‘Our state’s top volunteer award winners from the past decade were honoured at a special event at NSW Government House on Monday 21 May, in what was hailed as our very own Volunteering Hall of Fame.

About 40 of the past NSW Volunteer of the Year Award winners attended the event hosted by His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South and Mrs Linda Hurley to mark the start of National Volunteer Week. The Governor is also Patron of The Centre for Volunteering.

Between the past NSW Volunteer of the Year Award winners they have racked up:

  • More than one million hours of tireless unpaid work for local communities
  • Contributed more than $50 million to charities or community causes; and
  • Supported and cared for more than 20,000 people in need of help across the state

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said the past award winners had come from all walks of life and spanned the generations, but they had a common conviction to give their time to help others.

About 2.4 million people tirelessly give their time to volunteer across NSW each year, Ms Rygate said.

“This cohort of volunteers have taken this dedication to helping others to amazing heights. They have given so much across healthcare, employment, disability services, victim support, homelessness and youth services.”

“They are the closest thing we have to our own Volunteering Hall of Fame.”

Each year The Centre for Volunteering calls for nominations from across NSW for the Volunteer of the Year Awards, culminating in special recognition for our volunteer heroes in 21 regional ceremonies and a final state ceremony where our Volunteer of the Year Awards are announced.

Last year almost 110,000 people were nominated for the Awards, with 95 regional and state award winners announced including our 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year.

The Awards have been held for the past 11 years. The past award recipients attending this special event at Government House ranged from 11 to 98 years of age and came from all corners of the state including Grafton, Armidale, Broken Hill, Corrimal, Newcastle and all parts of Sydney.

Nominations for the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards are now open via www.volunteering.com.au

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 1400 not-for-profit clubs. They are also supported by BUPA Aged Care, Etchcraft and Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals.

NSW Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services Ray Williams said the special event at NSW Government House was a fitting way to begin the celebrations for National Volunteer Week.

“Our volunteers contribute billions of dollars to the NSW economy every year,” Mr Williams said.

“That’s an enormous contribution on top of all the support, care and tireless effort that they provide to their local communities. We are very proud of their selfless commitment across NSW.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said his organisation was extremely proud to have supported the Volunteer of the Year Awards and all the award nominees over the past decade.

“These awards are such a great opportunity to say thank you to all our volunteers for giving so many hours of their time to help others across all corners of our state, Mr Ball said.

We look forward to supporting the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards and again help highlight the amazing efforts of volunteering throughout NSW.”

Download a copy of the media release here

Thank you to Natalie Boog for recording this special occasion in the following images. Natalie’s work and contact details can be found at natalieboog.com.

Photo gallery from the NSW Volunteer of the Year Alumni Event, Government House.