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FAQs

Q1 Are there any different categories of Award?

There are five major categories of award:

  1. NSW Volunteer of the Year Award
  2. NSW Volunteer Team of the Year Award
  3. NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award
  4. NSW Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year Award
  5. NSW Excellence in Volunteer Management Award

Read more about each of the above four categories.

Q 2 Who is eligible for nomination for the awards?

To be eligible for nomination for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award:

  • Nominees must be Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents with residency in NSW.
  • Nominees must have been involved in volunteering for the equivalent of at least 100 hours over a 12 month period.
  • Nominees must have volunteered for a legitimate not-for-profit organisation or community group.
  • Communities in NSW must be significant beneficiaries of the nominee’s voluntary work.

To be eligible for nomination for the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year Award:

  • Nominees must be NSW residents (they do not have to be Australian citizens or have permanent residency status).
  • Nominees must have volunteered for a legitimate not-for-profit organisation or community group.
  • Communities in NSW must be significant beneficiaries of the team’s voluntary work.

To be eligible for nomination for the NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award:

  • Nominees must be Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents with residency in NSW
  • Nominees must be sponsored by their employers and released from employment to carry out volunteer activities.
  • Nominees must have volunteered for a legitimate not-for-profit organisation.
  • Communities in NSW must be significant beneficiaries of the nominee's voluntary work.

To be eligible for nomination for the NSW Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year Award:

  • Nominees must be Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents with residency in NSW
  • Nominees must be sponsored by their employers and released from employment to carry out volunteer activities.
  • Nominees must have volunteered for a legitimate not-for-profit organisation.
  • Communities in NSW must be significant beneficiaries of the nominee's voluntary work.

To be eligible for nomination for the NSW Excellence in NFP Volunteer Management Award:

  • Nominee organisations must be a registered not-for-profit organisation in NSW.
  • Nominee organisations must comply with the National Standards for Involving Volunteers in Not-For-Profit Organisations
  • Nominee organisations must have current Volunteers Workers Personal Accident Insurance and Public Liability Insurance.
  • Nominee organisations must have operated within the NSW community during the past 12 months.
  • Nominee organisations must operate with volunteers.
  • Communities in NSW must benefit significantly from the nominee organisation and its volunteers' work.

Q 3 What is the definition of a volunteer?

The Centre for Volunteering’s formal definition is:

A volunteer provides a service through a not-for-profit organisation or community group, by choice, without financial remuneration and for the benefit of the community.

For those who have volunteered as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program, it is understood that for some or all of the time volunteered, the nominee will have been paid by his or her employer.

Q 4 What is a legitimate not-for-profit (NFP) organisation?

A not-for-profit organisation is an organisation that puts all of the funds it earns or raises back into the organisation.

This definition aligns with the definition of a community organisation used by the Prime Minister’s Community & Business Partnerships Awards in 2007:

"A Community organisation is an entity operating in Australia whose primary purpose is to provide a service to the community. Any profits from its operations are re-directed to the benefit of the general community (for example: registered charities and not-for-profit associations)".

Q 5 Does a nominee still have to be working with the nominating organisation or organisation with which he or she volunteered?

No – provided the nominee did not finish working with the organisation before June 2012.

Q 6 Can an individual nominate themselves?

No. All individual and corporate applications must come from someone other than the nominee volunteer as they are in the best position to communicate the achievements and contribution of the nominee.

However the nominee must agree to be nominated and must sign the nomination form. An unsigned form will not be eligible to be judged.

In the case of the Team Award and Excellence of Volunteer Management Award, nominations can be made by a member of public or a volunteer, staff member or an office holder or senior manager of a legitimate not-for-profit organisation, company or other organisation. Office holders can include chairpersons, secretaries, CEOs, executive officers, general managers and volunteer managers.

As it is impractical to arrange for all members of a team to sign the nomination form, the nominator is required to certify that they have obtained the agreement of the team members to their being nominated.

Q 7 What are the geographic regions that apply to the awards?

For the purposes of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award, the State has been divided into 19 regions which comprise of eight Sydney Regions and 11 Country Regions.

Q 8 How are nominations made?

Nominations are made via the online official nomination forms on this website or by downloading and completing the official nomination form on this website. Completed nominations should then be mailed to the Award Secretariat at the address in the nomination form.

Q 9 How many nominations can I make?

There is no limit.

Q 10 When do nominations close?

  • Individual and Team Nominations Close
    Friday, 30 August 2013
       
  • Corporate Volunteer & NFP Nominations Close
    Thursday, 31 October 2013

Q 11 When are the winners announced?

The Regional Winners will be announced in October to mid-November 2013. All Regional Nominees will be presented with a nominee certificate at the Regional Ceremonies.

All Regional Winners will be invited to attend the 2013 NSW Volunteer Award Ceremony in Sydney on 5 December 2013 when the winners will be announced. Please note due to venue size limitations, only two representatives from each of the finalist Teams will be invited to the December 5 ceremony.

Q 12 Who judges the awards?

There will be two levels of judging for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award and the NSW Volunteer Team of the Year Award.

The initial judging of all entries will be by a panel of judges drawn from experienced people including those working in the not-for-profit (NFP) sector. Judges working for NFP organisations may be in a paid or a voluntary capacity.

Additional judges may be seconded from areas such as academia and government. The initial judging process will select the finalists for each region.

A finals judging panel will be responsible for selecting the overall State winner and the winners of the Youth and Seniors awards.

NSW Employee Volunteer of the Year Award,  Employee Volunteer Team of the Year Award & NSW Excellence in NFP Management Award

In the case of a large number of entries, it is expected that the initial judging will be drawn from NFP organisation managers, corporate executives with experience in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or others with appropriate experience in CSR, volunteering or related areas.

The finals judging panel is expected to judge a short list produced by the initial panel.

Note: To avoid any potential conflict of interest concerns, judges will not be allowed to judge any nominations for people whose work has been for the organisation for which that judge works or with which that judge has a significant association. Judges should also not have any other relationship with nominees which would cause a conflict of interest.

Q 13 What are the judging criteria?

The judging criteria comprise a range of factors and will include:

  • Demonstrated benefit to the local community, region or State
  • An explanation of what is special about the nominee(s) and the work for which they are being nominated
  • Evidence of initiative and innovation
  • Length of service and time commitment of the nominee(s)
  • Any obstacles which the nominee(s) may have had to overcome to achieve the outcomes of their work
  • And - in the case of the Team category, teamwork and leadership

Q 14 What happens if I fill in my nomination form incorrectly?

Should your nomination form be incorrectly completed you will be contacted and your nomination will be returned to you. You will have the opportunity to submit a revised application as long as it is received prior to the closing date.

Q 15 Can I photocopy the nomination form?

Yes – the nomination form does not have to be an original.

Q 16 Do I include support material and any referees’ letters with my nomination?

A letter from one or more referees giving support to the nomination is recommended. Such letters can be important in giving weight to nominations and in the assessment process by the judges. The names and contact details of two referees who can be contacted if necessary must be provided in section 5 of the nomination form. See also 18. below.

Q 17 How do I know if you have received my nomination?

All nominations will be acknowledged by mail or email by the Award's Secretariat within 3 weeks of submission.

Q 18 Can I submit videos or audio cassettes with my nomination?

No, written submissions only. Any supporting material should be limited to letters from referees, and brief printed matter such as a newspaper article, newsletter article etc.

Q 19 Will nominations be returned?

Nominations and support material will not be returned at the conclusion of the Award.

Q 20 What benefits does the Award bring to the winner(s)?

Details of prizes will be announced in due course and will depend on support for the Award from sponsoring organisations.


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