Volunteers from Riverview, Turramurra, Lindfield, Newport, North Sydney and Pymble were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Northbridge today.

The top award went to Kate Kesby of Riverview who received both the overall 2016 Sydney North Volunteer of the Year Award and the Adult of the Year Award for her work with Raise Foundation.

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.

Kate is recognised for her tremendous commitment to the young women she has mentored through the Raise Foundation’s Bump program that matches vulnerable young mums with experienced mothers,” Ms Rygate said.

“Kate has helped guide the young women under her care to make better choices that have directly contributed to them having happier and more secure lives. She has mentored them into – and helped them stick with – further education, got them prepared for job interviews, even arranged work experience for them in areas they could only previously dream of.”

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

Award Category Winner
Overall Winner

Volunteer of the Year

Kate Kesby

Raise Foundation

Student Volunteer of the Year Ming-Yee Sun

Share the Dignity

Youth Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
Ben Matthews

Newport Surf Life Saving Club

Adult Volunteer of the Year

(25 – 64 years)

Kate Kesby

Raise Foundation

Senior Volunteer of the Year

(65+ years)

Dr Leng Tan

Chinese Australian Services Society

Volunteer Team of the Year Dial-A-Mum

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 for the regional awards


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.