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Bathurst recognises local volunteers in Central West Award ceremony

30 September 2011 | The Centre for Volunteering

Ian Bennett, 2011 Central West Volunteer of the YearVolunteers from the Central West region gathered today for the announcement of the 2011 Central West Volunteer of the Year Award co-hosted by The Centre for Volunteering and Volunteering Bathurst.

Lithgow's Ian Bennett (right) was named 2011 Central West Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community during a ceremony held at Bathurst on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 – this is the second time Ian has been the Central West Volunteer of the Year, first receiving the award in 2009. Ian is the first person in the Award program's history to win the award a second time!

The annual NSW Volunteer of the Year Award program recognises the efforts and achievements of the State's millions of volunteers.

Ian was recognised for his fabulous volunteering with the Lithgow & District Volunteer Rescue Squad, where he has been a dedicated and conscientious team member for over 30 years.

Ian became a foundation member of the Lithgow & District Volunteer Rescue Squad at just 17 years of age and has been an active rescue operator since that time. He has proficiently carried out the duties of Captain of the squad for the past 11 years. This position carries with it many hours of rescue work, training, administration, liaising with police, other emergency service units and attending local Emergency Management meetings. In just one year Ian has completed a massive 1133 hours of recorded duty which has completed on top of full-time employment as a postman.

Ian is now in the running to win the prestigious 2011 NSW Volunteer of the Year award, with the winner to be announced by the Hon. Victor Dominello, Citizenship and Communities Minister, at the State Award ceremony on Monday, 5 December 2011 at Parliament House Sydney.

William Sell, 2011 Central West Senior Volunteer of the YearEvent co-host, Volunteering Bathurst's Lisa Pierce, said that the event was very rewarding. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of local communities and are not recognised as often as they should be for their valuable, selfless commitment,” she said.

Ian will receive a $300 donation for the Lithgow & District Volunteer Rescue Squad to help it continue the outstanding work that it currently performs.

The Centre for Volunteering's NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, Kristin Romanis, said the quality of nominations received for the Central West region was outstanding.

“The Central West Region's nominees were of an exceptional standard but the judges felt that Ian's tireless dedication to volunteering with the Lithgow & District Volunteer Rescue Squad was a standout,” Kristin said.

Other Award winners announced at the ceremony included William Sell (left) (2011 Central West Senior Volunteer of the Year) and the Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre Volunteer Team (2011 Central West Volunteer Team of the Year): both will receive a $200 donation towards their organisation.

William Sell was named the 2011 Central West Senior Volunteer of the Year for serving as a voluntary member of the Henbury Golf Club's Board of Directors for over 10 years, volunteering over 700 hours per year. He oversees the day-to-day accounts, monitoring club expenditure, maintaining tem deposit investments and preparing the annual accounts. Living at Sofala, William travels 780 kilometre round trip to the Henbury Golf Club to volunteer two days each week – totalling 3,600 kilometres per year!

Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre Volunteer Team - 2011 Central West Volunteer Team of the YearThe Lithgow Information & Neighbourhood Centre (LINC ) Volunteer Team's (right) 57 volunteers work across all areas of the Centre including meal delivery, companionship, community lunch, garden assistance, mowing, shopping, reception, social outings and the active linking initiative as well as on the Board of Directors. The team is cohesive, caring, reliable and dedicated. The volunteers take pride in their work and are committed to LINC and its many service users and carers.

The outstanding commitment of the Lake Cargelligo Community Transport Volunteer Team was recognised by the judges – the team was awarded a Highly Commended award for their work as committee members and volunteer drivers.

Other volunteers recognised for their outstanding community work included:

  • Frank Thorvaldsson of Gemalla for his work with the Bathurst 3rd Scout Group
  • Phillipa Byrne of Lithgow for her work and volunteering with Lithgow High School
  • Bathurst Seymour Centre Volunteer Team and its 44 volunteers

Award ceremonies will be held in the Award's 19 Regions across NSW throughout September and October, with the regional winners in the running for the 2011 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award.

The winner of the 2011 NSW Volunteer of the Year will receive a $1500 donation to their not-for-profit organisation, Youth and Senior and Team of the Year will each receive a $1000 donation. The one-off 2011 NSW Excellence in NFP Volunteer Management winner will receive a $3000 donation.

The Award is an initiative of The Centre for Volunteering, the peak body for volunteering NSW. Now in its fifth year, this is the state-wide Award program recognising and thanking the volunteers in NSW who generously give more than 235 million work hours each year in NSW, contributing an extraordinary $5 billion to the State's economy.

“The week-in week-out contributions that volunteers make stretch from aged care, education, child welfare and counselling, through to emergency callouts, event control, running sports, environmental care and animal protection. There's hardly an area of life which is not helped by volunteering,” Kristin said.

Photo Gallery

View photos from the day in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Flickr Photo Gallery

More Information

Kristin Romanis
NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager
The Centre for Volunteering
M 0412 313 359

NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Background

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award is an annual awards program launched in 2007 by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW, and to promote the importance of volunteering to the community and to companies. Prior to 2007 there was no state-wide recognition program for volunteers.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award has the support of the NSW Government and the Hon. Victor Dominello, Citizenship and Communities Minister, is Patron of the Award.

Nominations

Nominations for Individual and Team closed Wednesday, 31 August 2011. A total of 330 nominations were received. Nominations for the 2011 NSW Excellence in NFP Volunteer Management and the 2011 Corporate Volunteer of the Year are still open - visit www.nswvolunteerawards.com to nominate.

Judging

Nominations were judged for Regional and State awards. There are 19 regions across NSW, with winners of the 2011 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award selected from the Regional Award winners. Special awards are given by the judges for to standout individual Youth and Senior volunteers at Regional and State levels. The Volunteer Team category will be judged at both a State and Regional level for the first time this year. Employee Volunteer and NSW Excellence in NFP Volunteer Management nominees are judged at a State level.

Regional Ceremonies

Regional Award Ceremonies are being held throughout September and October in the Award's nineteen NSW regions. The Ceremonies will be co-hosted by The Centre for Volunteering and the local Volunteer Referral Centre in each Regional.

State Award Ceremony

This year's Award will culminate in the 2011 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony to be held on Monday, 5 December 2011 (in recognition of International Volunteer Day which falls every year on 5 December). The ceremony will be held at Parliament House with the Hon. Victor Dominello, Citizenship and Communities Minister, presenting and ABC's Adam Spencer acting as MC.

About The Centre for Volunteering

The Centre for Volunteering is the peak body in NSW, promoting and supporting volunteering and community participation. The Centre is a not-for-profit organisation and includes Volunteering NSW, its service delivery arm, and the School of Volunteer Management (SVM), a registered training organisation.

The Centre for Volunteering connects people and organisations in order to enrich its community, through referral, training, resource development, information and education services to help people get involved in their communities, and enhance the capacity and skills of not-for-profit organisations, corporations and government to become involved in the community. (www.volunteering.com.au)

About Volunteering Bathurst

Volunteering Bathurst provides community information to raise awareness of issues, services and activities involving volunteers, supports volunteer involving organisations, recruits, trains and supports volunteers and provides volunteers with referral information. (www.binc.org.au/Volunteering/VolunteeringBathurst.aspx)

More Information
Kristin Romanis
NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, The Centre for Volunteering
0412 313 359
kromanis@volunteering.com.au

 


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