Leading library volunteer named 2023 Upper North Shore Volunteer of the Year
Willoughby Council Library volunteer, William Siomiak, has been named the 2023 Upper North Shore Volunteer of the Year for his passion and commitment to bringing diverse communities throughout the region.
The recognition comes as part of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. Today’s Regional Ceremony, held at Hornsby RSL Club on the Land of the Dharug and Guringai Peoples, also celebrated category winners Rebecca Ru, Dougal Graham, St Ives Public School Band, and countless of irreplaceable volunteers in the region.
"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 - Rebecca Ju
High School student Rebecca Ju provides marketing, program management, administration, and leadership support for a range of youth, human rights, and sustainability programs.
She volunteers with her school’s Amnesty and GenEarth Clubs, Willoughby Council’s Youth Advisory Committee, Amnesty International’s Youth Advisory Group and the United Nations Association of Australia.
Adult Volunteer of the Year – William Siomiak
William gives him time for eight hours across three nights each week at Willougby Council Library, leading games, and trivia nights, as well as other Library-based events to help people from diverse communities to connect, engage and develop a sense of belonging.
His volunteer-led Dungeon and Dragons and tabletop games groups attract people from 17 to 70, encouraging them to participate and build confidence in their post-COVID communities.
Senior Volunteer of the Year – Dougal Graham
At 88 years of age, Dougal Graham is still a regular fundraiser and volunteer with BlowFly Cricket, an all-abilities inclusive cricket club that provides modified games and programs for children or adults with special needs or intellectual abilities.
Dougal runs the club’s post-match BBQs, as well as collecting recyclable cans and bottles from half a dozen clubs across the region, to help earn up to $100 a week for the club.
His volunteering supports the purchase of club equipment, events, and other activities to enable people of all abilities to participate, socialise and enjoy sports and physical activity.
Volunteer Team of the Year – St Ives Public School Band
The two members of the St Ives Public School P&C Association give their time each week to lead the school band, making sure students at the school have the opportunity to learn, appreciate and enjoy music.
They have led the program for the past five years, allowing students to borrow or rent musical instruments.
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 Thursday 7 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.