Volunteers from Wagga Wagga, Urana, Leeton and The Rock received the State’s top volunteering award for their outstanding contribution at the NSW 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award ceremony at Wagga Wagga RSL Club today.

Media Release – Riverina NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards (PDF)

Overall Winner 2015 Volunteer of the Year – Riverina

Naomi Bedgood of Wagga Wagga who volunteers with Riding for the Disabled Association NSW.

Naomi’s responsibilities, as a member of the Wagga Centre Youth Group for Riding for the Disabled, include

  • catching, grooming, saddling and training horses;
  • assisting clients before and during lessons;
  • being involved in lessons as a leader, side walker or general helper;
  • mentoring newer members of the Youth Group;
  • as well as undertaking general chores – tidying/cleaning the break room, yards, arena and feed room.

Over the last five years, Naomi has performed these roles on Saturdays throughout school terms, and often sacrificed a portion of her school holidays to support the centre in running the School Holiday Riding Programs.


2015 Adult Volunteer of the Year

Yvonne Smith of Urana

Yvonne Volunteers as both the

  • PCYC Blue Light Urana Branch Treasurer and Event coordinator
  • As well being a state Committee Member for PCYC NSW Blue Light Program

Blue Light is a successful and engaging program for young people run by PCYC, aiming to assist police to rectify the imbalance of pro-active and re-active policing where young people are concerned. It does this by providing young people with positive lifestyle alternatives and strategies to avoid becoming an offender or victim of crime.

Yvonne is committed to advancing youth and the PCYC program not only in this community but also in other communities around the region by donating her time and organisation skills.


2015 Youth Volunteer of the Year

Naomi Bedgood of Wagga Wagga who volunteers with Riding for the Disabled Association NSW.


2015 Senior Volunteer of the Year

Greg Towers of Leeton who volunteers with Life Education NSW

Greg through the provision of a Life Education Truck transports the Riverina Mobile Learning Centre which goes out to all of the schools in the region.

The Life Education program delivers life-saving programs to primary school children in the region and has done so for over 35 years. Without the support and assistance of people like Greg the Life Education program cannot continue its vitally important work. He has been a loyal volunteer for a very long time and has become a part of the Life Education family.

Greg has fund-raised in the past to help support Life Education and local schools. He also assists to source and store the truck and Mobile Learning Centre in between school visits.


2015 Volunteer Team of the Year

Rock Rural Fire Brigade with the NSW Rural Fire Brigade

The volunteers of The Rock Brigade, Part of the NSW Rural Fire Service work tireless for their local community.

In the past few years have dealt with a number of disasters that have involved their friends and families and undertaken a huge amount of training to give them the skills to protect the community in which they live.

They have dealt with 2 devastating floods that had created wide scale damage to the town and as well successfully rescued members of the community from flood waters.

In the past 2 years alone they have fought fires that have destroyed parts of the small local school, a business premises, a house and shed.

These volunteers give their time willingly to protect this small rural village of approximately 1000 people, at a moments notice.


Honour Roll of Nominees

Adult Volunteer of the Year

  • Yvonne Smith of Urana who volunteers with Police Citizens Youth Club NSW Blue Light Program
  • David Meiklejohn of Downside who volunteers with 1st Wagga Wagga Scout Group

Senior Volunteer of the Year

  • Marie Date of Grahamstown who volunteers with Riverina Community Care at the BUPA Aged Care Facility
  • Helen Hibbons of Tumut who also volunteers with Riverina Community Care at the BUPA Aged Care Facility
  • Maureen Mudford of Tumut who also volunteers with Riverina Community Care at the BUPA Aged Care Facility

Volunteer Team of the Year

  • Wyalong Public School Student Volunteer Team who volunteer with Meals on Wheels
  • Heads Up Wagga Youth Team with Headspace Wagga.