We were greeted with so many smiling faces and inspiring stories at the Northern Beaches virtual ceremony for the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards today. It was the perfect way to end the week!

Great to meet the energetic team members from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Sports Camp Volunteers who come from all walks of life to help young people with a disability get active. Winifred Garland and her volunteer band of cooks and crafters are another inspiration to us all, just like the serial volunteer from North Balgowlah Therese Ravell and young wildlife rescuer and bush and surf volunteer Maja Dalby-Ball Olsen from Avalon.

The 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year for Sydney’s Northern Beaches is Therese Ravell who has volunteered with Meals on Wheels NSW for the past decade, along with many other groups and causes.

2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Northern Beaches are: 

Young Volunteer of the Year – Maja Dalby-Ball Olsen from Avalon

HSC student Maja Dalby-Ball Olsen spreads her volunteering hours across many organisations including the local SES and Surf Life Saving organisations as well as the local Youth Council. She was also a part-time carer to five baby ring tail possums through the local WIRES service.

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Therese Ravell from North Balgowlah

Therese is described as a serial volunteer who has been helping to steer the volunteering efforts of Meals on Wheels NSW for the past decade. She also helps her local P&C and Cubs branch, dune care group and raises money for the Leukemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave and the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal.

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Winifred Garland from Dee Why

Eighty-something year-old Winifred Garland has dedicated the past 30 years to supporting the Australian Heart and Lung Transplant Association.  She leads a small team of cooks and crafters who take their produce to local markets to help raise $20,000 each year to support transplant patients and their families.

Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Northern Beaches – Winifred Garland

Volunteer Team of the Year – The Cerebral Palsy Alliance Sports Camp Volunteers  

The close knit volunteer Sports Camp team from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance give people with a disability access to organised sport in a safe, fun and rewarding environment. The team is made up of a university and high school student, a corporate retiree, an electrician and a teacher. The multi-skilled team helps build comradery and confidence in young people living with a disability.

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.

Join the fun of the Northern Beaches ceremony here!