Nominations are open for the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards – one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country.

The awards are an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW.

Last year more than 120,000 volunteers from more than 450 community based organisations were recognised as part of the awards.

An additional six regions will be visited during this year’s regional awards program, providing even more opportunities to acknowledge the valuable contribution of our state’s two million volunteers. The ceremonies will either be a virtual or face to face celebration.

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate urged people from across NSW to nominate their neighbours, colleagues or family members for one of seven awards.

“It’s National Volunteer Week and so it’s the best time to say thank you to people who volunteer their time in communities right across NSW,” Ms Rygate said.

“The 2.4 million volunteers in NSW contribute billions of dollars to our economy each year. If volunteering was an industry, it would be one of the largest in the state.

“Volunteers give generously to their local communities and the Awards are an important way for every one of us to say thank you.”

The 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the last 12 months has highlighted the pivotal role volunteers play in supporting communities when they need it most.

“Volunteers stood face to face with the most ferocious fires in our state’s history, and are the beating heart of our country towns that continue to battle crippling drought,” Mr Ward.

“They have been critical to our COVID-19 response across the state, providing practical assistance that’s enabled so many charities to support the most vulnerable members of our community through the pandemic.

“There has never been a more fitting time to recognise the enormous sacrifice our volunteers make, and no better opportunity to say thank you.”

ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis said volunteers are the backbone of registered clubs throughout the state, helping to build more vibrant communities.

”There are tens of thousands of club volunteers who make NSW a better place to live,” Mr Landis said.

“Their efforts were particularly on show during the horror bushfire season and crippling drought, and again during the current COVID-19 pandemic, where they have selflessly assisted vulnerable members of the community.

“While social distancing restrictions may affect this year’s Awards ceremonies, there is no shortage of volunteers who deserve to have their contribution recognised. I encourage people to submit their nominations for this year’s Awards.”

Nominations are open until Friday 3 July 2020 at

Anthony O’Brien