Making the World a Safer and Happier Place – Sydney South Volunteers Recognised

29 August, 2017

Volunteers from the Southern Sydney region were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Gymea today.

The top award went to Michael Bonnici from Alford’s Point, who received both the Young 2017 Sydney South region Volunteer of the Year Award and the overall regional winner’s award for his work with Surf Life Saving NSW.

“Michael has a passion for volunteering, devoting many, many hours a week to life saving,” CEO of the Centre for Volunteering, Gemma Rygate said.

“He’s been a member of Wanda Surf Life Saving Club since he was six and at the age of only 17 became one of the youngest captains in the club’s history.

“He is now 19 and during the past life-saving season has led several significant rescues. He should be commended for his determination to make the world a better and a safer place.

“The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the nation working hard at a grassroots level to deliver resilient and compassionate communities,” said Ms Rygate.

“This year there has been a record number of nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Awards, with almost 110,000 volunteers recognised across all categories,” Ms Rygate said.

“Volunteering is a mutual gift, delivering rewards to both the giver and the receiver. Volunteering contributes $290 billion to Australia’s economic and social good,” Ms Rygate said.

“The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the nation working hard at a grassroots level to deliver resilient and compassionate communities,” said Ms Rygate.

“This year there has been a record number of nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Awards, with almost 110,000 volunteers recognised across all categories,” Ms Rygate said.

“Volunteering is a mutual gift, delivering rewards to both the giver and the receiver. Volunteering contributes $290 billion to Australia’s economic and social good,” Ms Rygate said.

Award Category Winner
Overall Winner
Volunteer of the Year
 Michael Bonnici
Surf Life Saving NSW
Alford’s Point
Youth Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
 Michael Bonnici
Adult Volunteer of the Year
(25 – 64 years)
 Elizabeth Diab 
Autism Community Network
Bexley
Senior Volunteer of the Year
(65+ years)
Ronald Bowrey
Sailors with disABILITIES
Yowie Bay
Volunteer Team of the Year Wayfinding Volunteers at St George Hospital and Health Services

The Minister responsible for volunteering, Ray Williams, said the awards are an important opportunity to celebrate the contribution of local volunteers.

“The efforts of volunteers here today have, no doubt, greatly improved the lives of Sydney South region residents. The NSW Government acknowledges and thanks all volunteers for their valuable contributions and commitment to creating inclusive communities.”

“People who volunteer are often happier, healthier and more connected to their communities,” Mr Williams said.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club industry was pleased to be Principal Corporate Partner of the 11th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. “On behalf of 1300 member clubs, ClubsNSW recognises and acknowledges the valuable efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW.

“Clubs across NSW generate over 40,000 volunteers in the club industry who dedicate more than a million hours of their time per year- we are incredibly grateful for their enormous contribution in building and strengthening our local communities”.

Twenty regional Volunteer of the Year Award ceremonies are held around NSW.

All regional winners are in the running for the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, which will be announced at a gala event in Sydney in December.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are generously supported by principal partners, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and ClubsNSW. Other sponsors are Bupa Aged Care and Thrifty Car Rentals.

Regional winners are entered into the final of the Volunteer of the Year, 2017. For more information
about the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards go to www.volunteering.com.au.

The photos can be found here.

 

        BACKGROUND                                                                                                                
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW. Twenty award ceremonies are held across NSW from August to September where nominees are recognised with certificates and winners announced.

Regional winners are entered into the final of the Volunteer of the Year, 2017. For more information about the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards go to www.volunteering.com.au.