What is the definition of a volunteer?

The Centre for Volunteering’s formal definition is: Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.

For those who have volunteered as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program, it is understood that for some or all of the time volunteered, the nominee will have been paid by his or her employer.

What type of nominations are available?

The 2021 Nomination Form allows for two types of recognition for the volunteers of NSW.

  • Nomination for Recognition only – This is the simplest way to acknowledge volunteers. These nominees will not be judged. However, they will be invited to their regional ceremony where they will be presented with an identical certificate to nominees eligible for judging. This nomination requires you to complete four parts only.
  • Nomination for Judging – These nominees will be judged for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award in the appropriate category. This nomination requires you to complete six parts (Parts 1-6), all of which must be completed to be accepted by the Judging Committee.

What are the Award categories?

The Award Categories are:

  1. Young Volunteer: 24 years and under
  2. Adult Volunteer: 25 to 64 years
  3. Senior Volunteer: 65 years and over
  4. Volunteer Team: Team to be made up of more than one individual
  5. Corporate Individual Volunteer: Be sponsored by their employer and released from employment to carry out volunteer activities
  6. Corporate Volunteer Team: Team to be made up of more than one individual & be sponsored by their employer and released from employment to carry out volunteer activities
  7. Excellence in Volunteer Management Award: Nominees can be a designated Volunteer Manager, a team of Volunteer Managers or a registered not-for-profit organisation (Nominations within this category can be submitted for either teams or individuals, your nominee must operate within the guidelines of the Statement of Principles for Recognition of Volunteers and the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement and the organisation must hold current Volunteer Workers Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, and have operated within the NSW community during the past 12 months).

What are the nominee requirements to be eligible for the Awards?

All nominees must:

  • have given their time willingly for the common good and without financial gain,
  • Reside in NSW,
  • Have volunteered during the previous 12 months for a legitimate not-for-profit organisation, community group, or other entity which engages volunteers in a safe and legal manner such as schools or government agencies.

Nomination Process

How do I nominate someone for an Award?

Nominations are only accepted via the official nomination forms on our website.

Can an individual nominate him/herself?

No. Volunteers / Volunteer Managers are not permitted to nominate themselves.


All nominators must have permission from the person or team you are nominating to disclose their personal information as part of their entry in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. For privacy purposes, the nominee is required to understand and be aware that by this nomination form being submitted and their image and story may be used publicly by The Centre for Volunteering to promote the Awards program. For full details on The Centre’s Privacy Policy, please visit – https://www.volunteering.com.au/privacy-policy.

Please note that the volunteer / volunteering team you are nominating will be sent a copy of the full nomination form as soon as it has been submitted.

Does a nominee still have to be working with the nominating organisation or organisation with which he or she volunteered?

No. provided the nominee did not finish working with the organisation before June 2021.

How many nominations can I make?

There is no limit but you must submit one form per nominee. If you’re submitting over multiple award categories you will need to submit them separately.

How do I make bulk Nominations (more than 20)?

For those organisations wanting to recognise 20 or more volunteers, we also have a bulk nomination spreadsheet which can be tailored for you to make it even easier to celebrate each and every one of your volunteers. For bulk nominations email award@volunteering.com.au and the Awards team will send you out the details.

What happens if I fill in my nomination form incorrectly?

If your nomination form is incorrectly completed you will need to contact us via award@volunteering.com.au and advise us what the issue is. You will have the opportunity to submit a revised application as long as it is received prior to the closing date. We will try to contact you if a nomination form is incomplete so you can resubmit however, with a large volume of nominations received, this may not always be possible.

Do I include support material and any referee letters with my nomination?

No. We will not accept supporting documentation or view any website links included in the submission. Referees will be contacted as required to verify details on the application.

When do nominations close?

Nominations close: 5pm Friday 9 July, 2021.

How do I know if you have received my nomination?

All nominations will be acknowledged by email on submission. Please double check both the nominee’s and the nominator’s email addresses are correct. If you do not receive an automated email, please contact The Centre for Volunteering via award@volunteering.com.au

How are the award regions determined?

Due to the vast area of the state of NSW covered by the awards, nominees are divided into regions. There are 25 regions for the State of NSW comprising of 12 Greater Sydney and 13 Country Regions. The Centre for Volunteering has structured these regions so that there is a substantial population in each and some natural synergies between the local government areas in each region. We will allocate your nominee’s Award Region based on your nominee’s residential address if an individual nomination, or on the organisation’s address if a team nomination. For more details, visit our Award Region section.  Winners from the regional awards will become finalists for the State Awards.

When are the winners announced?

The Regional Winners will be announced at each local ceremony, which will be held between August to October 2021. All Nominees will be acknowledged and presented with a certificate at one of 25 ceremonies throughout the State. Due to large numbers of nominations; individual nominees will be permitted to bring one guest to the regional ceremony; volunteer team nominees will be permitted to bring a total of 3 volunteer team members to the regional ceremony.

The Corporate & Volunteer Management category finalists will be announced at a Ceremony in Sydney in November.

All Regional Winners and Corporate Finalists will be invited to attend the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony in Sydney, where the state winners will be announced.

Are Nominators invited to the Regional Ceremonies?

Due to the large number of nominees for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, we are not always able to invite the nominators to attend the Regional Ceremonies.  In the event there are additional tickets available, nominators will receive an invitation to attend (one ticket only) closer to the date of the Regional Ceremony.

If I can’t attend my local Regional Ceremony, can I attend a different one?

No – unfortunately we are not able to move nominees into other Regional Ceremonies.  If a nominee is unable to attend their nominated Regional Ceremony (based on their residential address), we will arrange for their certificate to be forwarded to them.

Do Volunteer Team members receive their own certificates?

If you nominate a team in the Volunteer Team category, the individual members of that team will not receive an individual certificate in their name.  One certificate will be presented to the Volunteer Team only.  If you would like each of your team members to receive their own personalised certificate, you must nominate them each in either the Young, Adult or Senior categories as well as the Volunteer Team category. 

Can I request a reprint of my certificate due to incorrect information?

No – nominees and nominators are reminded throughout the nomination process to double check all of their information is correct as the certificates are printed based on the information supplied on the nomination form.  Any changes must be made prior to the closure date of 5pm Friday 9 July 2021 via award@volunteering.com.au.

Do you have any resources I can share to promote the awards?

We sure do! You can find social media tiles and more by clicking here. Please tag us in anything you share, we love to hear about your volunteering experiences!

If you have not found the answer to your question on this Awards FAQs page please contact the Awards team at Award@volunteering.com.au or call on 02 9261 3600.