2010 Regional Winners recognised at Parliament House
The 2010 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards sought nominations from 19 regions across the State, eight of these in the Sydney Metropolitan area.
There are three main categories open for nomination: Individual, Team and Employee or Corporate Volunteer of the Year. The first two are judged and presented at both Regional and State levels and the later as a State award only. In addition there are two special award categories for Youth and Senior volunteers who stand out in their region.
The 2010 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Ceremony at Parliament House on Friday, 3 December 2010 honoured all of the Regional winners as well as selecting state winners for each of the above categories and an overall 2010 NSW Volunteer of the Year!
Read about the 2010 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award's:
- Regional Individual Winners
- Youth Volunteer Regional Winners
- Senior Volunteer Regional Winners
- Volunteer Team Regional Winners
- Employee Volunteer Nominees
The following volunteers have been recognised as the volunteers within their regional who make the greatest impact on their community and the not-for-profit they work for:
Abarna Sunthanthiraraj is the 2010 Sydney Hornsby/ North West Volunteer of the Year. Abarna is the primary founder of Palmera Projects, created to support Sri Lankans affected by the 2004 tsunami and has worked tirelessly to raise money for Cambodia and Australia in addition to Sri Lanka. Abarna has helped Palmera Projects grow from a handful of volunteers to a multi state organisation of 50 hardworking volunteers.
Anne McDonald is the 2010 Hunter Volunteer of the Year. Anne has served her community with passion and determination for over 32 years which has seen her provide much needed housing for retirees within the Dungog shire. Her enormous efforts campaigning for aged care and nursing facilities resulted in the creation of the Dungog District and Retirement Living Incorporated which after expansion, now consists of 31 high care beds and 32 low care beds.
Craig Wyman is the 2010 Sydney South Volunteer of the Year for his contribution to the Sutherland Shire Relay for Life organising committee over the last four years. In 2009, Relay for Life raised an incredible $442,000 largely thanks to Craig professional marketing and advertising of the event.
Darrell Swadling is the 2010 Illawarra Volunteer of the Year. Darrell volunteers with the Cancer Council, which he has supported for the past eight years. He presented numerous education and informative courses on cancer prevention to almost 80,000 people, highlighting the importance of healthy living and early detection.
David Bell is the 2010 Sydney South West/ Macarthur Volunteer of the Year. David is the founder of the Airds Fitness Group, which he developed after identifying the need for a positive and disciplined environment for the youth of Campbelltown. In addition to weekly training, David travels with his charges, liaises with local groups and offers strong leadership to members of his program.
Denise Friedman is the 2010 New England/Northern Inland Volunteer of the Year. Denise was recognised for her tremendous work with WIRES, which she has supported for the past 21 years.
She provides care for koalas and other injured or lost animals, nursing them back to health and easing them back into the wild when they are ready.
ERN Phang is the 2010 Sydney Mid West Volunteer of the Year. Ern was recognised for his work with the Western Housing for Youth organisation, with which he has been involved for the past four years. He has devoted his time to improving the lives of young homeless people by ensuring a strong, supportive and safe service is available with Western Housing for Youth.
Graham Symes is the 2010 Central Coast Volunteer of the Year. Over the past 18 years, Graham has positively impacted thousands of lives through the Traffic Offenders Program (TOPS). Designed by Graham, TOPS is a seven week educational program that covers spinal injury awareness and drug and alcohol use.
Hazel Aylett is the 2010 Orana/ Far West Volunteer of the Year. This is in recognition of her work with Riding for the Disabled Association NSW, where Hazel has volunteered for 24 years. Hazel is the treasurer for the organisation, organises training and has headed workshops on volunteer upskilling.
Jackie Clark is the 2010 Sydney City East Volunteer of the Year. Jackie was recognised for her work with the Sydney Heritage Fleet, which she has supported for the past seven years. She initiated policies that have increased recruitment as well as creating a revamped New Members Handbook and running a series of popular lectures which generated a huge amount of interest in the Sydney Heritage Fleet.
Justine Perkins is the 2010 Sydney Inner West Volunteer of the Year. Justine was recognised for establishing and supporting the Touched by Olivia Foundation over the past four years. She has raised $2.5 million over the past 3 years for children’s health and wellbeing initiatives including building playgrounds throughout Australia, providing a fun and friendly environment.
