Communities like the Mid North Coast are far better off because of the tireless work of their army of local volunteers.
In the aftermath of floods, fire and COVID-19, volunteers continue to bring communities together, provide help and services when required, as well as human connection and support.
We met and thanked many of these volunteers today at the Mid North Coast regional ceremony for the 2022 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards at the Westport Club in Port Macquarie.
Special congratulations to our award winners, young volunteer driving instructor Arthur Angus-Hill, Old Bar Beach RSL sub-branch President Jeffrey Earley, Riding for the Disabled stalwart Rosemary Laing and the team from Marine Rescue Port Macquarie – the largest in the state!
2022 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Mid North Coast region:
Young Volunteer of the Year – Arthur Angus-Hill from Nambucca
Arthur is a volunteer driver with the Uniting 120 Countdown Program which helps people in disadvantaged communities retain and obtain their driver licence. He mentors two driving students in between his work at the local library and his university studies.
He has participated in the program for the past two years, helping the young driving students to improve access to education, employment, health and other services and recreation.
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Jeffrey Earley from Old Bar
Jeffrey gives countless hours each week to the Old Bar Beach RSL sub-branch to support return service men and women and their families. He has helped grow the organisation from 8 members to over 50 members and supporters.
His volunteering has helped to reinvigorate the local community’s engagement with returned service men and women, which has resulted in a large ANZAC Day commemorative event with more than 1,000 people in attendance.
The local sub-branch now supports other volunteer-led groups such as the local Surf Life Saving unit, Lions Club and the Old Bar Public School. Jeffrey is committed to improving mental health among veterans and has hosted mental health workshops and organised activities to encourage socialisation.
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Rosemary Laing from Stroud
Rosie Liang has been a driving force behind the Riding for the Disabled Raymond Terrace Club for the past 40 years. She was the centre’s first accredited coach, established the evening dressage group and introduced carriage driving for its clients.
She has volunteered tens of thousands of hours at the centre to provide support and assistance to hundreds of people with disabilities over her volunteering career.
Volunteer Team of the Year – Marine Rescue Port Macquarie
The 215 volunteers from Marine Rescue Port Macquarie show an incredible dedication to protecting people across their local waterways on the Mid North Coast.
Volunteers train three days a week, including at night, to hone and maintain their skills. With boat crew and radio base operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the unit regularly runs radio operator, crew, jet ski, watch officer, sea survival and firefighting courses.
More recently the team gave their time and skills to help rebuild the homes of two flood victims in Port Macquarie and Kendall.
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 2022 NSW Volunteer of the Year.
The 2022 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.