What is volunteering?

In many communities, the word volunteering is not always recognised. Often acts of giving, sharing and helping out are imbedded and part of cultural practices. We support these customs and advocate that these are all forms of volunteering. Volunteering can be defined as “time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain” – Volunteering Australia, 2015.

If you give your time, share your skills or help out in your community, you are a volunteer.

What is volunteering:

If you give your time, share your skills or help out in your community you are volunteering. An example that is volunteering: coaching your child’s football team, because people outside of your household and family also benefit.


What is not volunteering:

Volunteering does not include only helping your family or people you live with. An example that is not volunteering: helping your flat-mate, cousin or sister with their homework

What type of Volunteer of the Year Awards nominations are available?

The nomination form allows for two types of recognition for the volunteers of NSW.

Nomination for recognition only

This is the simplest way to acknowledge volunteers. These nominees will not be judged, however, they will be invited to their regional ceremony where they will be presented with an identical certificate to nominees eligible for judging. This nomination requires you to complete four parts only.


Nomination for judging

These nominees will be judged for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award in the appropriate category. This nomination requires you to complete six parts (parts 1 to 6), all of which must be completed to be accepted by the judging committee.

What are the NSW Volunteer of the Year award categories?

  1. Young Volunteer: 24 years and under.
  2. Adult Volunteer: 25 to 64 years.
  3. Senior Volunteer: 65 years and over.
  4. Volunteer Team: Two individuals or over.
  5. Club Volunteer: An individual or team working in a registered ClubsNSW club or on its board whilst carrying out volunteer activities.
  6. Employee Volunteer: Individual or team volunteering as part of their organisation’s formal employee/corporate volunteering program.
  7. Volunteer Leader: Nominees can be a designated volunteer manager, a team of volunteer managers or a registered not-for-profit organisation (please note that nominations within this category can be submitted for either teams or individuals, your nominee must operate within the guidelines of the Statement of Principles for Recognition of Volunteers and the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement and the organisation must hold current Volunteer Workers Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance, and have operated within the NSW community during the past 12 months).
  8. Not-for-Profit Voluntary Governance Award: An unpaid board of directors or individual board member, who exemplifies excellence in governance.

How do I nominate someone for a Volunteer of the Year award?

Nominations are only accepted via the official nomination forms or through a bulk nomination form for 20 or more nominations, available on request from award@volunteering.com.au.

Can an individual nominate themselves?

No. Volunteers or volunteer managers are not permitted to nominate themselves.

Do I need to seek out permission from the person I’m nominating?

Yes. All nominators must have permission from the person or team they are nominating to disclose their personal information as part of the nomination process. For privacy purposes, the nominee is required to understand that their name, image and story may be used publicly by The Centre for Volunteering to promote the awards program. For more information, see our privacy policy. Please note that the volunteer or volunteering team you are nominating will be sent a copy of the full nomination form as soon as it has been submitted.

Does a nominee still have to be working with the nominating organisation or organisation with which he or she volunteered?

No, provided the nominee did not finish working with the organisation before June.

How many nominations can I make?

There is no limit but you must submit one form per nominee. If you’re submitting over multiple award categories you will need to submit them separately.

How do I make bulk nominations (more than 20)?

For organisations wanting to recognise 20 or more volunteers, we offer a bulk nomination spreadsheet, making it even easier to celebrate each and every one of your volunteers. For bulk nominations send us an email and the awards team will send the details.

What happens if I fill out my nomination form incorrectly?

If your nomination form is incorrectly completed you will need to contact us via email and advise us what the issue is. You will have the opportunity to submit a revised application as long as it is received prior to the closing date. We will try to contact you if a nomination form is incomplete so you can resubmit however, with a large volume of nominations received, this may not always be possible.

Do I include support material and any referee letters with my nomination?

No. We will not accept supporting documentation or view any website links included in the submission. Referees will be contacted as required to verify details on the application.

When do nominations close?

Nominations close 5pm Friday 16 June 2023.

How do I know if you have received my nomination?

All nominations will be acknowledged by email upon submission. Please double check both the nominee’s and the nominator’s email addresses are correct. If you do not receive an automated email, please contact us via email.

When are the winners announced?

The regional winners will be announced at each local ceremony, which are usually held between August to October. All nominees are acknowledged and presented with a certificate at one of 24 ceremonies throughout the state. Due to large numbers of nominations; individual nominees are permitted to bring one guest to the regional ceremony; and volunteer team nominees are permitted to bring a total of 3 volunteer team members to the regional ceremony.

The Employee Volunteer, Volunteer Leader and Not-for-profit Voluntary Governance category finalists are announced at a ceremony in Sydney in November. All regional winners and finalists are invited to attend the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award state ceremony in Sydney, where the state winners will be announced.

Are nominators invited to the regional ceremonies?

Due to the large number of nominees for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, we are not always able to invite the nominators to attend the regional ceremonies. In the event there are additional tickets available, nominators will receive an invitation to attend (one ticket only) closer to the date of the event.

If I can’t attend my local regional ceremony, can I attend a different one?

No. Unfortunately, we are not able to move nominees into other regional ceremonies. If a nominee is unable to attend their nominated regional ceremony (based on their residential address), the certificates will be mailed out to the nominator.

Do volunteer team members receive their own certificates?

The individual members of the team do not receive an individual certificate in their name. One certificate is presented to the entirety of the volunteer team.

If you would like each of your team members to receive their own personalised certificate, you must nominate them each in either the Young, Adult or Senior categories as well as the Volunteer Team category.

Can I request a reprint of my certificate due to incorrect information?

No. Nominees and nominators are reminded throughout the nomination process to double check that all of their details are correct as the certificates are printed based on the information supplied on the nomination form. Any changes must be made prior to the closure date via email.

If you have not found the answer to your question, please contact:

Email award@volunteering.com.au