Special ceremony recognises New England’s dedicated volunteers 

Volunteers from across the New England region were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW at a special ceremony in Armidale.

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 New England region are:

Award Category Winner
Young Volunteer of the Year Aimee Caulfield, Youth Insearch

from Westdale

Adult Volunteer of the Year Buddy Knox, Tamworth Regional Youth Centre

from Tamworth

Senior Volunteer of the Year
Ian Austin, Tamworth Regional Film and Sound Archive

from Tamworth

Volunteer Team of the Year The Armidale EALD Homework Centre Volunteers,

from Armidale

Overall Regional Winner Aimee Caulfield, Youth Insearch

from Westdale

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.

New England Senior Volunteer of Year Ian Austin with the Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson

The Senior Volunteer of the Year is Ian Austin, who has been guiding a team of eight volunteers at the Tamworth Regional and Sound Archive for the past 10 years. He is instrumental in the management and protection of more than 20,000 valuable historical items for the region.

Nationally renowned R&B musician Buddy Knox was the selected as the Adult Volunteer of the Year for his work at the Youthie and local PCYC, providing confidence building skills to young people via his music and performance classes.

The Armidale EALD Homework Centre was awarded the Team Volunteer of the Year for its work two days a week, helping students from non-English speaking backgrounds, many newly settled refugees, with their education and homework.

The region’s Young Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the New England Region is 21 year-old Aimee Caulfield from Youth Insearch. Aimee is truly an exceptional volunteer who provides countless hours each week and weekends to support and mentor young people who have experienced trauma or abuse. She trained as a youth leader for Insearch before being selected as a chair for the organisation’s State Council and a member of the National Council.

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.