Volunteers from across the NSW Central West were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering at a special ceremony in Bathurst. 

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering which has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country.

Regional finalists for the awards are announced at 21 ceremonies throughout NSW and are invited to the Gala State Ceremony in Sydney for the announcement of the 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year.

The 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Central West are:

Award CategoryAward Recipient
Young Volunteer of the YearSkye Veech, 3rd Bathurst Rover Crew, from Bathurst
Adult Volunteer of the YearJoanne Sinclair, Orange Waratahs Junior Football Club from Orange
Senior Volunteer of the YearJohn Clary, St John Ambulance, from Bathurst
Volunteer Team of the YearSt Vincent de Paul Society, St Mary’s Conference, from West Wyalong
Central West 2019 Volunteer of the Year Joanne Sinclair, Orange Waratahs Junior Football Club

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said volunteers from across the region had given so much to the local community.

“Your volunteers build connections for people in towns and communities across the region,” Ms Rygate said.

“They help to build such positive experiences and links to services across health, education, community and sporting sectors. Our ceremony today recognises their work and allows us to say thanks.”

(L to R) Two members from the St Mary’s Conference, West Wyalong (St Vincent de Paul Society) Volunteer Team, Young Volunteer winner Skye Veech from Bathurst who volunteers with 3rd Bathurst (All Saints Cathedral) Rover Crew, Joanne Sinclair from Orange who volunteers with the Orange Waratahs Junior Football Club and received the Senior and Overall winner awards and Senior Volunteer John Clary who volunteers with St John Ambulance Bathurst.

Skye Veech was awarded the Central West 2019 Young Volunteer of the Year for her work developing outdoor activities, first aid training and mental health support with the 3rd Bathurst Rover Crew, a part of the Scouting movement.

The Central West 2019 Volunteer of the Year. Joanne Sinclair. is the heart and soul of the Orange Waratahs Junior Football Club, the Waratah Sports Club and the Waratah Senior Football Club. She has been volunteering across the three clubs for the past 30 years, helping to organise registrations, playing fields, functions, equipment and awards.

Participation cross the three clubs has grown significantly as a result of Joanne’s volunteering, with more than 650 players from 75 teams, hitting the field each week.

Retired paramedic John Claryis the Central West 2019 Senior Volunteer of the Year for his work helping young people from the Blue Mountains to Broken Hill to participate in first aid, community programs and into employment. Over the years he has helped young people into work as army medics, nurses, paramedics, police officers, marines and community care workers.

John helped established the Bathurst Cadet program for the St John Ambulance service as well as bringing his first aid training skills into the School of the Air program.

The six team members from the St Vincent de Paul Society’s St Mary’s Conference were awarded the Central West 2019 Volunteer Team of the Year for their work providing emergency relief for people experiencing difficulties across the region. The team’s work has become even more valuable over the past 18 months as a result of the drought, with it providing care, support and $450,000 worth of financial assistance to 165 families across the Bland, Lachlan Shire and Weddin Council areas.

The 2019 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the Department of Family and Community Services NSW and ClubsNSW, representing the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said volunteers made an enormous contribution to local communities.

“A vibrant volunteering sector leads to healthy and strong communities,” Mr Ward said.

“In NSW, volunteers contribute more than $5 billion to the economy each year and their social contribution is even greater. The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are a fitting way to say thank you.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that volunteers were the backbone of licensed clubs across the state, so it was a natural fit for the industry to support such an important program.

“The calibre of our local volunteers never ceases to amaze me, and I’m proud to represent an industry in which around 32,000 volunteers help to make clubs such great places,” Mr Ball said.

“I congratulate all the volunteers who were recognised at today’s ceremony for their dedication and commitment.”