Volunteers celebrated in the Illawarra Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony
Community and disability advocate Danielle Johns has been named the 2023 Illawarra Volunteer of the Year for her support and advocacy for families and children across the Southern Highlands region.
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.
The Illawarra award winners for individual and team categories were also announced today at a special ceremony in Wollongong, on Dhawaral Country.
"Volunteers from across the Illawarra and Southern Highlands give their time and energy to help make their community a better place. They’re building healthy, well-connected communities across the region."Gemma Rygate, CEO for The Centre for Volunteering
Youth Volunteer of the Year - Amy McCamley, Cancer Council NSW
Amy has been a stand out marketing and event volunteer at the NSW Cancer Council Star of Nowra event, helping to provide vital fundraising and awareness for cancer research and prevention.
Her tasks include social media, sponsorship and event management. NSW Cancer Council volunteers provide vital fundraising so it can provide cancer patients and their families with support and information services such as home help, transport to treatment and financial, legal, and emotional support.
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Danielle Johns, The 4K and Soul Warmers Food Pantry
Danielle’s tireless volunteering supports families in need, children living with disabilities and school aged children throughout the Southern Highlands region.
She volunteers at The 4K and Soul Warmers Food Pantry charities and other causes to set up and run an inclusive playground, food pantry, technology library, sensory toy library and back to school packs.
She gives her time on weekends and evenings, collecting and distributing food, washing dishes, providing care, raising money for families with children with special needs, and connecting people with services.
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Chistine Williams, St Vincents De Paul Homeless Hub
Christine has been a driving force behind the Coniston St Vincent De Paul Homeless Hub for the past decade where she ensures local families and individuals get access to crisis relief and support such as accommodation, food hampers, furniture and paying bills or fines.
She gives her time driving the Vinnies food van, and via her managerial role with the homeless hub.
Volunteer Team of the Year – Kind Hearts Illawarra Outreach Team
The 12 members of the Kind Hearts Illawarra Outreach Team host a community event twice a week that helps to provide vital services and support for more than 120 people in need.
They collect, prepare and deliver fresh, healthy meals and hampers for people experiencing financial stress or without a permanent home. They provide companionship and a chat that helps to break down barriers and build positive relationships.
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.