Volunteers from Braidwood, Bowral, Canberra, Cooma, Batemans Bay and Queanbeyan were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in South Coast/Southern Inland today.

The top award went to Anne Robinson of Majors Creek who received both the overall 2016 South Coast/Southern Inland Volunteer of the Year Award and the Adult Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with Amnesty International.

Chief Executive Officer of The Centre for Volunteering, Gemma Rygate, said volunteers improve people’s lives by helping out, keeping people connected and creating a sense of belonging in communities.

“This year The Centre for Volunteering received a record number of nominations: More than 7,500 nominations acknowledging more than 100,000 volunteers – a record number since the awards began 10 years ago,” Ms Rygate said.

“Volunteering is in the DNA of Australians: In NSW more than 2.3 million people volunteer – if volunteering were an industry it would employ more people than any other sector including mining and tourism,” Ms Rygate said.

Anne has taken her commitment to the principles of Amnesty International from Sydney to Newcastle and now works with Amnesty in her latest home near Braidwood, Ms Rygate said.

“Anne is both practical and creative in helping devise and implement programs that fulfil Amnesty’s goals”, Ms Rygate said.

“Anne embraced Amnesty’s ‘Birthing Kit’ project, raising funds and organising teams to post more than 1,000 baby packages for new mothers in developing countries.

“Ann inspires others to get involved. She created ‘Divercity’ Day in Newcastle to celebrate the city’s diverse population – a positive action to bring communities together in the face of negative elements seeking to move in another direction.”

The Winners of the 2016 South Coast/Southern Inland NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are:

Award Category Winner
Overall Winner

Volunteer of the Year

Anne Robinson, Amnesty International
Adult Volunteer of the Year

(25 – 64 years)

Anne Robinson, Amnesty International
Volunteer Team of the Year Miracle Assistance Dogs

The Minister responsible for volunteering, John Ajaka, said the awards are an important way of recognising the vibrant contribution individual volunteers make towards strengthening communities across NSW.

“Our incredible volunteers make NSW the beautiful and rewarding place it is to live and work,” Mr Ajaka said.

“Central to volunteer satisfaction is meaningful recognition of the vital and diverse contribution of volunteers.”

Twenty regional Volunteer of the Year Award ceremonies are being held around the state.

All regional winners will be in the running for the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, which are announced at a gala event in Sydney on Friday December 2, in the lead up to International Volunteer Day.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are generously supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and ClubsNSW, the industry body which represents the states 1400 not-for-profit clubs, as well as Bupa Aged Care.


BACKGROUND

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 are held across NSW from August to October where nominees are recognised with certificates and winners announced.

Regional winners will be entered into the overall State 2016 Volunteer of the Year.