Local Volunteers Shine at the North Shore Award Ceremony
September 25, 2018
Feel the buzz at the NSW 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards in Wollongong
September 27, 2018

Three Cheers for South West Sydney volunteers!

Overall winner Brett McGrath with Gemma Rygate, CEO of The Centre for Volunteering

Volunteers from across the Macarthur region and Sydney’s South West were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW, at a special ceremony in Mount Pritchard.

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 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Macarthur region are:

Award Category Winner
Young Volunteer of the Year Alice (Ally) Steen, Liverpool Unit of the NSW SES

from Wattle Grove

Adult Volunteer of the Year Brett McGrath, Law Society of NSW (Macarthur)

from Camden Park

Senior Volunteer of the Year
Carola Griesser, Australian Botanic Gardens

from Rosemeadow

Volunteer Team of the Year Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living Volunteers, Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living

from Mount Annan

Overall Regional Winner Brett McGrath, Law Society of NSW (Macarthur)

from Camden Park

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 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards.”

Ally Steen was selected as the region’s NSW 2018 Young Volunteer of the Year for her six years of dedicated community service at the Liverpool Unit of the NSW SES. Ally is now the logistics officer and expert flood trainer at her SES unit. She has inspired others with the rescue of a 70 year-old man who was swept away in flood waters before Ally and her teammate found him clinging to a tree and pulled him to safety.

Macarthur Law Society President Brett McGrath was selected as the NSW 2018 Adult Volunteer of the Year and the overall NSW 2018 Volunteer of the Year for the Macarthur region. Brett has been a strong advocate for greater access to the justice system for the local community, including greater access to legal aid, community legal centres and a local court house.

He has given many hours of his time to assist victims of family violence in the legal system as well as driving the establishment of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the NSW Law Society.

Senior category winner Carola Griesser at work

Carola Griesser was selected as the NSW 2018 Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Macarthur region for her role with the Growing Friends program at the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. Carola has been volunteering at the gardens for the past 20 years, helping to propagate and care for Australian plants including rare and endangered species, as well as coordinating its volunteer teams three days a week.

The 45 volunteer team members from the Macarthur Centre for Sustainable Living was selected as NSW 2018 Volunteer Team of the Year for the region. The team members are aged between 18-85 years and give more than 3,000 hours of their time each month to help maintain the gardens and visitors’ centre at the five hectare site.

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.”

 

Further photos of the ceremony can be found 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:


Background

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.