10th Annual NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Volunteers from Asquith, Glenhaven, Hornsby Heights, Carlingford, Rouse Hill and The Ponds were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Castle Hill today.

The top award went to Geoffrey Milton of Glenhaven who received both the overall 2016 Sydney Hornsby North West Volunteer of the Year Award and the Senior Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with TAD Disability Services.

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 covering 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.

Ms Rygate said Mr Milton (the designer of the iconic milk crate) used his skills as a design engineer to pioneer innovative practical solutions to help people living with a disability to enjoy more comfortable and enjoyable lives.

“Geoff meets with the individual and often with their therapists and other specialists to design a bespoke product that helps them achieve a personal goal,” Ms Rygate said.

“Geoff has updated his own skills in the cutting edge field of 3D printing and recently used this knowledge to prototype a custom toggle for a wheelchair control.”

The Winners of the 2016 Sydney Hornsby / North West NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are:

Award Category Winner
Overall Winner

Volunteer of the Year

Geoffrey Milton

TAD Disability Services

Student Volunteer of the Year Laura Cook

St John Ambulance Australia

Youth Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
Eleanor Conway


Adult Volunteer of the Year

(25 – 64 years)

Ian Westmoreland

Raise Foundation

Senior Volunteer of the Year

(65+ years)

Geoffrey Milton

TAD Disability Services

Volunteer Team of the Year Bring a Mate Peloton Volunteer Leaders, Men In Action Inc

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.

For images from the ceremony visit our photo gallery.


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.