The Committee for Wyndham has recognised Reclink Australia founder Peter Cullen for his efforts to connect vulnerable residents with sport, arts and employment.
Mr Cullen has been named winner of the committee’s 2020 John Nicol Community Service Award, an annual prize given for exceptional community service in the municipality of Wyndham.
The award recognises a Committee for Wyndham member, or an individual in a member organisation, who has substantially contributed to the improvement of the quality of life of people in Wyndham, beyond that expected in their usual occupation.
Mr Cullen founded Reclink Australia, a registered charity, in 1990.
The organisation, which is based in Wyndham, aims to enhance the lives of people through sports participation, specialist recreation and arts programs and pathways to employment opportunities.
Reclink works with people experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage including social isolation, physical and mental health issues, unemployment, family violence, drug and alcohol addiction, problem gambling and other forms of socio-economic disadvantage.
Mr Cullen is also the brains behind the Sports Share program, which operates out of Werribee and distributes packs filled with a variety of sporting equipment and activities, for people to do at home.
Mr Cullen said the Sports Share program was focused on fostering a sense of joy and togetherness in the community, even if it was simply donating a sports ball to a child.
“The reality is we have seen the power of a single piece of sports equipment, the power of just one football, to bring great joy,” Mr Cullen said.