. His team started pulling an online training plan together when they saw what was happening in China so, when the seriousness of the situation hit Australia, they were ready to hit the ground running immediately.

"If this crisis has brought anything positive to us, it is that we see just how much community support we have and how quickly we can bring new ideas to action. Keep your mind and body healthy, drink lots of water, eat as well as you can, we were made to move."

Even when there is no pandemic, Cory is always supporting a variety of fundraising causes, such as recently holding a Pink Ribbon breakfast and raising money for WWF earlier this year.

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Cory has requested a $100 gift voucher at Timbre Kitchen.

We'd like to thank you for all the hard work and determination in supporting your members during the lockdown period and ongoing community support.

Racheal, Sharon & Nick

Northern Children's Network Team Leaders

Racheal Powell (Rachie), Sharon Burnie (Shaz) and Nick are three terrific Team Leaders at NCN. We'd like to officially nominate the NCN Team as COVID Recovery Heroes for continuing After School Hours learning and care through this difficult period. Sharon, Racheal and Nick always greet parents with a smile, address everyone by name, show care and concern for all, and have helped NCN maintain an after school service in a way that has supported children and parents/carers to feel safe. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero team, they have requested a $100 VISA debit card.

Well done and thank you for your continuous care and support during some truly difficult times!

Nigel Richardson

Tamar Churinga Lions Hockey Club

Nigel is a passionate and diplomatic club president who treats each and every member of the Tamar Churinga Lions Hockey Club like his own family. Whilst continuing to work full time during the Covid-19 pandemic as a salesperson at Harvey Norman, he spent countless nights attending meetings trying to find solutions to restore a hockey season. He also wrapped his arms around the 'Lions Family', providing emotional support through an uncertain time, and ensured that when the time came, each and every person who was in a position to play hockey this year got the chance. He is a fearless and selfless leader who deserves recognition for his endless respect and passion for the game and his 'Lions Family'. Well done Nigel!

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Nigel has requested a $100 VISA debit card, that will be donated to the Tamar Churinga Lions Hockey Club. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for all your time and effort in ensuring the hockey season could go on. Your Hockey community is extremely proud and grateful in what you have been able to achieve. Thank you!

Steve Matthews

Spit'n Polish

Steve is the business owner of Spit'n Polish. Throughout the pandemic lockdown, Steve kept his shoe repair business open, providing a pick-up-and-drop-off service to those who could not leave their homes. Steve also moved his soccer coaching clinics online for the Launceston United Under 14's, ensuring everyone stayed fit and (mentally) healthy.

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Steve has asked for a $100 Sports Power gift voucher.

Thank you for supporting your local community and providing a communication outlet for the Launceston United Team. We wish to congratulate Steve for being a well-deserved COVID Recovery Hero!

Libby Verhay

Goodstart Early Learning Newstead

Libby runs the Goodstart Early Learning centre in Newstead and we would like to recognise her amazing efforts over the COVID lockdown period. Libby and the team went above and beyond to assist parents and continue to inform them on accessible services, be updated on information from the Australian Government regarding changes to child care services, changes to restrictions and other general changes. Libby managed all of this while working in a high risk environment, but always managed to do so with a smile and a warm welcome.

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Libby has asked for a $100 VISA gift voucher to throw a luncheon with her staff to share the COVID Recovery nomination with her team.

Thank you for supporting your local community and providing a welcoming environment during some challenging times. Your dedication and time is very much appreciated.


City Mission

Robert is the security guard from City Mission in Launceston that always has a smile outside of the Frederick Street building. When we look out of our office window, we see the situations that Robert has to deal with on a daily basis. Situations that see people at their best and worst, from interacting and calming not only people's interaction with each other and themselves, but also their animals. He shows an interest in the animals that arrive outside of City Mission, and makes an effort to interact with them. Whether it be the morning greeting or the security of peoples welfare, Robert interacts with everyone and he is genuine in his concern for others welfare.

To celebrate being a COVID Recovery Hero, Robert has asked for a $100 VISA gift voucher to share with his wife, who he plans to surprise.

We wish to congratulate Robert in what he does and for being a top-notch COVID Recovery Hero!

Rebekah Illingworth

Reclink Australia

Rebekah Illingworth is the Northern Sports Coordinator in Launceston with Reclink Australia, who provide sports programs to disadvantaged Australians to create socially inclusive, life-changing opportunities.

During COVID 19 Rebekah actively reaching out to the Launceston community to ensure where possible the participants that had previously been accessing Reclink sports programs could still access sports equipment from Reclink. She wanted to ensure that participants could still maintain their physical and emotional wellbeing from their own homes, with the use of the equipment. Through her role with Reclink, Rebekah was also able to connect members of the local community via the Reclink Facebook page which enabled them to access online yoga and exercise sessions for free. These sessions were a hit and enabled disadvantaged Tasmanian’s to feel connected and stay active while isolating from home.

Since the restrictions have been lifted Rebekah has been keeping close contact with Reclink participants in order to assist them to re-engage in sports programs and reconnect with their local community.

Rebekah has asked for a $100 Sports Power gift voucher, which will no doubt come in handy with her sports programs.

