We kicked off our 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards today, with our North Shore volunteers recognised at our first regional awards ceremony.
Throughout the state there have been so many stories of volunteer success and resilience through the disruption of COVID. Volunteers have continued to dig deep to support their local communities through this adversity and in many cases have found new ways of volunteering through the pandemic.
2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the North Shore region are:
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Simone Short from Mosman
Simone co-founded the Gidget Foundation of Australia 20 years ago in response to the death of her sister Louise, Gidget, who suffered from an unrecognised post-natal depression (PDNA). Today the GFA provides individual face to face consultations at 18 Gidget Houses in three states, as well as telehealth consultations, group treatment and early intervention screening. Simone has given her time, resources and enthusiasm to supporting mothers and fathers experiencing, or at risk of, PNDA.
Young Volunteer of the Year – Katharine Gillis
The Chatswood Junior Guide leader went above and beyond during COVID-19, leading the girls in online sessions every week so they enjoyed their meetings as much from home as they did in the hall. During lockdown Katharine even prepared bags of activities and delivered them to each girls’ home Her dedication, leadership and organisation skills make her a role model for local girls.
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Kay Chin-Kue Tang
Kay has been a volunteer instructor at Willoughby City Council’s MOSAIC Multicultural Centre for 27 years. At 92 she commutes to MOSAIC on her mobility scooter to teach three classes a week, with students travelling up to two hours each way for her classes. She is a strong advocate for and supporter of other Council initiatives such as organic gardening, sustainability, social inclusion and community awareness of health and wellbeing issues.
Volunteer Team of the Year – Raise Foundation Board
The four board members have steered the growth of the Raise over the last 12 years. In its first year, Raise provided mentoring support for 58 struggling young people on the Northern Beaches. This year, Raise is mentoring over 1300 young people, in five states and in 98 schools, including more than 50 NSW schools.
The 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.