Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Business Advocate named 2023 Central Sydney Volunteer of the Year
Central Sydney Volunteer of the Year, Sanjay Deshwal, is the President of Little India Harris Park Business Association (LIHPBA) working tirelessly to build Little India as a recognised Arts & Culture precinct in Sydney. The Senior Volunteer of the Year, Dennis Thorne, and the Volunteer Team of the Year, Community Learning Volunteer Tutors have also been awarded for their outstanding contributions and service to community.
The recognition is part of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country. The awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of volunteers working across all sections of communities throughout the state
"I am immensely proud of the dedication and commitment to community that we see each year from volunteers across the state. The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards shine a light on these selfless efforts. Congratulations to today’s award recipients."Jodie Harrison, NSW Minister with responsibility for Volunteering
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Sanjay Deshwal, Little India Harris Park Business Association
Sanjay Deshwal changed careers from mechanical engineering to start his own business and founding the LIHPBA. Sanjay has assisted the community at the grassroots level by assisting victims of DV, CALD communities and women and men of various backgrounds by providing food and shelter.He has also acted as and volunteered his time for various artistic and cultural events for the community including the annual Diwali event and other various multicultural social events
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Dennis Thorne, City of Parramatta Community Care
Dennis Thorne is an active volunteer with the Community Care services of City of Parramatta as a Meals on Wheels driver volunteer and Social Inclusion event volunteer. Dennis looks after everyone according to their individual needs giving extra support where it is required and an engaging conversation. His friendly, attentive manners and his tireless efforts ensure that the elderly and less mobile feel valued and respected.
Volunteer Team of the Year – Community Learning Volunteer Tutors
As a team of 62, the Community Learning Volunteer Tutors ensure that their 320 students have access to 80 classes and activities that help to build strong and connected communities. They provide than 3,600 volunteer hours annually that supports the students’ capabilities and fosters connections that contribute to individual wellbeing.
Finalists for the awards are announced at 25 Volunteer of the Year regional award ceremonies throughout NSW and are invited to the Gala State Ceremony for the announcement of the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year at the Gala Ceremony on 5 December in Sydney.
The 2023 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 1,100 not-for-profit clubs.