There’s no better demonstration of community spirit and giving than the example set by volunteers across the Illawarra. We miss our face to face celebrations for the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, but it’s wonderful to still meet and recognise all those volunteers across the Illawarra and other parts of the state for our special virtual regional ceremonies.

Thank you to all the volunteers across the region and congratulations to our award winners; the carers and bus drivers from the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra and Wollongong City Council’s Community Transport Health Bus Team, Kind Hearts Illawarra founding member Joshua Macleod, Taronga Zoo hospital helper Madison McGuire and the selfless and community spirited volunteer Peter Howe fromthe Lions Club of Wollongong and TAD Freedom Wheels program.

The 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Illawarra is Peter Howe from Lions Club of Wollongong and TAD’s Freedom Wheels program.

2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Illawarra 

Young Volunteer of the Year – Joshua Macleod from Flinders 

Joshua started volunteering with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience as a high school student. He used that experience to become a founding member of Kind Hearts Illawarra in 2017. Joshua helps pack and deliver food hampers, clothing and other items to people living on the street.

Adult Volunteer of the Year Madison McGuire from Albion Park

Madison is a Keeper Volunteer with the Wildlife Hospital Team at the Taronga Conservation Society of Australia. She often travels up to three hours to complete her volunteer shift to help keep the zoo animals safe and sound.

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Peter Howe from West Wollongong

Peter has been volunteering with the Lions Club of Wollongong for an incredible 41 years, however his partnership with TAD’s Freedom Wheels Program is the icing on the cake. Peter’s support and fundraising has help more than 50 young people with disabilities to access specially designed bicycles.

The bikes are designed and built by TAD volunteers and allow their clients to participate in physical and social activity.

Volunteer Team of the Year Joint winners – The Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra Bus Drivers and Carers Volunteers and the Community Transport Health Bus Team

The volunteer team from the Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra helps build important connections for people over 65 years of age from multicultural backgrounds. The team of five bus drivers and nine carers contribute more than 1,000 volunteer hours each week to deliver 155 client trips.

The Community Transport Health Bus Team contributes hundreds of hours each week helping to take older people and people in need to health related appointments across the region.

Regional finalists for the awards are announced at 25 ceremonies throughout NSW and are invited to the Gala State Ceremony for the announcement of the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year.

The 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.