Volunteers from across the Riverina region were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Wagga Wagga.
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 Riverina region are:
|Young Volunteer of the Year||Bernard Higgins, Community Visitor Scheme-Riverina Community College
from Wagga Wagga
|Adult Volunteer of the Year||Kay Locke, Murray Art Museum Albury
|Senior Volunteer of the Year||Doreen O’Connor, Riding for the Disabled Cootamundra Centre
|Volunteer Team of the Year
||Albury Transport to Treatment Drivers, Cancer Council NSW
from Wagga Wagga
|Overall Regional Winner||Doreen O’Connor, Riding for the Disabled Cootamundra Centre
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 NSW Adult Volunteer of the Year for the Riverina region, Kay Locke, has been volunteering at the Murray Art Museum Albury since its volunteering program began. She has been a constant supporter of the Messy Mornings children’s program, its Nguram-gang indigenous children’s program and the visitor experience program.
The NSW Young Volunteer of the Year Bernard Higgins supports residents in care who don’t always have someone to regularly visit them, as part of the Community Visitors Scheme run by the Riverina Community College.
Doreen O’Connor was selected as the NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the region for her 27 years of service, teaching children and adults with disabilities the therapeutic benefits of horse riding at Riding for the Disabled at Cootamundra. She was an expert teacher and carriage driver who is now focusing her volunteering efforts as treasurer of the branch.
The Albury Transport to Treatment Drivers was selected as the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year for the Riverina region. The team has created an amazing support network that allows its drivers to provide the highest possible service to patients with cancer who need help attending treatment. The 24 volunteer drivers have helped more than 600 patients attend 1,200 appointments, travelling more than 60,000 kilometres.
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.”
Photos from the event can be viewed 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.