Volunteers from Lugarno, Carlton, Campsie, South Hurstville, Gymea Bay and Penshurst were recognised for their outstanding contribution at the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards in Gymea today.

The top award went to Lucas Di Cicco who received both the overall 2016 Sydney South Volunteer of the Year Award and the Student Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with the Matthew Talbot Hostel in Woolloomooloo.

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 recognising 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 canadian online casinos mining and tourism,? Ms Rygate said.

Lucas contributed more volunteer hours at the Matthew Talbot Hostel than any of his peers, despite a heavy school work load in his final two years of high school ?with additional responsibilities as Vice-Captain of his school, St Mary?s Cathedral College, Ms Rygate said.

?Lucas grew in confidence and compassion during his volunteering at Matthew Talbot ?and his visits were keenly anticipated by the residents and staff alike bringing as he does youthful energy and enthusiasm into the hostel,? Ms Rygate said.

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

?Award Category Winner
Overall Winner

Volunteer of the Year

Lucas Di Cicco, Matthew Talbot Hostel


Student Volunteer of the Year Lucas Di Cicco, Matthew Talbot Hostel


Youth Volunteer of the Year
(up to 24 years)
?Maxima Ayoub, Wesley Counselling Services
Adult Volunteer of the Year

(25 ? 64 years)

Kulendran Anaimugan, The Exodus Foundation
Senior Volunteer of the Year

(65+ years)

Fat Leong, Chinese Australian Services Society
Volunteer Team of the Year Early Years Support Service 3Bridges Community

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.



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

For more information about more about the 2016 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards?visit our website