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Burwood recognises local volunteers in Sydney Mid West Award ceremony

Friday, 14 October 2011 | The Centre for Volunteering

Volunteers from the Sydney Mid West region gathered this week for the 2011 Sydney Mid West Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony co-hosted by The Centre for Volunteering and Volunteer Network Burwood.

Ziad El-Daoud of Bass Hill has been named the 2011 Sydney Mid West Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to the community during a ceremony held in Burwood on Friday, 4 November 2011.

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

Ziad El-Daoud has been volunteering for a number of years with the 5th Bankstown ICPA Scout Group. In this capacity he has been promoting harmony between youths in the Bankstown area by encouraging them to participate in community activities such as Clean up Australia Day, sporting activities, BBQs, camping trips, rock climbing an more. He shows leadership in the community and helps to both preserve culture and foster understanding and compassion. The activities he arranges help to encourage dialogue between young people from all backgrounds. Ziad has helped to promote harmony, love, compassion, friendship and tolerance in the Bankstown community.

He incorporates all these valuable skills in many projects relating to scouts. As an Australian Muslim parent, I feel strongly about incorporating these same values into my two girls and for that I sincerely believe he deserves this award.

Ziad 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.

Event co-host, Volunteer Network’s Julie Stralow, 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.

Ziad will receive a $300 donation towards the not-for-profit organisation of his choice to help it continue its outstanding work.

The Centre for Volunteering’s NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Manager, Kristin Romanis, said the quality and quantity of nominations received for the Sydney Mid West region was outstanding.

“The Sydney Mid West Region’s nominees were of an exceptional standard but the judges felt that Ziad’s tireless dedication to the 5th Bankstown ICPA Scout Group was a standout,” Kristin said.

Other Award winners announced at the ceremony are Joseph Anzini (2011 Sydney Mid West Youth Volunteer of the Year), Yvonne (Bonnie) Milton (2011 Sydney Mid West Senior Volunteer of the Year) and the Deafblind Associations’ Office Team (2011 Sydney Mid West Volunteer Team of the Year): all will receive a $200 donation for their organisation.

Joseph Anzini of Merrylands West was named the 2011 Sydney Mid West Youth Volunteer of the Year for his volunteer work with St John Ambulance. Joseph Anzini has been volunteering with St John Ambulance Australia for 2 years. He is seen as a role model towards the younger cadets and juniors. This includes sometimes taking classes, mentoring the younger individuals, and also letting the parents known about, how well their kids are going. Joey is willing to help anything, and will not stop till the task is complete. Joey has also given up many hours to help at duties including local and state such as city to surf.

The 2011 Sydney Mid West Senior Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Yvonne (Bonnie) Milton of North Greystanes. Bonnie is a volunteer driver/runner with Holroyd Community Food Services. She volunteers at least 15 hours every week, and can always be called on with short notice to take additional hours in the event that a rostered volunteer is sick or unable to fulfil their duties. Bonnie is one of the more experienced volunteers and as such often shows new volunteers ‘the ropes’. Bonnie is a very vibrant person, full of both happiness and life. She is always there with a smile willing to lend a helping hand to the staff, other volunteers and clients. Bonnie participates with passion in every aspect of volunteering within our service including: Meal delivery, Training sessions, Volunteer meetings, Mentoring and Training new recruits and providing new ideas to support/improve the service. Bonnie is a volunteer like no other, and an integral part of HCFS, she makes every day seem effortless.

The Deafblind Associations’ Office Team was named the 2011 Sydney Mid West Volunteer Team of the Year. The team has come together at Vision Australia every Friday since 2002, plus whenever there is work needed, They do all the business for DeafBlind Association (NSW) which is a completely voluntary organisation, providing social outings, advocacy, craft and providing a monthly newsletter in Braille and different sizes of large print. Deafblindness is the combined loss of both vision and hearing causing problems with all areas of life and is known as the most isolating of all disabilities. The team is special because it consists of the Deafblind secretary and treasurer, plus two elderly volunteers. The secretary collects mail from the post box and then scans mail into the computer to read with an accessible screen reader, and to enter data on computer. The treasurer reads the financial books under a CCTV machine to greatly enlarge the entries and change to white on black, to view with his extremely limited vision and then enters on a Quicken program on the computer, on a 30" screen with type enlarged through ZoomText screen reader. The other two volunteers assist where necessary and also print newsletters, while the secretary embosses this in braille.

Other individual volunteers recognised for their outstanding community work were:

  • Jeremy  Heathcote of West Ryde who volunteers with Babana Aboriginal Men's Group
  • Mary Purnell of Revesby who volunteers with Karitane Linking Families
  • Renu Renu of North Parramatta who volunteers with Red Cross


Other volunteer teams recognised for their outstanding community work were:

  • Volunteer Team Leader Amanda Bowles and the 5 volunteers that make up the Bears of Hope Pregnancy and Infant Loss Volunteer Team
  • Volunteer Team Leader Wendy Edmonds and the 23 volunteers that make up the Family Support Volunteer Team (Paediatric Palliative Care)
  • Volunteer Team Leader Joel Clark and the 15 volunteers that make up the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament Taskforce

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

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