10 April, 2024

Esk local wins inaugural award

Esk Jockey Club (EJC) track manager and committee member Graeme Lynch was chosen as the winner of the inaugural Cheer A Volunteer award from Racing Queensland.

By Liam Hauser

Graeme Lynch with the inaugural Cheer A Volunteer award.
Graeme Lynch with the inaugural Cheer A Volunteer award.

Graeme received the award from EJC secretary Sharon Cowley at the EJC last Thursday while another attendee was Graeme’s wife Carmel, the club president.

The award arose as Racing Queensland – with Neil Mansell Transport & Mittys – wanted to highlight and congratulate volunteers in the racing industry for their hard work and dedication.

The 73-year-old Graeme said he felt “quite humbled” to receive the award, and he described himself as “a quiet achiever”.

“It’s great that volunteers are recognised. They’re so hard to get,” he said.

“The only way clubs can survive is with volunteers.”

Graeme first became involved in the EJC about 25 years ago, as Carmel’s dad Dan O’Brien was the club president.

Graeme worked full-time back then while his EJC commitments were a side activity, but since retiring about 15 years ago he has devoted much more of his time to the EJC.

Graeme usually works at the track for five days a week, averaging around four or five hours per day.

His main task is mowing, irrigating and maintaining the track while other tasks include setting up the TAB, and managing electrical components such as powerlines and ensuring the TVs are working.

Setting up and packing up tables, chairs and marquees have also been among Graeme’s activities.

Graeme said his voluntary work with the EJC was a passion, as well as a legacy he wanted to continue for Carmel’s family and the community.

“My satisfaction is when people come out here, and want to come back. If they compliment the track as well, that’s great.”

Graeme said a number of other volunteers were also a great help, particularly his daughter Angela as well as Carmel and Sharon.

Sharon said Graeme was amazing, and “so passionate about the track”.

“You can’t have a race meeting unless your track is up to standard, and ours is always I think well above an acceptable standard,” she said.


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