In June 2023, ALWF bid a fond farewell to Bronte Cameron, a dedicated member of the ALWF Board who had served on the board since 1996 and also played an instrumental role in the operations of Lions Quest. We had the privilege of sitting down with Bronte to reflect on his remarkable Lions’ journey.
A lifelong commitment to Lions, spanning over 53 years, was driven by Bronte’s unwavering vision of supporting young people in “creating a successful life.”
“It’s in the family,” Bronte recalls with a smile, “My dad was a Rotary Youth Chairman, and my mum was a President of Rotary.“
Bronte’s journey with Lions Australia commenced in 1970 when he first joined the Lions Club of Whyalla, then moved to the Lions Club of Salisbury (Past President), eventually becoming a member of the Lions Club of Elizabeth Playford (Past President), where he remains a member to this day. Over these five decades, Bronte undertook various roles and spearheaded numerous projects.
In the early to late ’80s, Bronte served as a Lions Youth Group Leader at the Lions Village Licola Camp, transporting young people from across the state to the camp.
“We would travel by bus for the 12-hour trip and spend eight days at the camp before taking them all back home,” Bronte shares. His selfless dedication created life-changing opportunities for young people, and he fondly remembers a recent tap on the shoulder from a lady who attended the camp years ago. She told him, “Those camps changed our lives forever.” Such moments are the essence of Bronte’s Lions’ legacy.
Bronte’s involvement with Lions Quest began in 1992, a passion he carried through until June this year (2023). Lions Quest, initially a three-day teacher training course run by Life Skills Australia, evolved over the years. Bronte candidly admitted feeling like a “duck out of water” at the beginning, but he soon realized that his insights from working with young people and his genuine interest in their welfare were invaluable. Kevin Donnelly, A Lions Quest trainer pointed out to Bronte that just having an interest in youth wellbeing means you can make an impact.
In Bronte’s first decade, Lions Quest adapted to meet the needs of teachers and transitioned from a three-day to a two-day, and then one-day course, all culminating in online teacher training in 2022.
Under Donna Munro’s and Bronte’s guidance, Lions Quest trained over 10,000 teachers, leaving a lasting impact on youth development.
In 1996, Bronte joined ALWF (ALDAF back then) as the State Director for SA/NT, representing both ALWF and Lions Quest. Lions Quest eventually became a project of ALWF in 2011. During this time Bronte held several key roles, including Lions Quest District Chairman (1992-2011), Multiple District 201 Chairman Lions Quest (2000-2015), and Director of the Australian Lions Quest Youth Foundation (2004-2014). When the project moved to ALWF, Bronte became the ALWF Project Manager and Director of the Lions Quest Programs for Australia.
Since his appointment to the ALWF board in 1996, Bronte was always an active member, eager to promote ongoing projects and participate in new developments, such as the Boswells Dilemma, an interactive game on pharmaceuticals for students.
In 2000, during the Sydney Olympics, the Foundation collaborated with the Sports Institute on a project addressing drugs in sports, with Bronte playing a pivotal role.
In 2010, Bronte proudly presented the Foundation’s innovative project, Tune in Not Out, at the International Lions Convention in Sydney. This marked a significant leap forward in utilising modern approaches to youth development, which combined Bronte interest in technology with his youth work.
Bronte was always active during Drug Action Week taking an ALWF information stand to local shopping centres.
Beyond his dedication to Lions Quest and ALWF, Bronte served as a District Chairman, actively participating on the District Cabinet for 33 years, including roles as Zone Chairman and Youth Programs Coordinator.
Notably, Bronte fostered 7 Lions Hearing Dogs puppies from 2018, a responsibility he continues to fulfil with Sunshine currently enjoying her stay with Bronte.
Whilst Bronte insists he embarked on his volunteer journey without the need for recognition, his exceptional efforts have not gone unnoticed. In April 2023, Bronte was inducted into the Australian Lions Foundation Hall of Fame, a very well-deserved acknowledgement.
His long list of accolades includes:
- The International President’s Appreciation Award
- Melvin Jones Fellow
- Dr. Harry Jenkins Fellow
- Bill Holmes Award
- Ian Fowler Award
- Graham Pearce Award
- Helen Keller Fellowship
- Australian Lions Quest Gold Award (2)
- Ian Stockdale Award
- J.D. Richardson Award
- Australian Lions Children’s Mobility Foundation Silver Award
- Council of Governors Appreciation Award (2004)
- 50 Year Monarch
- District Governor Appreciation Awards
- numerous President, District Chairman Awards & Club Awards
- New Horizon Awards
- Key Member Awards
- 53 Years of 100% Attendance
- Life Member of Licola Lions Village
Bronte’s dedication to Lions extends to Youth Exchange, Drug Awareness Programs and Youth Outreach. He also has an impressive list of volunteer work outside of Lions, but that would fill another few pages!
In June 2023, Bronte concluded an extraordinary tenure of 24 years on the ALWF Board and in the management of Lions Quest. His knowledge and dedication have been invaluable, and current and past members express their gratitude for his unwavering service.
Bronte’s involvement with Lions continues, so be sure to look for him at conventions and meetings and ask him to share a story or two.
Thank you, Bronte, for setting an exceptional example of the Lions Code of Ethics. Your legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.