Twenty-one year old Aimee Caulfield from Tamworth has been named the 2018 NSW Young Volunteer of the Year for her work supporting young people throughout the New England region.
The announcement was made in front of more than 300 community, business and political leaders and marks the end of a state-wide six month search spanning 112,000 individual nominations across 20 separate regional and suburban award ceremonies.
The Awards are an annual event run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW.
Aimee trained as a youth leader for Youth Insearch before being selected as a chair for the organisation’s State Council and a member of the National Council.
Youth Insearch runs one of the country’s most successful youth intervention programs, with a focus on young people helping and mentoring other young people. Aimee herself turned to the organisation when she was younger to help overcome her own personal issues. Aimee is also studying community service and works at the Tamworth Youth Centre – The Youthie.
The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said that for someone so young, Aimee had a remarkable presence.
“Aimee conveys strength, determination and a singular focus to help other young people overcome adversity and to understand their own potential,” Ms Rygate said.
“She’s often on the phone in the middle of the night or weekends providing guidance or advice – or just to listen.
“We are very proud to name Aimee the 2018 NSW Young Volunteer of the Year.
“We hold these awards to highlight the contribution of all our volunteers. It gives us the opportunity to hear their stories, be inspired by their actions and pass on our thanks.”
The Awards are in their 12th year and have grown to become one of the biggest events recognising volunteering across the country.
The 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Family and Community Services and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs. They are also supported by Mint Awards and Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals.
NSW Minister responsible for Volunteering, the Hon. Ray Williams MP, said the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are an important way to recognise the contribution of the 2.1 million volunteers working throughout NSW.
“It was an honour to meet and talk with so many esteemed volunteers today who work so hard for their local communities,” Mr Williams said.
“I congratulate all our award finalists and those volunteers selected to receive the Volunteer of the Year Awards.
“You all make a special contribution to your local communities, right across NSW. We can all learn from hearing your stories and celebrating your efforts.”
ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that volunteers were the backbone of registered clubs across NSW.
“On behalf of an industry which relies upon 32,000 volunteers, I congratulate all of these deserving winners,” said Mr Ball.
“These awards recognise the huge contribution that volunteers make in their local communities, and ClubsNSW is proud to be a principal partner.
“Clubs across NSW rely on volunteers to help make their venues a great place to socialise, which in turn adds billions of dollars to the NSW economy every year.”