Dedicated Phyliss, 94, honoured for award-winning volunteer effort

Bundaberg's Phyliss Machan has been named Endeavour Recycled Clothing Volunteer of the Year!

The 94-year-old has volunteered at Endeavour Recycled Clothing Bundaberg for 25 years and was nominated by store manager Shirley Samuels.

“Phyllis is in four days every week except when she visits her sister in Cairns once a year,” said Shirley.

“She's 94 but you'd never think it. She‟s as spritely as they come and a real worker.”

Phyliss is the store's chief clothes sorter and started volunteering after her husband passed away.

“I live on my own so this is a nice outlet for me. It gets me out and doing something. I enjoy it and the people are lovely,” she said.

The great-great-grandmother said she was honoured to be awarded Endeavour Recycled Clothing Volunteer of the Year.

“It's wonderful. I can't believe it – a little ol' lady like me getting the award,” she said.

“When I was told the news I thought to myself, 'I'm dreaming'! There's got to be someone more deserving than me.

“I'm shocked, proud and very humbled.”

Endeavour Foundation's Business Manager for Retail and Lotteries Leanne Rudd opened nominations for the award in May, in the lead up to National Volunteer Week.

“Most volunteers with Endeavour Recycled Clothing help out on a very regular basis. This award is our way of showing appreciation for their dedication,” she said.

Phyllis was the winner from a finalist field of five and will be awarded a certificate, plaque and surprise gift at a morning tea on Wednesday July 6.

About 30 people will see Phyliss honoured at the event. Her colleagues and Endeavour Foundation staff have liaised with her family to select a gift sure to impress Phyliss.

“Phyliss is 94 and has never owned a recliner so we've bought her a lovely one. It might not sound like a big deal to some people but this will mean a great deal to Phyliss,” Shirley said.

“We liaised with her family about ever little detail so we know it will be just right for Phyliss – right down to the colour.”

Shirley and fellow volunteers have signed up to do all of the catering for the event.

“We want to make it special for Phyliss to show how much we really value and appreciate her input,” Shirley said.

“I've tried three types of pumpkin scone to get it right!”

Phyliss is one of 700 people who volunteer for Endeavour Recycled Clothing throughout Queensland and Sydney.

“These dedicated, community-minded people are the backbone of not-for-profit organisations like Endeavour Foundation,” Shirley said.

Endeavour Recycled Clothing stores sell quality pre-loved garments, shoes, jewellery, bags and more, with all proceeds going to Endeavour Foundation's efforts of supporting people with a disability.

Those interested in volunteering can call the store on (07) 4151 0767.


Jo Glover

Media and Communications Officer

Phone: (07) 3908 7257/ 0429 065 440

Fax: (07) 3253 7271