Overall Winner – 2014 Volunteer of the Year  Riverina region

Betti Punnett of Cootamundra Cootamundra Heritage Centre.

Betti Punnett (left) & State MP for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire (right)
Betti Punnett (left) & State MP for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire (right)

Betti is the Secretary and Treasurer of the Cootamundra Heritage Centre where she has been dedicated volunteer for 20 years. She oversees the full operations of the Centre which includes volunteer rosters, cataloguing items, reconciliation and banking donations, repairs and managing the general working of the centre.

Betti is an invaluable asset to the township of Cootamundra. She volunteers at other organisations when not at the Heritage Centre, including the Bradman Birthplace Museum, Cootamundra Historical Society. Muttama Creek regeneration group and is also the president of the local committee of U3A. She was also an integral part of the Centenary Celebrations of the Cootamundra Aboriginal Girls Home in 2012. This event received a NSW Government Heritage Award which Betti received on behalf of the committee.

Betti has also had a pivotal role of the production of a book detailing the evidence of all Cootamundra Cemetery plaques, including researching unmarked graves. Her extensive local knowledge is an invaluable asset to linking people with their family history.


2014 Youth Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Sara Kroiter of Bourkelands Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW).

Sara Kroiter (left) & Gemma Rygate (right)
Sara Kroiter (left) & Gemma Rygate (right)

Sara has been volunteering with the Wagga branch of RDA (NSW) for four years, since she was 14 years old. She is part of the Wagga RDA (NSW) Youth Group which is responsible for catching, grooming, saddling, leading and riding the horses. They also support the riders and their families in establishing a relationship with the horse, building their confidence around the horses and helping to build their social skills. Sara has also mentored new youth group members as they learn the ropes, supporting them to feel welcome and included as a valued member of the youth group. Sara is a great example to the youth at Wagga, encouraging them to also volunteer at the Wagga Centre.


2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Terence Langtry of Marrar Advance Marrar Committee (previously known as the Marrar Progress Association).

Terence Langtry (left) & Mayor Junee Shire Council, Clr Lola Cummins (left)
Terence Langtry (left) & Mayor Junee Shire Council, Clr Lola Cummins (left)

Terence was nominated for the award for his leadership role as Chairman of the Advance Marrar Committee, which looks after the major assets within Marrar but he wears many hats in the community. Marrar has benefited from significant improvements thanks to Terry’s commitment to many organisations, including Marrar Football & Netball club, Marrar Hall Committee, Marrar P&C Association and Marrar Tennis Club. In particular, Terry was instrumental in establishing the Marrar Progress Park, which was designed as a rest-stop fr travellers. He was also a key part of building the community football club and improving and maintaining the football grounds. Terry is described as a ‘significant cog in the Marrar community, making the town a better place to live through his incredible efforts’.


2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Betti Punnett of Cootamundra Cootamundra Heritage Centre

Please see Overall Winner for description.


2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

Winner: Young Adult Volunteers team, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW (Wagga) Team leader – Angela Larkin

This team of 17 volunteers aged 16-23 successfully organised and ran the 2014 summer holidays kids camp for the St Vincent de Paul Society. The camps are a free care and respite program for disadvantaged children aged 5 -12, and are designed to give these children a holiday opportunity they would not usually have.

The volunteers each dedicated about 50 – 80 hours to organise the camp. This included developing the camp program and run sheet, making bookings, completing risk assessments, training all youth leaders and ensuring completion of Working With Children Checks, budget management, sourcing equipment and contacting parents/guardians to help ensure the smooth running of the camp. Without the team’s generosity and energy, the kid’s camp would not have gone ahead this year. This team is a great example of young people uniting to improve the outcomes of other youth in need.


Honour Roll of Nominees

2014 Adult Volunteer of the Year

  • David Drew of Currawang who volunteers with RSPCA.
  • Phillip Smith of Albury who volunteers with Scouts NSW /Riverina Region.
  • Leanne Thomson of Albury who volunteers with Albury Wodonga Discover Sailing Centre.

2014 Senior Volunteer of the Year

  • Fiona Little of The Rock who volunteers with Riding for the Disabled Association (NSW).
  • Jim Payne of The Rock who volunteers with The Rock Show Society.
  • Peter Warran of Ganmain who volunteers with Advance Ganmain Committee.

2014 Volunteer Team of the Year

  • Cootamundra Community Soup Kitchen Team, Renae Worboys, Anne McNally, Samantha McNally & Di Williams.
  • Border Music Camp Inc. Volunteer team, Peter Cerexhe.