Overall Winner – 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award for the Inner West

Rose Cox of Strathfield who volunteers with The Exodus Foundation.

Rose Cox (left) and family
Rose Cox (left) and family

Rose is just 14 years old and has been volunteering 4 hours every Saturday with The Exodus Foundation, an organisation that supports the independence of vulnerable individuals and families in crisis through high impact social, health, welfare and educational programs. Over the last 6 months, Rose has helped to prepare and serve breakfast to members of the Sydney homeless community at The Loaves and Fishes Restaurant. Her volunteer effort helps The Exodus Foundation to provide access to free meals and socialisation opportunities to the homeless community.

What makes Rose’s volunteering work so special is due to her life circumstances. In 2008, Rose’s mother was hospitalised for a year with a rare condition called Transversemyelitis. At this time, Rose’s father developed a drug and alcohol dependency and Rose (then aged 8) was forced to look after her hospitalised mother, her father, and her 3 year old younger sister. Since this time, Rose has continued to care for her mother and younger sister whilst completing high school. Rose volunteers in the Exodus Loaves and Fishes Restaurant because her father accesses services similar to those provided by the Exodus Foundation, and she wants to help people who are in a similar life circumstance as her father. Rose also volunteers with the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, an organisation that helps support children with parents who have drug and alcohol dependency. After supporting her father, Rose has become the first ever youth ambassador for the Kookaburra Kids Foundation, and volunteers to help other children in her situation.


2014 Youth Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Rose Cox of Strathfield who volunteers with the Exodus Foundation.

Please see Overall Winner for description


2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

Winner: David Bennett of Mosman, who volunteers with Sydney Bus Museum in Leichhardt.

David is the voluntary General Manager of the Sydney Bus Museum, an organisation that preserves part of Sydney’s public transport history by restoring former NSW Government buses and operates them on a limited basis for major community events.

David is a father who manages to balance his family responsibilities with his volunteer responsibilities; ensuring that the Museum is properly managed and that all the volunteers are coordinated and engaged. David took on the role initially as Acting General Manager when the organisation had not secured any funding for its remaining building works to ensure the Museum could be re-opened to the public. After persisting with several government organisations, David managed to secure $200,000 in financial assistance to complete all remaining building works for the Museum. David has conquered many up-hill battles resulting in improving the overall volunteer environment within the museum by introducing a code of conduct to ensure all volunteers are treated equally and with respect.


2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Gilbert Brogden of Narrabeen who volunteers with MS Australia in Lidcombe.

Gemma Rygate (left) & Gilber Brogden (right)
Gemma Rygate (left) & Gilber Brogden (right)

Gilbert is 82 years young and has been volunteering for 32 years! The number of events he has volunteered at over the 32 years is too many to list. Just this year alone, Gilbert has already volunteered at 75 event days across Sydney including The Royal Easter Show, Rotary International meeting, VIVID, Wheelchair Tennis Tournament and Red Nose Day just to name a few!

Gilbert’s commitment and energy to volunteering is evident that since his retirement about 15 years ago he has made volunteering his second career. Gilbert has never had a drivers licence and he travels to all his volunteering jobs by public transport. He often gets up at 4.00am to take multiple buses and trains to various venues across Sydney including Sydney Olympic Park, Eastern Creek and Wollongong.


2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

Winner: Women In Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN) (team leader Tara Williams)

WIPAN mentors offer a specialised service to the women that WIPAN works with. The mentors work with some of our community’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable women at a time of significant transition from custody and into the community.

The mentors meet regularly with their mentee from a hour to a full day, weekly or fortnightly and is changeable dependent on the developing support needs of the mentee which can include extra assistance through attendance at court, parole appointments, meetings with other services in the community such as Centrelink, housing, drug and alcohol, health or children’s welfare.

WIPAN mentors are truly dedicated to this client group and are always willing to assist with other matters including; court support, fundraising, training of new mentors, media articles and reporting. WIPAN mentors all have individual skills that they are able to utilise to further increase the support available to mentees and WIPAN services.


Honour Roll of Nominees

2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

  • Simone Ancilleri of Marrickville who volunteers with Inner West Neighbour Aid.
  • Marion Baird of Croydon who volunteers with NSW State Emergency Service.
  • Emil Bolis of Greenacre who volunteers with Asylum Seekers Centre.
  • Danny Brombal of Rhodes who volunteers with Cancer Council NSW.
  • Elizabeth Conroy of Paddington who volunteers with Asylum Seekers Centre.
  • Bradley Dousha of Concord who volunteers with NSW State Emergency Service.
  • Jane Hadwen of Forest Lodge who volunteers with RSPCA NSW.
  • Beck Hall of Erskineville who volunteers with RSPCA NSW.
  • Michelle Hauschild of Five Dock who volunteers with Drummoyne Power Junior Australian Football Club Inc.
  • Michelle Ho of Sydney who volunteers with RSPCA NSW.
  • Mr Joel of Ashfield who volunteers with Youth off the Streets.
  • Ben Kwok of Glebe who volunteers with RSPCA NSW.
  • Janette Lum of Strathfield who volunteers with Red Cross Young Parents Program.
  • Zipi Neustadt of Bellevue Hill who volunteers with Asylum Seekers Centre.
  • Robert Randall of Lakemba who volunteers with Canterbury City Community Centre.
  • Roger Reidy of Russell Lea who volunteers with Primary Ethics Ltd.
  • Saiful Islam Sharif of Wiley Park who volunteers with Canterbury City Community Centre.
  • John Sims of Abbotsford who volunteers with Sir Roden & Lady Cutler Foundation.
  • Lisa Smajlov of Lilyfield who volunteers with Cancer Council NSW.
  • Susan Trevallion of Bonnet Bay who volunteers with Asylum Seekers Centre.
  • Jennie Webster of North Strathfield who volunteers with Liverpool City Netball Association Inc and Netball NSW Ltd.

2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

  • Maureen Casey of Breakfast Point who volunteers with Bethlehem College Ashfield.
  • Louise Jansen of Concord who volunteers with The Benevolent Society.
  • Lorraine MacLarty of Terrigal who volunteers with Family Resource and Network Support (FRANS) Inc.
  • Freda Sutton of Concord who volunteers with Concord RSL Women’s Auxiliary.
  • Rhonda Walker of Abbotsford who volunteers with The Benevolent Society.

2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

  • Anne Badjakian and the twenty volunteers who make up the 4cs Centre Based Day Care Volunteers team.
  • Julia Checchia and the eight volunteers who make up the Project Management Institute, Sydney Chapter team.
  • Cyrcil O’Connor and the 370 volunteers who make up the SPARK team.
  • Juanita Macleod and the twenty three volunteers who make up the National Deafblind Conference team.