Outstanding volunteers from across the Far West region honoured at a special NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards ceremony

Volunteers from across the State’s Far West were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Broken Hill.

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.

Today’s NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Far West region are:

Award Category Winner
Senior Volunteer of the Year David Blows, Far West HACC Services

from Broken Hill

Volunteer Team of the Year Wilcannia Unit, NSW SES

from Wilcannia

Overall Regional Winner David Blows, Far West HACC Services

from Broken Hill

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.”

The Senior Volunteer of the Year and overall Volunteer of the Year for the Far West region is David Blows – a stoic and selfless volunteer for so many causes and community groups. David has clocked up more than 300 outings as a volunteer bus driver for Far West Home and Community Care services, helping the senior members of his community to get transport access for shopping, healthcare and social outings.

Far West Senior and Overall Regional winner David Blows with Gemma Rygate, CEO of The Centre for Volunteering

The three crew members of the Wilcannia NSW SES displayed remarkable dedication and compassion when responding to an incident, 300 km from their location. They worked over 22 hours to attend a water rescue and assisted in recovering the body of a drowning victim, showing great compassion to the victim’s family. They were selected as the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year for the Far West 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.”

You can see photos of the event 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.