Volunteers from Glenbrook, Abbotsbury, Bidwill, Kurrajong and Blacktown were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Penrith today.
The top award went to Lisa Mamo of Glenbrook who received both the overall 2016 Sydney Outer West/Blue Mountains Volunteer of the Year Award and the Adult of the Year Award for her work with The Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
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 acknowledging more than 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.
Lisa Mamo, a speech pathologist, volunteers her diverse communication skills, including sign language and speech boards, to facilitate the monthly meetings of staff and residents in the Markey Street apartments.
“Before Lisa residents often found the meetings frustrating because they could not make themselves understood,” Ms Rygate said.
“Lisa has empowered the residents so they can voice their concerns – something most of us take for granted. Lisa’s professional communication skills as well as her patience and individual attention to differing needs amongst the residents have directly led to a happier living environment for both residents and staff in this special unit.”
Volunteer of the Year
Cerebral Palsy Alliance
|Student Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
Inspire Church Liverpool
|Adult Volunteer of the Year
(25 – 64 years)
Cerebral Palsy Alliance
|Senior Volunteer of the Year
|Harold BeckerBlacktown Workers Club Group|
|Volunteer Team of the Year||Bidwill Community Garden and Nursery Volunteer Team|
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.
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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.