Volunteers from across Hornsby and the Hills District were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Castle 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.

The NSW 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Hornsby and North West Sydney region are:

Award Category Winner
Young Volunteer of the Year Cassidy Strickland, Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands

from South Windsor

Adult Volunteer of the Year Sean Mooney, Sydney Story Factory

from Cheltenham

Senior Volunteer of the Year
George Tillett, TAD

from Glenhaven

Volunteer Team of the Year Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands Volunteers, Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands

from South Windsor

Overall Regional Winner George Tillett, TAD

from Glenhaven

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.”

George Tilett is this year’s NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year and the overall NSW 2018 Volunteer of the Yearfor the Hornsby and North West Sydney region for his never ending volunteer support helping children with a disability at TAD Disability Services.

The retired IBM worker of 45 years, uses his technical and computer engineering skills to refurbish motorised toy cars to help young children become more mobile as well as other ingenious inventions that help people with day to day activities or work.

Cassidy Strickland was selected as the region’s NSW 2018 Young Volunteer of the Year for her dedicated volunteering for Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands supporting people in need throughout the area.

Adult volunteer winner Sean Mooney

Sean Mooney is this year’s NSW Adult Volunteer of the Year for the Hornsby region for his dedicated volunteer work over the past three years for the Sydney Story Factory. Sean has given many hours of his time to tutor students, fundraising and providing mental health support.

The 16 volunteer team members from Hawkesbury Helping Hands was selected as the NSW 2018 Volunteer Team of the Year for the region. They provide meals and support to young students and homeless people throughout the region three days a week as well as emergency food hampers.

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.”

Further photos of the ceremony are available 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.