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Tamworth to recognise local volunteers in regional Awards ceremony

Friday, 14 October 2011 | The Centre for Volunteering

Volunteers from the New England Northern Inland region gathered this week for the 2011 New England Northern Inland Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony co-hosted by the Tamworth Community Centre and Armidale Volunteer Centre.

Wally Warner of Tamworth has been named the 2011 New England Northern Inland Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community during a ceremony held in Tamworth on Wednesday, 30 November October 2011.

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

Wally has been recognised for volunteering with children throughout Tamworth and its surrounds for over 30 years, coaching them in athletics, football and cricket. Wally helps the children in his car to perfect their style of running. He encourages them to improve their times and results and to be happy with their results. Hi builds up their confidence in themselves. Wally has trained football and cricket teams for local schools as well. Nothing is too hard or too much effort for Wally – he is just there. He works with children from any school in the area, but a lot of his time is put into St Edwards school. His children when to that school over 30 years ago and he has never let up helping any child who wants to listen and learn from his experience. He teaches the children to have respect for him, their parents and grandparents. He also teaches them to shake hands and smile when they meet someone new.

Wally has had 60 children from various schools working with him this season of athletics. Some have had great success at National level. In addition to coaching Wally is always on hand to be a “Starter” at carnivals and competitions.

Wally 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.

Tamworth Community Centre’s Rachel Palmer, who is hosting the Award Ceremony on behalf of The Centre for Volunteering, 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.

Wally will receive a $300 donation to a not-for-profit of his choice.

The Centre for Volunteering’s NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, Kristin Romanis, said the quality and quantity of nominations received for the New England Northern Inland region was outstanding.

“The New England Northern Inland Region’s nominees were of an exceptional standard but the judges felt that Wally’s tireless dedication to the New England Northern Inland children was a standout,” Kristin said.

Other Award winners announced at the ceremony are Gabrielle  Bower (2011 New England Northern Inland Youth Volunteer of the Year), Poppy Pickering (2011 New England Northern Inland Senior Volunteer of the Year) and the Tambar Springs SES Volunteer Team (2011 New England Northern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year): both received a $200 donation for their organisation.

The 2011 New England Northern Inland Youth Volunteer of the Year Award was awarded to Gabrielle  Bower of Tamworth. Gabrielle is being recognised for her commitment to Ronald McDonald House and the Tamworth Cat and Dog Refuge as well as the Starlight Foundation, the Paralympic Committee and many other community groups for whom she organises charity events and fundraisers. She helps out at the Animal refuge of a weekend to ensure the animals are being as well looked after as they can due to time constraints and helps them find suitable homes for the future. At Ronald McDonald house she helps the managers and all the other volunteers make a happy and safe environment for the suffering families. She offers her time to these and other organisations despite her HSC study load, her work commitments, her teenage social life and her family life! Gabrielle's work is very touching as she goes into the community to promote awareness of the issues rather than simply doing her volunteer work and keeping it personal, she participates in speech competitions and passionately talks about the concerns in our community that she believes need more attention, and also holds the charity events to raise community involvement and awareness.

The 2011 New England Northern Inland Senior Volunteer of the Year Award has been awarded to Poppy Pickering of Mungindi for her volunteering with Mungindi Community & Technology Centre. The Mungindi CTC produces a fortnightly community newsletter called ‘Mungindi Matters’. This is a 42 page newsletter covering community life and events. Poppy Pickering is in charge of the mailing out of the Mungindi CTC’s fortnightly community newsletter called ‘Mungindi Matters’ as well as assisting with the catering for community meetings at the CTC. Every December the Mungindi CTC holds Carols in the Park and last year a Christmas Play was combined with the Carols. Poppy made all the masks for the kids to wear as well as packing lolly bags for each child. Poppy also stands in at the office when coverage of local events needs to be done. The Community and Technology Centre’s aim is to get its small and remote little town connected. Poppy was the first senior interested to learn how to use a computer, nowadays she is a professional internet user, scrapbooking and game player.

The Tambar Springs SES Volunteer Team is this year’s very deserving winner of the 2011 New England Northern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year Award. The State Emergency Service (SES) Tambar Springs Unit is a small unit that provides invaluable lifesaving support to their community. The SES Tambar Springs Unit services the Villages of Tambar Springs, Premer, Mullaley and the large surrounding rural area of over 5000 square kilometres with a total estimated population of 1000. The Tambar Springs SES volunteers undertake the following work: Road Crash Rescue; Emergency Responses to Flooding including provision of information to the community; Community First Response; Storm Response; and Land Search & Rescue. This team of volunteers are a small group who work closely together supporting each other in the delivery of an excellent service to their community. Their efforts at any time are incredible but the contribution over the past twelve months has been even more so given the number of activities undertaken. During the past year some five separate flood events occurred in the Tambar Springs area requiring volunteers to carry out three flood rescues of motorists trapped in flooded causeways and roads. The volunteers also responded to some 23 medical emergencies over the past twelve months. Volunteers also participated in some three separate searches for missing persons. In addition to attending to all these responses volunteers still managed to carry out the weekly training required to maintain their competencies for their various roles.

The outstanding commitment of the following individual was recognised by the judges:

  • Bradley Laws of Manilla was awarded the 2011 New England Northern Inland Highly Commended Volunteer of the Year Award for his volunteering with Manilla Rural Bush Fire Brigade
  • Robert Patterson and the 18 volunteers that make up the ComputerBank New England Inc. Volunteer Team were awarded the 2011 New England Northern Inland Highly Commended Volunteer Team of the Year Award

Other individual volunteers recognised for their outstanding community work were:

  • Tony Battam of Narrabri who has been volunteering with NSW State Emergency Service
  • Jamie (Damon) Ledger of Narrabri West who volunteers with Narrabri West Development
  • John Lucassen of Armidale who has been volunteering with Computerbank New England Inc.
  • Val McLennan of Moree who has been volunteering with Gwydir HACC Services Incorporated Moree
  • Helen Mitchell of Moree who has been volunteering with Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service
  • Robyn Muggleton of Moree who has been volunteering with Gwydir HACC Services Incorporated
  • Robert Patterson of Uralla who has been volunteering with Computerbank New England Inc.

 

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.

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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