Thank you for being an amazing ambassador and supporting your local community with their physical and emotional health. You are a true COVID Recovery Hero!

Malcolm Nicholson

Nicholson's Bookshop

Malcolm Nicholson is the owner of Nicholson's Bookshop in Launceston. Despite many business' forced to close when COVID-19 hit our state, Malcolm kept the bookstore open. Reading books was a vital part of many people's good mental health during isolation. With the library and many shops closed during the lockdown, being able to go to Nicholson's Bookshop and find a new read was important for those of us who needed that outlet. Malcolm stayed open through the whole lockdown period. and it was much appreciated by those of us who still rely on turning a page to feel like we are actually reading.

Malcolm has asked for a $100 Petrarch's Bookshop voucher, supporting another local bookshop business. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for supporting your local community and providing a reading outlet throughout the lockdown period. Your dedication and time is very much appreciated.

Field Reeves


Field Reeves in the owner of the Launceston and King Meadows franchises of F45. When COVID-19 hit and the forced closure was announced, Field offered his equipment to his F45 members as hire equipment, as he wasn't sure how else they could train together online. He and his team developed Zoom training sessions, 3 times a day throughout the lockdown period. Despite all the challenges and hurdles to maintain the drive to keep moving, Field showed up with a positive attitude, and ensured his members mental health and as well as physical health and fitness stayed on track. He always shows each and every member his individual support and care, and has such a positive and caring disposition.

Field has asked for a $100 Mudbar voucher, supporting another local business that would have also felt the effects of COVID-19 lockdown.

Thank you Field for bringing such a positive dynamic during some uncertain times.

Jacquie Andersen

Launceston General Hospital

Jacquie works at the LGH and successfully organised the acquisition of, and training in Personal Protective Equipment for surgery at the Launceston General Hospital during the COVID emergency period. During some challenging times for all staff and with the outbreak in North West Tasmania, there were many wheels in motion to minimalise as much disruption as possible. Jacquie was instrumental in coordinating the PPE supplies at the hospital and was nominated by fellow staff at the LGH for her efforts. The staff had great faith in Jacquie, given her previous experience nursing Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. It's important to acknowledge the staff behind the scenes that make it all happen.

Jacquie has asked for a $100 Up York Coffee Shop voucher. We think a morning coffee reward is well and truly deserved!

Thank you Jacquie on being a true hero under some challenging circumstances. Your efforts and dedication towards the hospital and your fellow colleagues does not go unnoticed. It's important to also acknowledge your support on the front-line throughout this pandemic - Thank you!

Caroline Williamson & Harvest Team

Harvest Market Launceston

Caroline Williamson, Kim Hewitt, Heidi Dempsey and their 24 wonderful volunteers from the Harvest Market in Launceston were forced to close their doors when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This impacted over 100 stallholders, consisting of local farmers and producers that relied heavily on the weekly market.
In response, the Harvest Market team acted swiftly to convert their market to an online marketplace platform to ensure the Harvest Market and more importantly, the local farmers and producers had a means of continual business and support from their local community. Within a couple of weeks, a brand new concept came to life. Farmers and producers had an opportunity to still sell, with an option to click and collect in Invermay or a delivery option made available. The amount of work involved in developing a website with an e-commerce platform can be a huge process, but with the hard work and dedication, they were able to collaborate with stallholders and promptly turn it around.

Caroline has asked for a $100 Dexion voucher, to go towards new frames to be used at market.

We’d like to congratulate the whole Harvest Market team on the efforts you have all contributed recently and hope this small gesture of thanks can brighten your day just that little bit more!

Nathan Warren

North AFL Tasmania

Nathan, like many sports coaches goes and beyond in dedicating his time and skills to many junior athletes. Nathan (and others) worked hard to keep players engaged and motivated even though physical training had to be stopped. In providing training plans and zoom catch ups the athletes not only could concentrate on developing skills but it also helped with their mental health and well being during an unusual and difficult time. Further more, the coaches ran fun competitions like "the best footy Guernsey" or the "best hat" during zoom meetings that added a level of fun to the theory based zoom catch ups.

Nathan has asked for a $100 Flick the Bean voucher, which will help to support another local business. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for all your hard work and contribution in supporting your local community.

Amanda Zeeva

Alps & Amici

Amanda and her colleague Annie work at the Alps & Amici Foodstore & Cafe, and we would like to recognise their efforts in keeping their business open for all locals to as a enjoy during the COVID lock-down period.

The circumstances also meant their business offering had to adapt, with home delivery created as an option, as well as other structure changes. Despite the challenges they faced, they still managed to greet customers with a happy smile and always exhibited the utmost professional and exemplary standard of customer service. Being on the front line, Amanda continued to welcome everyone, despite the adverse circumstances and dealt with what ever came her way. It is an absolute delight to be greeted by Annie and Amanda! We would like to commend them for their efforts during a difficult time and for doing their best to support their community and for keeping spirits high.

Amanda will be gifted a $100 gift voucher from Geronimo's to treat themselves with a well-deserved night off.

Your time and effort does not go unnoticed. Well done for being a COVID Recovery Hero!

