Central West NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards winners recognised

Local hero and founding member of Bathurst Community Transport Group, Paul Haysom, has been named the 2023 Central West Volunteer of the Year.

The recognition is part of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country, with today’s Regional Ceremony held at the Orange Ex-Services Club on Wiradjuri Country.

Celebrated alongside him were category winners Larissa Benham, Tracy Lucas, the CWA Canowindra Branch and countless nominees for their tireless service to their community.


2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Central West NSW region are:

"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.”

The Hon. Jodie Harrison MP, NSW Minister with responsibility for Volunteering

Young Volunteer of the Year - Larissa Benham

A volunteer with St John Ambulance NSW for 15 years, Larissa now serves as a Cadet Leader. In her role, she gives first aid to those in need and assists her peers providing training on new skills for first aid applications, all of which helps to ensure the health and wellbeing of even the most vulnerable in her community.

Larissa also offers her mentorshop to young and new members, showing great leadership within the division.

Young Volunteer of the Year - Larissa Benham

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Tracy Lucas

The Chairperson of Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW), Tracy gives her time as a senior volunteer coach with the Mudgee Riding for the Disabled Association, where she helps to prepare and supervise weekly lessons for the centre’s 32 riders.

Her tireless efforts go towards ensuring that riders can achieve their goals, while building friendships and connections with other riders and volunteers.

Tracy also grooms and cares for the horse.

Adult Volunteer of the Year – Tracy Lucas

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Paul Haysom

Throughout his 44 years of voluntary service, Paul has made a significant contribution to his community. He was instrumental in securing funding for Bathurst Community Transport Group. Paul’s voluntary work has generated many benefits for the community of Bathurst. By ensuring safe and reliable transport options for the aged, disabled and geographically isolated individuals, Paul has enhanced the overall wellbeing and quality of life for many citizens of the region.

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Paul Haysom

Volunteer Team of the Year – CWA of NSW Canowindra branch

For 99 years, the Canowindra Branch members have been providing outstanding community service to Canowindra and the wider Central West region.  The CWA offers connection, friendship, assistance and help to the local community. The present members range in age from 51 to 85 years and are involved in providing help and services in a variety of ways. The volunteer team members support community events including sporting events, the Driver Reviver stop and significant events such as the Bicycle Challenge, providing food and water stations for over 1000 riders.

Volunteer Team of the Year – CWA of NSW Canowindra branch

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.

Principal Partners

Award Sponsors