Customer Services Award
by Liesel Rennie
Owner of the Curves Kiama franchise Charmaine Wheatley is extensively involved in humanitarian work and was the 2008 Business Woman of the Year for Illawarra and South Coast (Australia). Charmaine has been instrumental in raising over $50,000 in less than three years and in collecting over 400kg of food, toiletries and clothing for a womens refuge shelter through the members of Curves Kiama. In addition, she has raised money for the Fred Hollows Foundation and various cancer charities. Charmaine says that her humanitarian work has helped her to meet many new people, make many friends and gain respect in her local community. It was a very difficult transition to leave my dear friends and family in South Africa, but by helping others and getting involved with local challenges I have eased the pain of settling in.
Most recently, Charmaine has started to assist two Aids orphanages in South Africa. A committee that calls itself The Spirit of uBuntu from Downunder aims to raise $50,000, which will be matched by Rotary International to assist the orphanages. Charmaine will also be taking 21 volunteers to help renovate the Welkom orphanages in October. I have now created my own new history in this country and our new countrymen most certainly appreciate any effort we make when we roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty, and take part in those sausage sizzles even when we longingly salivate at the thought of a lekker piece of boerewors on a proper braai!