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NILS volunteers praised with national award

24 September 2014

NILS volunteers praised with national award

Salvos NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme) volunteers David and Rosalie Morphett have been honoured with a NILS Volunteer of the Year – New South Wales award.

The award recognises “exceptional dedication to the delivery of NILS* over a sustained period”.

The joint winners were announced at the National NILS Conference 2014 in Brisbane May, which gathered a crowd of 400 finance leaders, NILS workers and volunteers from a range of organisations.

The husband and wife team have been closely involved in developing and managing the NILS scheme since it began in 2010.

With retirement for the couple looming at the time, they were both looking for a way to contribute to the community using their collective skills in engineering, management, teaching and administration.

Hearing of plans to build the Salvos NILS, David and Rosalie decided to take “a leap into the unknown”.

Tony Devlin, who heads Salvos NILS, said the couple had made an extraordinary contribution to the scheme.

“I often refer to David as our chief financial officer and chief information officer, and Rosalie as our company secretary. They possess an incredible array of highly skilled roles and functions,” he says.

“David has done extensive development of our loans management system (NILSFin), which was originally created in-house by the Salvos Notes Development team.”

While David and Rosalie say they are honoured by the award, they are quick to deflect praise from themselves.

“It was pleasant and unexpected to win the award, but most important to us was the recognition of the Salvos NILS program,” David says.

“We see it as a recognition more of the team – our fellow volunteers in the administration area, the case workers and particularly the exceptional leadership Tony Devlin has provided.”

However, Tony says he believes Salvos NILS could not function without the couple.

“David and Rosalie were new to social services when they first volunteered with us, but it was clear very early on they had a real heart for the work. Their caring and compassion comes through in the work they do.  They believe in what NILS does and want to be a real part of helping the financially excluded and building resilience in people and communities.

“We are very grateful for not only what they do, but for the type of people they are.”

*NILS provides loans to people in need on low incomes who need to make essential purchases to provide for themselves or their family, such as white goods, beds/mattresses, medical/dental expenses or equipment.

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