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 for the Volunteer of the Year Awards?

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 Volunteer of the Year Awards categories?

The Volunteer of the Year 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 Volunteer of the Year 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

1.  How do I nominate someone for a Volunteer of the Year Award?

We only accept nominations through the official nomination forms on our website.

2.  Can an individual nominate him/herself?

Volunteers/Volunteer Managers cannot nominate themselves.

3.  Permissions

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. The Centre for Volunteering may use the nominee’s image and story publicly to promote the Awards program. The nominee must be aware and understand this when submitting the nomination form. For full details on The Centre’s Privacy Policy, please visit – https://www.volunteering.com.au/privacy-policy.

We will send a copy of the full nomination form to the volunteer/volunteering team after submission.

4.  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.

5.  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.

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

To make recognizing 20 or more volunteers easier, use our bulk nomination spreadsheet and celebrate each volunteer. For bulk nominations email award@volunteering.com.au and the Awards team will send you out the details.

7.  What happens if I fill in my nomination form incorrectly?

If you complete the nomination form incorrectly, contact us at award@volunteering.com.au to report the issue. You can submit a revised application before 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.

8.  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. We will contact referees to verify details on the application as needed.

9.  When do nominations close?

Nominations close: 5pm Friday 9 July, 2021.

10. How do I know if you have received my nomination?

We will acknowledge all nominations by email upon 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

11. How do we determine the award regions?

To cover the vast area of the state of NSW, the awards divide nominees 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. Winners from the regional awards will become finalists for the State Awards.

12. When do we announce the winners?

We will announce the Regional Winners at each local ceremony held between August to October 2021. We will acknowledge and present a certificate to all nominees at one of 25 ceremonies throughout the State. Each individual nominee may bring one guest, while each volunteer team nominee may bring up to three team members to the regional ceremony due to high nomination numbers.

  • We will announce the finalists for the Corporate & Volunteer Management category at a ceremony in Sydney in November.
  • The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony in Sydney will invite Regional Winners and Corporate Finalists, announcing state winners.

13. Do we invite nominators 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.

14. 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 cannot attend their nominated Regional Ceremony (based on their residential address), we will forward their certificate to them.

15. 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.  We will present one certificate 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. 

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

We remind nominees and nominators to double check all of their information throught the nomination process. We print the certificates using the information from the nomination form, so please make any required changes before the closure date of 5pm Friday 9 July 2021 via award@volunteering.com.au.

17. 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.