Outstanding Illawarra Volunteers win Awards

8 September, 2017

Volunteers from Corrimal, Unanderra, Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Kiama and Jervis Bay were recognised today for their outstanding contribution at the Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards at Wollongong Golf Club.

The top award went to Beverley Kerr, who received both the Senior 2017 Illawarra Region Volunteer of the Year Award and the overall regional winner?s award for her work with the St Vincent de Paul Society.

“Beverley has a long-standing and unparalleled legacy of philanthropic service to the Society,” CEO of the Centre for Volunteering, Gemma Rygate said.

“She works shoulder to shoulder with people suffering homelessness or other disadvantage through domestic violence, gambling, mental health or because they are refugees.

“By day, Beverley is the Acting State Council President of St Vincent de Paul, a leader with statewide responsibilities and by night she is a hands-on community volunteer.

“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 Beverley Kerr, CORRIMAL
Young Volunteer of the Year Stephen Targett UNANDERRA
Adult Volunteer of the Year
(25 – 64 years)
Jaclyn Percy CORRIMAL
Senior Volunteer of the Year
(65+ years)
Beverley Kerr

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 Illawarra 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.

The photos can be found here.


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.