Tuesday August 22

Volunteers from the Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains region were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Penrith today.

The top award went to Susan Robertson of Colyton, who received both the overall and the Adult 2017 Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains region Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with St John Ambulance (NSW).

“In her role as a volunteer Chaplain for St John Ambulance, Susan is truly caring for the carers and has initiated important peer support programs, retreats and workshops which nourish the service that organisation is able to provide,” said Gemma Rygate, the CEO of the Centre for Volunteering.

Susan has been active in St John Ambulance since her youth in Malta and these days mentors St John cadets. She has also provided counselling for staff and attendees at the Royal Easter Show.

“The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the nation working hard at a grassroots level to deliver resilient and compassionate communities,” said Gemma Rygate, the CEO of The Centre for Volunteering. “This year there has been a record number of nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Awards, with almost 110,000 volunteers recognised across all categories,” Ms Rygate said.

“Volunteering is a mutual gift, delivering rewards to both the giver and the receiver. Volunteering contributes $290 billion to Australia’s economic and social good,” Ms Rygate said.

Award CategoryWinner
Overall Winner
Volunteer of the Year
Susan Robertson
Youth Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
Michael Tran
Adult Volunteer of the Year
(25 – 64 years)
Susan Robertson
Senior Volunteer of the Year
(65+ years)
Helen Williams
Volunteer Team of the YearCancer Council Information Service – Nepean Hospital

The Minister responsible for volunteering, Ray Williams, said the awards are an important opportunity to celebrate the contribution of local volunteers.

“The efforts of volunteers here today have, no doubt, greatly improved the lives of Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains region’s residents. The NSW Government acknowledges and thanks all volunteers for their valuable contributions and commitment to creating inclusive communities.”

“People who volunteer are often happier, healthier and more connected to their communities,” Mr Williams said.

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club industry was pleased to be Principal Corporate Partner of the 11th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. On behalf of 1300 member clubs, ClubsNSW recognises and acknowledges the valuable efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW.

“Clubs across NSW generate over 40,000 volunteers in the club industry who dedicate more than a million hours of their time per year- we are incredibly grateful for their enormous contribution in building and strengthening our local communities.”

Twenty regional Volunteer of the Year Award ceremonies are held around NSW.

All regional winners are in the running for the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, which will be announced at a gala event in Sydney in December.

The Volunteer of the Year Awards are generously supported by principal partners, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and ClubsNSW. Other sponsors are Bupa Aged Care and Thrifty Car Rentals.

Susan Robertson 2017 Volunteer of the Year , Dr Hugh McDermott MP

Michael Tran (Young Volunteer of the Year) , Deputy LMayor Tony Bleasdale

Helen Williams (Senior Volunteer of the Year), The Hon.Tanya Davies, MP, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Women and Minister for Ageing, Baby Harry

Cancer Council Information Service, Nepean Hospital with Edmund Atalla MP

Winners of the award together with Gemma Rygate, the CEO of The Centre for Volunteering

More event photos can be found at here.