Tatura’s Robyn and Arthur Fennell have been acknowledged by Heart Foundation Victoria at an award presentation dinner in the Great Hall of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne on September 26.
The Victorian President’s Award for 2013 was presented to Robyn and Arthur by Heart Foundation Victoria president Dr Jennifer Johns, in recognition of their long involvement with the Goulburn Valley branch of Heartbeat Victoria, of which they were founding members in 1986.
Arthur was the inaugural president and Robyn secretary.
Robyn said it was a huge thrill to win the award, one of three presented each year.
Heartbeat Victoria started in Melbourne in the early 1980s.
Dr Johns said the Fennells first got involved in Heartbeat Victoria after Arthur had a mitral valve replacement which required open heart surgery.
‘‘This was a traumatic event at the time, and there was a great need for people to get extra support after their operation,’’ she said.
‘‘Robyn is currently secretary and Arthur treasurer of Heartbeat Victoria.’’
Dr Johns said Heartbeat Victoria was a key peer support organisation that had about 11 branches and affiliates across Victoria; Goulburn Valley being one of those branches.
She said Heartbeat offered peer support, social, health and wellbeing activities to people living with heart disease, and raised funds for cardiac and emergency equipment for local health services.
‘‘Robyn is a valued member of our ‘Supporting Hearts’ peer support project working group,’’ Dr Johns said.
‘‘Both Robyn and Arthur were also an integral part of a Heart Foundation Support Group Forum held in Shepparton in April, contacting groups and encouraging members to attend.
‘‘Robyn is an active advocate for the Heart Foundation, speaking at local groups including Probus, about heart disease, heart attack, and the warning signs of heart attack.
‘‘She also spreads Heart Foundation’s messages of getting your heart health checked through the media. She has also appeared in local newspapers and on local television in the Shepparton area.’’
Dr Johns said Robyn and Arthur had supported people living with heart disease for 27 years.
‘‘I congratulate them on receiving this award,’’ she said.
Robyn said the Goulburn Valley branch of Heartbeat Victoria, conducted its dinner meeting at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton on the first Monday of the month and new members were always welcome.
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