Energy Safe Victoria logo

ESV announces 2019 Canteen Hero

Tuesday 29 October 2019 7:32pm

ESV 2019 Canteen Hero – Bert from Drysdale FNC

This week ESV celebrated footy clubs’ unsung heroes – the canteen volunteers – by announcing the winner of our 2019 Canteen Hero award, Bert Van Lith from the Drysdale Football Netball Club.

ESV presented the award on Monday night at the Club’s AGM. Unaware of the proceedings, Bert was completely surprised and sincerely humbled to receive the recognition and by his Club’s appreciation for his years of service.

In addition to an engraved plaque and letter of congratulations from the Director of Energy Safety, Bert will also receive a $1,000 grant towards the purchase of new electrical or gas appliances for the Drysdale FNC canteen.

Following the successful handout of 30 Canteen Grants to AFL Victoria football clubs from across Victoria, totalling $25,000, we wrapped up our 2019 grants season with the inaugural award to recognise the contribution of volunteers to club canteens. More than 70 nominations were submitted, and in a few cases, multiple nominations for the same Canteen Hero. We were thrilled to see so many clubs genuinely appreciative of the people who keep their meat pies warm and drinks cool throughout the season.

The task to select finalists and a winner was undeniably challenging. Every nomination received illustrated a Canteen Hero devoting their weekends and Thursday nights to preparing meals, managing stock, seeking out healthy food options and spending hours serving hungry patrons.

A number of nominees have been supporting their club’s canteen for a many years – some for more than 40 years!

It was clear to us that every one of our nominees is indeed an unsung hero to their beloved club, and without them and their tightknit community, ALF Victoria footy clubs would not be the success they are today.

Ten finalists were selected and from those emerged our winner – Bert, from Drysdale. Commended by his Club for 40 years’ of service (20 in the kitchen), Bert has never missed a game and works tirelessly in the kitchen each Thursday night and weekend. During finals and on Grand final Day Bert co-ordinated the kitchen, committing to the fryers for over ten hours each day. His infamous ‘Berty’s Schnitz’ assured him the win, with the Club’s final comment on its submission stating, “every club needs a Bert”.

We also warmly congratulate our nine other finalists, listed below. It was a near impossible task to separate them from the winner with every nomination an inspiration and so well appreciated by their club. You are certainly your Club’s Canteen Hero. Energy Safe Victoria, AFL Victoria and your footy club thanks you and all who support their local club and canteen. We look forward to seeing more nominations in 2020 for our Canteen Grants Program and Canteen Hero Award.

Read about our Canteen Grants programExternal Link and sponsorship of regional and suburban football in Victoria.


Bert Van Lith, Drysdale Football Netball Club

Other finalists

Sue Lea, Calivil United Football Netball Club Catherine Quinn & Nadine Scoble, Corio Community Sports Club Joedi Scanga, Diamond Creek Women's Football Club (DCWFC) Casey Callanan, Gormandale Football Netball Club Joy Trotter-Harris, Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club Karen Dixon, Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club Jim Macilwain, Maryborough Football Netball Club Vicki Endrei, North Shore Football & Netball Club Kenny Alvin, Wy Yung Football Netball Club

Reviewed 24 January 2023

Was this page helpful?