The positive impact of volunteers in NSW Mid North Coast/Biripi Country is a heartbeat felt across the entire community. Giving selflessly of their time, volunteers are the community backbone helping and supporting to those they assist. Volunteering is more than helping out, it’s about caring, understanding, and contributing to help others. Their work enriches lives and strengthens the fabric of our society.
Today, we gathered to say thank you for that amazing effort with the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. Meeting and learning from so many inspiring volunteers, whose stories of dedication was a wonderful experience.
2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Mid-North Coast 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".Jodie Harrison, NSW Minister with responsibility for Volunteering
Adult Volunteer of the Year – Donna Anthony, NSW Rural Fire Service- Wauchope Brigade
Donna’s hundreds of hours of volunteer work each year ensure our community’s safety and preparedness for fire season. She concentrates on training brigade members to high standards, ensuring safety for the entire community.
Donna teaches community members how to prepare properties, involves the RFS in assisted burns, to ease the stress for the public. Working with local schools, Donna has turned fire safety into a fun learning experience.
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Geoffrey Bond, Frontier Services
Geoff’s voluntary work is part of the Outback Links program, where volunteers travel to rural and remote areas in Australia to help those who are struggling. These communities often lack resources and/or support, especially after natural disasters strike, a pandemic hits, or any other significant environmental event occurs.
His dedication to doing what needs to be done is inspiring. He goes above and beyond by lending a hand with tasks such as cleaning, painting, clearing/tidy up jobs, working with animals, gardening, and patching and repairing. These jobs often fall by the wayside when managing a farm, but by having Geoff there to help, means that our farmers can have peace of mind and carry on with their regular work. Different farmers have reflected on how truly extraordinary, brilliant, and reliable Geoff is, by simply stating that they wished Geoff could stay longer. He excels in the work that he does and also takes the time to really let our farmers unload.
Volunteer Team of the Year – Kendall Community Op Shop
The Kendall Community Op-Shop team is instrumental in keeping the community Pool running annually. This provides sports, recreation, and swimming lessons for the young locals.
Additionally, the team’s efforts mean that they can be ongoing financial supporters of the Kendall showground, Kendall Blues football club, Kendall Tennis Club, Riding for the Disabled, Kendall Services and Citizen’s Club, The Kendall Boat Shed, LandCare, I-Kew Information Centre, Kendall Primary School, the new community skate park, Kendall Men’s Shed, Kendall/Comboyne Cricket Club, Kendall Kettles Craft Group, Camden Haven High School, Camden Haven Historical Society, Local Fishing Clubs, Camden Haven Scouts, Community at 3, WIRES, Kendall Community Garden, Heron’s Creek Public School, Kendall Preschool, local Creek-to-Creek Queens Lake Trail path, and many other organisations.
Finalists for the awards are announced at 25 Volunteer of the Year regional award ceremonies throughout NSW. All winners are invited to the Gala State Ceremony for the announcement of the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year.
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.