Caring For Our Port Stephens Youth Vice President Geoffrey Basser awarded OAM

Geoffrey Basser with Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington.


PORT Stephens youth charity advocates and volunteers have been recognised amongst many in the Australia Day honours.

Geoffrey Basser has received a Medal of the Order (OAM) for his services to the community of Port Stephens.

Basser has most recently been heavily involved with the development and delivery of free youth counselling services in Port Stephens and serves as the Vice President of COPSY (Caring For Our Port Stephens Youth) which delivers the jupiter service.

Basser who is a past APEX Club Member and Rotarian was a recipient of the Port Stephens Medal in 2018 an honour that fellow COPSY Executive committee member John de Ridder was a recipient of at the 2021 Port Stephens Council honours held at Medowie on Australia Day.

COPSY’s services were identified as an area of need for the community after a study was conducted by Newcastle University in 2016.

It was this needs analysis that identified the gaps in services to Port Stephens youth.

The analysis provided credible ‘whole-of-community’ research to both back up anecdotal evidence as well as provide guidance into the strategic direction we needed to take within the community.

Throughout 2017 community consultation was carried out to narrow the 18 recommendations from the report, resulting in the following priorities for the community.

Provide a free local counselling service; provide School/Community/Professional Development programs covering intervention/prevention, workshops and seminars to address youth mental health and wellbeing issues; which complements the free counselling service and deliver an after-hours support service.

COPSY works closely with the schools within Port Stephens to deliver much needed services to local youth.

Basser, who is now 91, served as President of COPSY until recently when Brooke Vitnell took over the role.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington said, “It’s been my privilege to know and work with Geoffrey over many years – he’s thoughtful, generous, funny and tenacious.

“On behalf of the good people of Port Stephens, I thank and congratulate this good man,” she said.

Fellow Rotary Club of Salamander Bay member Wendy Stein (OAM) said, “Welcome to the club!”

Stein was a recipient of an OAM for her work in Papua New Guinea which supports women’s health, family planning and assists with practical services including the MV Kula Spirit which delivers outreach medical services to remote communities.



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