John Ballantyne

Tassie Face Mask Project

Dr John Ballantyne has also been part of the creation of the Tassie Face Mask Project, to support the severe lack of PPE supplies available during the COVID-19 pandemic. John, his wife Bronwin and Dr Jerome Muir-Wilson have collaborated together to start this initiative. The purpose is for doctors and nurses at GP clinics, to distribute cloth face masks rather than surgical masks. Since we last nominated the Tassie Face Mask Project, they have ramped up their production after it was announced that wearing a face mask in Victoria was a mandatory requirement. This created a surge in demand of face masks. Many people and organisations have donated resources or contributed in the production of these to help our mainlander friends out. If you are interested in supporting a great cause, please visit their website for more information.

John has asked for a $100 gift voucher from Spotlight to reinvest in the production of the Tassie face masks. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for all your hard work and contribution towards a wonderful initiative!

Nick Hansson

Launceston Church Grammar School - 3D Visor Initiative

A global challenge in the fight against COVID-19 was the shortage of personal protective equipment, particularly for health professionals.

In response to this need the Head of Technology at Launceston Grammar School, Nick Hansson, his wife Linda and colleague Willem van den Bosch began to develop a prototype for a visor which could be used in Tasmanian hospitals. Feedback on the prototype was received from health professionals, including local Specialist Anaesthetists Drs Christopher Reid and Martin Russnak, with production being undertaken using the Launceston Grammar School’s three 3D printers.
These were distributed to Health professionals to use whilst there was a shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nick has asked that a donation be made to New Horizons, an organisation that provides sport, recreation and social opportunities for Tasmanians with disability. New Horizons plays a vital role in building truly inclusive communities. What an extremely kind gesture and thank you for being a true COVID Recovery Hero!

We'd like to send our "virtual standing ovation" over to you and your team for all your hard work and contribution supporting your local community.

Craig Gibson

Launceston Basketball Association

The Launceston Covid Testing Centre was initially based at Elphin Sports Centre and meant to be in place until September this year. Due to the lack of other available basketball facilities this meant that basketball was unable to resume after the restrictions had lifted. Basketball had resumed in other regions of the state, but was unable to resume in the region with the largest basketball association - Launceston. The inability to play was affecting approximately 3000 members and Craig worked extensively with the state and local government organisations to find an alternative location for the testing centre to enable basketball to resume. Basketball recommenced at the end of July and the use of Elphin Sports Centre has also given other sports such as futsal and badminton access to the facility again.

Craig has asked for a $100 Cube Coffee voucher, which will support another local business that felt the effects of COVID-19. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for all your hard work and contribution in supporting your local community.

Barb Walters

South Launceston Junior Football Club

During the lock down period, Barb worked tirelessly to lead a small team to create three "Live from the Kennel Broadcasts" for the junior footballers. The broadcast was shared on Facebook live for the whole football community to enjoy and virtually engage with others from their football club. The broadcast included fantasy football, trivia competitions, interviews and updates from the club. Senior players were given the opportunity to interview their junior players and collaborate together, providing an opportunity to remain involved and feel supported. A great deal of time and effort was involved to create the 30-45 minute broadcasts to keep the players engaged and motivated during a difficult time and a period of uncertainty.

Barb was extremely grateful for her nomination and has asked for a $100 restaurant voucher to take the team out for dinner! We couldn't think of a nicer way to celebrate.

Your time and effort does not go unnoticed. Well done for being a COVID Recovery Hero!

Jerome Muir-Wilson

Tassie Face Mask Project

As well as Bronwin, our previous COVID Recovery Hero, Jerome has also been part of the creation of the Tassie Face Mask Project, a volunteer run, community initiative intended to increase the number of surgical grade face masks in clinical areas. These are donated, washed cloth masks for patients to wear if they present with a cough, who are not suspected to have Coronavirus. Through the generous support of local pharmacies and other Launceston based businesses they have set up a system which they aim to duplicate around Tasmania and in other towns and cities around Australia.

Jerome has asked for a $100 gift voucher from Winflo to reinvest in the production of the Tassie face masks. Another great reason why Jerome is a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for your dedication during some truly challenging times and for your ongoing contribution towards a wonderful initiative!

Bronwin Ballantyne

Tassie Face Mask Project

Bronwin, her husband Dr John Ballantyne and Dr Jerome Muir-Wilson started the Tassie Face Mask Project due to a severe lack of PPE supplies available during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose is for doctors and nurses at GP clinics, to distribute cloth face masks rather than surgical masks. They can be washed and reused by the patient using care instructions provided on the packaging. Masks are freely available for any organisation in need, including GP clinics, pharmacies, aged and disability residential and community care facilities. The sewing of masks and coming together in Facebook groups and via email has proven to be a great way for the community to have a sense of purpose during isolation. The sewing community is coming together “virtually” to support each other during this difficult time.

Bronwin has asked for a $100 gift voucher from Spotlight to reinvest in the production of the Tassie face masks. That's what we like to call a COVID Recovery Hero!

Thank you for all your hard work and contribution towards a wonderful initiative!