Communities in Liverpool and Fairfield have had a tough time in recent months. Which is why we were so happy to celebrate local volunteers who do such important work in the region at the online Western Sydney ceremony for the 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

We met the young Parramatta Mission volunteer, Rosina Armstrong-Mensah, who has been making sure people continue to have access to healthy food during the pandemic; Kate Huong who is inspiring young people to preserve and promote Vietnamese culture in Australia and ensuring her community gets the information they need to stay safe and healthy; and the volunteers at SWSLHD Palliative Care COVID-19 team who are providing support for people at end of life, and their families.

The 2021 Western Sydney Volunteer of the Year is Kate Hoang.

2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Western Sydney region are: 

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Kate Hoang from Cabramatta

Kate organised the Red Cross appeal that saw the Vietnamese Community in Australia (VCA) NSW Chapter raise $50,000 for bushfire victims. She organised and livestreamed online ceremonies for the 45th commemoration of the fall of Saigon and the 45th anniversary of Vietnamese settlement in Australia. She organises medical forums within the Vietnamese community, livestreaming since lockdown to ensure the people get the health and safety information they need. Kate inspires young people to preserve and promote Vietnamese culture in Australia.

Young Volunteer of the Year – Rosina Armstrong-Mensah from Wattle Grove

Rosina helps support vulnerable people seeking assistance as part of Parramatta Mission’s Meals Plus Volunteer team. She lends a hand each week to prepare, cook and serve breakfast and lunch, as well as unpacking, sorting and providing donations to those in need. Not only did Rosina continue to volunteer during COVID, she took on even more challenges in the kitchen.

Volunteer Team of the Year – SWSLHD Palliative Care COVID-19 team from Liverpool

The COVID-19 palliative care team was set up in 2020 – a time when the impact of visiting restrictions in hospital and community settings, limited people at funerals, border closures and no memorial services made their work more needed than ever. The volunteers have supported bereaved families right through the pandemic, including the Into the Dreaming Resource Boxes, which provide a culturally safe space within a deceased Aboriginal patient’s hospital room for their family and community.

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 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year.

The 2021 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.