It's breakfast time at Kalianna School Bendigo and students and staff alike are tucking in to buttered toast, coffee and fruit in a friendly, boisterous atmosphere.
At the centre of it all is Marg Rogers, who has been here since 7.15am getting everything ready to make sure the students have a healthy start to their day.
The much-loved Marg received a little more attention than she's used to on Friday night, when she was named Most Outstanding Volunteer at the Victorian Principals' Association of Special Schools awards ceremony.
In fact she was so overcome with emotion she couldn't read out her speech for tears, and had to have a colleague read it.
But it was business as usual in the canteen this week.
"I love the award, of course. But it's the smiles and the hugs from the kids that mean the most," she said.
Running the breakfast program is just one of the ways Marg supports Kalianna, which has given so much to so many children, including three of her own grandsons.
When the need came for a new school premises at the North Bendigo site, Marg led the way, lobbying politicians and collecting signatures of support.
"I sat for two days at IGA from 8am until 3pm collecting signatures. I went around businesses and door knocked and left the forms in shops.
"Daniel Andrews said he would build us a new school and he delivered on his promise," she said, adding that the Premier had said he always liked coming to Kalianna because of the great atmosphere at the school.
Marg attributes the friendly, inclusive culture to the wonderful staff, and in particular, principal Peter Bush, who she said was "the best thing to happen to Kalianna".
She said her oldest grandson had been bullied at a mainstream school, but after just two days at Kalianna, told his mother; " Mum, I feel part of this school."
Marg has many other examples of the positive effect the school has on children.
"There's one little girl who liked to play up a bit, but she always talked to me, and every morning we would give each other a hug.
"One days she told me I smelled pretty, so I told her if she was well behaved in school every day for a week I would buy her a bottle of perfume. Then she would tell me each morning, 'I was good yesterday'.
Marg and her daughter also organise a Mothers Day stall and a Fathers Day stall, where the children can purchase a gift for a family member by gold coin donation.
"If they don't have a gold coin, they can choose a gift anyway. No child misses out and it's something the children look forward to every year."
Her husband Bill, who supports all her voluntary work, was by her side on Friday night.
"First, they asked all the nominees to stand up and they clapped for us. That's when the tears started pouring down my face," Marg said.
When her name was called out as the winner, Marg said she was "a hopeless case".
"I couldn't even talk. I tried to read my speech but then I handed it to my colleague. It was the shortest speech but took the longest to read!
"I wanted to thank everyone at Kalianna for letting me into their community. I just love this school, I can't sing its praises highly enough."
Assistant Principal Lara Pearce said everyone at Kalianna was very proud and incredibly grateful for the work Marg does.
At the age of 76, Marg said she has no plans to give up her work.
"I've told the staff here I'll be doing this when I'm 100. I don't care if I'm on a walking frame. I don't know what I'd do without it and I'd miss the kids too much."
I've told the staff here I'll be doing this when I'm 100. I don't care if I'm on a walking frame. I don't know what I'd do without it and I'd miss the kids too much.Outstanding Volunteer, 2019, Marg Rogers
Friday night's Association of Special Schools award presentations was also a proud event for Bendigo Special Development School, with three staff taking out first place in their categories.
Angela Purdy won in the category of Outstanding Education Support Member and Teaghan McKenzie won for Outstanding Graduate Teacher.
Tania Franks also won for Outstanding Leading teacher.
The school's Respectful Relationships team, made up of Tomas Napolitano, Tania Franks and Kirsty Phillips were shortlisted for the category of Most Outstanding Team.
Kalianna had five shortlisted finalists on the night.
Sally Berger was shortlisted for Education Support, Janna Bryse for Specialist Teacher, Ella Knight for Allied Health, Shannyn Keely for Primary Teacher and Ayshia Howden for Senior Teacher.
The Bendigo attendees survived a few mishaps to get to the awards night.
First, Marg Rogers' husband Bill fell over while trying to carry an Esky to the bus.
Then the bus overheated and had to turn back for a replacement bus.
"When we finally arrived they called out 'here's the broken bus people'," Marg said. Next, a nervous waiter dropped an empty beer bottle on Bill's head.
The staff from the Bendigo Special Development School said they shared Kalianna's joy watching Marg receive her award and said the night was a reminder of Bendigo's fantastic special education system.
"We could not be prouder," said Principal Kirshy McAinch. "What a privilege it is to be rewarded and acknowledged for doing what we love."