Friday 8 December 2017

The 2017 Volunteer of the Year is Beverley Kerr who won for her extraordinary commitment to social justice through her work for the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Mrs Kerr holds critical leadership roles in the running of the organisation, such as President of Matthew Talbot Homeless support services. She also volunteers in her own community of Corrimal, where she works on a grassroots level with people suffering disadvantage. She often works seven days offering emergency assistance to the homeless, those affected by addiction, domestic violence or mental health issues.

“Mrs Kerr was chosen for her true spirit of volunteerism and her commitment to ending poverty and injustice. Her dedication to the St Vincent de Paul Society’s mission to transform lives and provide a ‘hand up’ offers a shining example of a selfless volunteer heart,” said Gemma Rygate, Chief Executive Officer of The Centre for Volunteering.

Award Category Winner
Volunteer of the Year Beverley Kerr
Young Volunteer of the Year Tia Brennen
Adult Volunteer of the Year Judith Barry
Senior Volunteer of the Year Beverley Kerr
Volunteer Team of the Year Armidale Learner Driver Mentor Team
Corporate Volunteer of the Year Robyn De Szoeke
Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year NRMA Outback Links
Excellence in Volunteer Management Mary Leehane

Ms Rygate congratulated all the winners.

“The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the nation working hard at a grassroots level to deliver resilient and compassionate communities. They are an opportunity to acknowledge the huge contribution made by volunteers, estimated at $290 billion Australia-wide. These volunteers all work hard to make a huge difference in the lives of people in their communities,” Ms Rygate said.

The Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services, the Hon. Ray Williams said the awards recognise the essential work of volunteers across the State. “These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the great achievements of volunteers across New South Wales. Our volunteers deserve the respect and recognition of our community each and every day,” Mr Williams said.

“The NSW Government is proud to support these important awards which raise awareness of the extraordinary contribution volunteers make to our State and society”.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club industry was pleased to be principal partner of the 11th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. “On behalf of 1200 member clubs, ClubsNSW recognises and acknowledges the valuable efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW. Clubs across NSW generate over 40,000 volunteers in the club industry who dedicate more than a million hours of their time per year- we are incredibly grateful for their enormous contribution in building and strengthening our local communities”.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are generously supported by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services our principal Government Partner, ClubsNSW our principal Corporate Partner and other supporters including BUPA Aged Care, Etchcraft and Thrifty Car and Truck Rental, Norths, Nova Employment, Campbelltown Catholic Club, Club York, Dee Why RSL Club, Asahi Premium Beverages, Bunnings Warehouse, Lindt, Gary Rothwell, Sydney Wedding Flowers, Megadeck Staging Systems, Oatley Wines, Seiko, Diamonds by Design, Peter Cousens, Lexie Duncan and Alix Hill.

Media inquiries: Jilea Morrad 0478 224 020

Photos can be found here (photo credit: Susan White | Professional Photographer | ) 

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW. Twenty award ceremonies were held across NSW where nominees were recognised with certificates and winners announced. Regional and corporate winners went into the running for the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards which were announced at a gala event on Friday 8 December 2017 at Norths in Cammeray, Sydney. For more information about the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards go