Outstanding volunteers from across the Mid North Coast honoured at NSW Volunteer of the Year Award ceremony

Volunteers from across the Mid North Coast were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Port Macquarie.

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 Mid North Coast region are:

Award Category Winner
Adult Volunteer of the Year Tracey Parker, Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation

from North Boambee Valley

Senior Volunteer of the Year Julie Brady, Great Lakes Women’s Shelter

from Coomba Park

Volunteer Team of the Year
Great Lakes Relay for Life Committee, Cancer Council NSW

from Forster

Overall Regional Winner Julie Brady, Great Lakes Women’s Shelter

from Coomba Park

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

“Volunteers from across the area give their time helping in schools, hospitals, for sporting clubs, 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 November at the State Final of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.”

The nine volunteer team members of the Cancer Council Great Lakes Relay for Life Committee were selected as the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year for the region. The team braved floods and storms to get their highly successful Relay for Life event off the ground this year, attracting 500 visitors to help celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers and raise money for ongoing cancer research, education and information.

The team has helped raise almost $500,000 since its inception.

As a volunteer with the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation Tracey Parker spends many weekends away meeting, supervising and supporting kids from families affected by mental illness. The former police officer was selected as the Adult Volunteer of the Year for the region.

Julie Brady was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Great Lakes Women’s Shelter and is this year’s Senior Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Mid-North Coast region.  Over the past 12 months, the shelter has helped more than 90 women and children with crisis accommodation and other support services, before transitioning to private accommodation.

She also volunteers at a number of other community based organisations including the Foster Neighbourhood Centre, the RFS and is a volunteer tutor and after school carer.

The 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are 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 the event photos 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.