Overall Winner – 2014 Volunteer of the Year  Hunter

Angela Chorusch of Woodrising Mums’ Cottage

Angela Chorusch
Angela Chorusch

Angela?s commitment to Mum’s Cottage is remarkable. She is resourceful and shares her knowledge in her role as Disability Coordinator, Disability Liaison Coordinator and Case Manager. Additionally, Angela established a program for children aged 3 – 16, on the autism/aspergers spectrum, and she has run the program for more than two years. Her first-hand experience and caring nature means Angela’s advice is constantly sought and she helps many families develop pathways that best suit their situation.


2014 Student Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Keziah (Ziah) Elliott of Mount Vincent Amnesty International

Keziah Elliot
Keziah Elliot

Ziah Elliott has worked tirelessly to volunteer her time, skills and enthusiasm to promoting human rights in her community. She established the Amnesty International Group at Newcastle University in 2011 and under her leadership, the group has grown significantly. Additionally, her work running the Hunter branch of the Schools Outreach program for Amnesty International has educated young people about the events and human rights issues around the world. Through greater understanding, Ziah helps the community be more accepting of diversity.


2014 Youth Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Kasey Brett of Charlestown Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Gemma Rygate (left) & Kasey Brett (right)
Gemma Rygate (left) & Kasey Brett (right)

Kasey has a passion for volunteering in the disabilities sector and volunteers with numerous programs, including the Special Needs Unlimited Group (SUNG) Camp, the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Chat Program and the Hydrotherapy Programs with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Her sense of humour, approachability, commitment and warm personality as well as her patience has allowed clients to improve in leaps and bounds. Kasey creates safe and comforting environments where people can be themselves.


2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Angela Chorusch of Woodrising Mums’ Cottage

Please see Overall Winner for description.


2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Barbara Gaudry of Merewether Cancer Council

Valerie Hoogstad (left), Barbara Gaudry (centre) & Gemma Rygate (right)
Valerie Hoogstad (left), Barbara Gaudry (centre) & Gemma Rygate (right)

Barbara is a committed, enthusiastic and passionate volunteer. She engages the Aboriginal community and acts in an advisory and advocacy role on a number of health campaigns. As a volunteer leader for the Hunter region, Barbara’s work with the community helps ensure there is increased funding for care and treatment of cancer patients; that new legislation is introduced to better protect people from known cancer risks; and that services are provided that ease the burden for patients and their carers.


2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

Winner: The Wig Service at Calvary Mater Newcastle in Waratah represented by Kim Rossis, one of the service’s three volunteers

Kim, Margaret and Louise are the three volunteers who make up the Wig Service at Calvary Mater Newcastle. The Wig Service is a highly individualised wig fitting service for women and adolescent patients undergoing cancer treatments. The service they provide helps improves their clients’ self-esteem and confidence, while reducing anxiety, during a time when the clients are often at their lowest.


Honour Roll of Nominees

2014 Student Volunteer of the Year

  • Kasey Brett of North Lambton who volunteers with Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
  • Esther Siebel of Wangi Wangi who volunteers with Starlight Children’s Foundation.
  • John Thirkell of Wallsend who volunteers with Starlight Children’s Foundation.

2014 Youth Volunteer of the Year

  • James Garlick of Merewether who volunteers with Cancer Council NSW

2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

  • Carolyn Brown of New Lambton Heights who volunteers with UnitingCare Ageing.
  • Steve Dewar of Toronto who volunteers with Lake Macquarie Landcare.
  • George Ditz of West Wallsend who volunteers with Sugarvalley Neighbourhood Centre – West Wallsend.
  • Lorraine Doolan of Buchanan who volunteers with Mums’ Cottage.
  • Miriam Farrington of Warners Bay who volunteers with Slow Food Hunter Valley.
  • Keith Green of Soldiers Point who volunteers with Delta Society.
  • Robert Harper of Raymond Terrace who volunteers with Australian Citizens Radio Emergency Monitors Inc.
  • Adam Heine of Maryland who volunteers with St John Ambulance Australia.
  • Cecely Hesketh of Belmonth North who volunteers with Red Cross.
  • Margo Humphries of Cardiff South who volunteers with Hunter Arts Network.
  • Sharon Jonas of Hamilton South who volunteers with Samaritans Tenancy Resource Service, Hamilton South Tenant Action Group & Hamilton South Clean Sweep Group.
  • Peter Rosemond of Abermain who volunteers with PCYC Cessnock.
  • Peter Stokes of Belmont North who volunteers with Leukaemia Foundation.
  • John Thirkell of Wallsend who volunteers with Starlight Children’s Foundation.
  • David Whittaker of Newcastle West who volunteers with Disability Advocacy.

2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

  • John Cater of Wallsend who volunteers with Fort Scratchley Historic Site.
  • Marilyn Frost of Raworth who volunteers with Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
  • Barbara Gaudry of Merewether who volunteers with Cancer Council NSW.
  • Mike Kennedy of Raworth who volunteers with Leukaemia Foundation.
  • Pamela Kilduff of Abaderdare who volunteers with Heal For Life.
  • Warren Mitchell of New Lambton who volunteers with Adamstown/New Lambton Rotary Club.
  • Rosalie Robinson of Cessnock who volunteers with Heal for Foundation.
  • Kevin Stokes of Toronto who volunteers with Hunter Region Botanic Gardens.
  • Brian Taylor of Croudace Bay who volunteers with The Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

  • Mark Andrews and the sixteen volunteers who make up the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Touch Football Program team from The Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Newcastle.
  • Carolyn Farrow and the nine volunteers who make up the Upper Hunter Shire Murrurundi Visitor Information Centre Volunteers team from Murrurundi Visitor Information Centre in Murrurundi.
  • Chelsey Johns and the nine volunteers who make up the Newcastle Volunteers Operations Centre team from The Smith Family in New Lambton.
  • Debra Johnson and the thirty two volunteers who make up the Lions Club of Jesmond team.
  • Jackie Keane and the fourteen volunteers who make up the Tomaree Links to the Community team from Tomaree Links to the Community in Shoal Bay.
  • Kim Rossis and the three volunteers who make up The Wig Service at Calvary Mater Newcastle.
  • The six volunteers who make up the The Maitland Hospital Volunteers Emergency Support Team from Maitland Hospital in Maitland.