Volunteers from across the NSW Central Coast were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Gosford.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual event run by The Centre for Volunteering and is the biggest celebration of volunteering across the country.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Central Coast region are:

Award Category Winner
Young Volunteer of the Year Madeleine Clark, Cerebral Palsy Alliance

from Noraville

Adult Volunteer of the Year Christine Lavers, Umina Surf Life Saving Club

from Umina

Senior Volunteer of the Year
Barbara Galvin, Shirley Shuttle Cancer Outpatient Transport Service Central Coast

from Tascott

Volunteer Team of the Year We Care Uniting, We Care Uniting Program

from Toukley

Overall Regional Winner Barbara Galvin, Shirley Shuttle Cancer Outpatient Transport Service Central Coast

from Tascott

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said volunteers from across the region have made an enormous contribution to the local community.

“Volunteers from across the area give their time helping in schools, hospitals, sports, the environment, and with so many community based organisations,” Ms Rygate said.

“They all give so much without asking for anything in return.

“It was so pleasing to recognise their outstanding efforts and also celebrate the special contribution of the volunteers chosen to represent the region in the State final of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.”

This year, the region’s NSW Young Volunteer of the Year is Madeleine Clark, a caring and dedicated volunteer at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Tuggerah Therapy Centre. Madeleine is also studying speech pathology and uses her skills to assist young children with cerebral palsy to bond with their parents and to develop social and cognitive skills via the Mini Musician Group and School Readiness Program.

The NSW Adult Volunteer of the Year for the Central Coast is Christine Lavers who has spent the past 25 years helping to keep the Unima Surf Life Saving Club afloat with her relentless work at carnivals, registrations, officiating and promoting beach safety.

The NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Central Coast is Barbara Galvin, the founder and volunteer with the Shirley Shuttle Outpatient Transport Service. Over the past decade, Barbara has personally funded and raised money to buy four vehicles to transport cancer patients to their treatment across every corner of the Central Coast. The service is run on behalf of the NSW Cancer Council and has helped transport more than 7,000 patients over 1,000,000 kilometres.

The team of 20 volunteers at We Care Uniting was selected as the Volunteer Team of the Year for the Central Coast. In just over two years this dedicated team has helped collect and distribute 20,000 essential care and safety items to 1,100 vulnerable children across the region.

The 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is supported by principal partners the Department of Family and Community Services NSW and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs. They are also supported by Etchcraft and Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals.

NSW Minister responsible for Volunteering, the Hon. Ray Williams, said the state’s 2.1 million volunteers contributed more than $5 billion to the NSW economy every year.

“Nominating local volunteers for an award or a certificate is a special way of saying thank you,” Mr Williams said.

“The fact that so many nominations were received this year is recognition of the amazing effort of volunteers across NSW who help build stronger communities.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that volunteers were the backbone of registered clubs across NSW.

“ClubsNSW is very proud to support the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards and every one of the amazing volunteers recognised today,” Mr Ball said.

“Clubs across NSW rely on 32,000 volunteers to help make their venues a vibrant and enjoyable experience,” Mr Ball said.

“They also contribute so much more to our wider community, adding billions of dollars to the NSW economy each year.”

Photos of this event can be viewed here.

The Centre for Volunteering would like to thank the generosity of the following organisations for their ongoing support of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards:


The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program launched in 2007 by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding efforts of the 2 million+ volunteers in NSW, and to promote the importance of volunteering to the community.  The Awards are a celebration of the amazing commitment and achievements volunteers make in our communities and a chance for us to come together to give our thanks. The Awards acknowledge the efforts of thousands of volunteers, volunteer managers, volunteer involving organisations and corporates in bringing about social change through volunteering.