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.   

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

Volunteering can be defined as “time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain”.    

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 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 local regional ceremony (if their personal  email address is provided, not the organisation’s or nominator’s email address).  The nominee will be presented with a certificate to acknowledge their contribution to the community.  This nomination requires you to complete four parts of the nomination form only. 

Nomination for Judging 

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

What are the Award categories?

There are 8 categories for the Awards. These include:

Young Volunteer of the Year  24 years and under 
Adult Volunteer of the Year  25 to 64 years 
Senior Volunteer of the Year  65 years and over 
Volunteer Team of the Year  Two individuals or more 
Club Volunteer of the Year  An individual or team working in a registered ClubsNSWclub or on the board whilst carrying out volunteer activities 
Employee Volunteer of the Year  An individual or team volunteering as part of their organisation’s formal employee or corporate volunteering program 
Volunteer Leader of the Year  A designated volunteer manager, a team of volunteer managers or a registered not-for-profit organisation 
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 an Award?

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

Can an individual nominate themselves?

No. Volunteers and / 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 name, image and story may be used publicly by The Centre for Volunteering to promote The Centre’s programs. For more information, see ourprivacy policy. Please note that the volunteer or volunteer 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 volunteers with the organisation for more than 20 hours between July 2023 and June 2024.

How many nominations can I make?

There is no limit but you must submit one form per nomineeIf 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 individual 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  (award@volunteering.com.au ) 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 the Awards Team via email (award@volunteering.com.au) and advise us what the issue isYou will have the opportunity to submit a revised application as long as it is received prior to the closing dateWe 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, videos, website links included in the submissionNominees and / or referees will be contacted directly as required to verify details on the application. 

When do nominations close?

Nominations will close 5pm Friday 14 June 2024. 

How do I know if you have received my nomination?

All nominators and nominees will be acknowledged by email upon submissionPlease double check both the nominee’s and the nominator’s email addresses are correctIf you do not receive an automated email, please contact us via award@volunteering.com.au.

When are the Winners announced?

The regional winners will be announced at each local Ceremony, which are held between August and October.  All nominees are acknowledged and presented with a certificate at one of the 25 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 three 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 in December, 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 CeremoniesIn 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 CeremoniesIf a nominee is unable to attend their nominated Regional Ceremony (based on their residential address), the certificates will be mailed to the nominator by the end of 2024. 

Do volunteer team members receive their own certificates?

Individual members of Volunteer Teams do not receive an individual certificate in their name.  Once 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 award@volunteering.com.au. 

Under some circumstances, the Awards Team will provide an updated certificate via PDF that nominators and / or nominees can arrange to be printed at their cost. 


If you have not found the answer to your question, please contact the Awards Team.

 Email award@volunteering.com.au