Sydney City East 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards
October 8th, 2014
Karen is a trusted and professional mentor and ally, supporting survivors of child sexual assault through Bravehearts since 1997. Currently an advocate and case manager, Karen’s 24/7 support for survivors of sexual abuse is outstanding, and she has helped more than 50 survivors cope with the trauma and turn their lives around. No other non-government organisations offer support for historical cases of child sexual assault, so Karen developed policies, protocols and guidelines to ensure Bravehearts NSW was offering high level service while empowering survivors to have a voice and seek justice. Her support includes arranging financial matters, accommodation, legal representation, liaising to secure disability pensions, support at court hearings and arranging access to counselling to help survivors get their lives back on track. Karen has donated countless hours of her time to help people overcome some serious obstacles and become empowered, positive contributors to society.
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Chris founded Community Mates in 2012, to remove any barriers that could deter people interested in volunteering or supporting a non-profit organization. His mission is to join people, businesses and charities and to make volunteering easy. Community Mates provides Not-for-Profit organisations with volunteers or support on an ad-hoc or ongoing basis. These organisations range from medical research charities, to support for the underprivileged and environmental organisations. Chris is very involved in motivating and engaging Community Mates’ global leaders and local community partners. He is most respected among his peers for his mentoring and coaching ‘Chapter Presidents’ (region leaders) and supporting advisors of Community Mates.
Angelica is the director the Australian Thai Youth Ambassadors Program (ATYAP) which is sponsored by the Royal Thai Consulate General of Sydney and funded by the Australia- Thailand Institute (DFAT). It is a program she established since 2012, and she runs the entire program. This includes organising the website, finding volunteers, liaising with UTS to receive funding for participants and the execution of the four programs in Thailand. Angelica manages the finance, the sponsorship and the training sessions for program participants. Angelica has also actively brought a taste of Thailand to UTS through her cultural events including Songkran, Thai Food and Culture and Loy Kratong Festivals and often hold fundrasing events for the benefit of the community.
Please see Overall Winner for description
Fay has volunteered at Sydney Eye Hospital for 28 years, and has been the coordinator for Friends of Sydney Hospital (FOSH) for the last 14 years and Treasurer for the last 12 years. Fay has many responsibilities within her roles and has been a key to the fundraiser, allowing the hospital to buy new equipment and to undertake further research. Fay really cares about the experience people have at the hospital and inspires other members and hospital staff to care about the patients the way she does. She continues to achieve an outstanding level of work with FOSH despite some serious health issues for which she has been having on-going treatment. However, she has still managed to attend to the needs of FOSH and continue to carry out her role.
The Volunteer Specimen Mounting Program comprises a core group of 38 volunteers who attend weekly or fortnightly. Situated in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, the National Herbarium of NSW houses over 1.2 million pressed plant specimens, with the oldest dating back to collections made by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander in 1770, on Captain Cook’s Voyage of The Endeavour. Today, the collection continues to grow, with specimens added each year. The Specimen Mounting Program volunteers are integral to the on-going process of curating and conserving this collection.
This year, the volunteer Mounting Program celebrated its 25th Anniversary and a number of the original members still attend as volunteers today. The volunteers demonstrate a high level of care and skill when dealing with the specimens. The volunteers are also very patient. Their work can be slow and monotonous; occasionally they are required to mount numerous boxes of the same plant species. Not always pretty, the specimens can be prickly, crumbly, dirty or smelly. The volunteers approach their work with good humour and enthusiasm and are helping to preserve various plant specimens for future generations to enjoy.