Leigh Scott (represented by Bruce Ward) is the 2010 Riverina Volunteer of the Year. Leigh has supported the Cootamundra Creative Arts and Cultural Centre for the past eight years. Leigh was responsible for transforming an abandoned building into a space that the entire community could use. The space is currently utilised by a variety of local groups including businesses, art and music groups.
Leo Nelson is the 2010 Murray Volunteer of the Year. Leo has been involved with the Lions Club of Albury for the past 50 years. He has assisted with fundraising and recruitment and has volunteered for a range of other tasks over the years, providing assistance to disabled members of the community and helping school children with their studies.
Mervyn Wighton is the 2010 Central West Volunteer of the Year. Mervyn has been involved in organising and overseeing local events at Condobolin High School for the past three years. He was nominated for his role on the SRC where he has assisted with Meals on Wheels, the Condobolin Retirement Village and organising fundraising initiatives for charity groups.
Neville Donovan is the 2010 Mid North Coast Volunteer of the Year. Neville has volunteered with the Kempsey Family Community Centre for the past four years. He was the primary force behind the newly-created Community Garden and helped to set up accredited horticultural training courses, as well as teaching art classes at the Macleay Vocational College.
Phillip Baer is the 2010 South Coast/ Southern Inland Volunteer of the Year. Phillip was recognised for his tremendous work with the Rural Fire Service, which he has supported for the past eight years. He recently initiated an online service to provide bushfire information for people who live in remote areas, and is also an active member of the community, teaching computer skills, maintaining the Frogmore Community Hall and being involved with the Australian Red Cross for more than 35 years.
Robyn Latimer is the 2010 Sydney North Volunteer of the Year. Robyn has been president of the Tourette Syndrome Association of Australia for the past three years. She has selflessly donated her time to boosting awareness of Tourettes and increased membership numbers by 60%. She arranges conferences, online forums and social gatherings, visits primary schools and updates resource materials.
Sydney Thode is the 2010 Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains Volunteer of the Year. Sydney was recognised for his work with Merrylands RSL Club over the past 11 years. He devotes his time to visiting ex-service personnel in nursing homes and hospitals, as well as liaising with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
Sylvia Kilroy is the 2010 Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year. Sylvia was recognised for her tremendous work with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, which she has supported for the past four years donating over 20 hours each month to the Service. She is also involved with the Mid Richmond Lions Club, where she assists with fundraising initiatives.
Both the Youth and Senior Volunteer of the Year Award is given at the judges’ discretion to stand out volunteers within a region. The Youth Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to volunteers aged 15-25. This year there were 12 outstanding Regional Youth Volunteers of the Year:
Ali Yunespour is the 2010 Sydney Mid West Youth Volunteer of the Year for his volunteer work with the Rotary Club of Ryde, Indigo Foundation, Auburn Diversity Services Inc., Support Life Education NSW, Northern Sydney Regional Equity Committee, SRC, Tolerance Day West Ryde, Model of United Nation Assembly (MUNA)
Caitlin Nelson is the 2010 South Coast/ Southern Inland Youth Volunteer of the Year for giving generously of her time to support Yass High School in its many student projects as well as her role as school captain, house vice-captain, band promo officer and founder of a student radio station.
Claire Hexton (represented by John Hexton) is the 2010 Sydney South West/ Macarthur Youth Volunteer of the Year for her work with special-needs students at Mater Dei School in Camden and for giving up her time to help both teachers and students.
Eryn-Maree Taylor is the 2010 Illawarra Youth Volunteer of the Year for her involvement in extra-curricular activities at her high school as well as her support of the Albion Park Girl Guide Association where she has volunteered over 450 hours.
Jessica Huxley is the 2010 Northern Rivers Youth Volunteer of the Year for her involvement with Mission International Australia who travelled to Tonga following the 2009 tsunami to rebuild community infrastructure.
Kiara Greenway is the 2010 Mid North Coast Youth Volunteer of the Year for her work with a variety of groups, including Toormina High School, Legacy and the Surf Life Saving Club where she has assisted with organising events.
Lachlan Coppin is the 2010 Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains Youth Volunteer of the Year for his role with the St. John Ambulance, Blacktown Cadet Division for the past nine years, serving as a wonderful role-model for fellow juniors.
Melissa Bolton is the 2010 Sydney North Youth Volunteer of the Year for creating the NFP organisation ‘The Big Lift’, which assists communities to complete local projects by empowering others and teaching leadership and teamwork skills.
Nathaniel Ware is the 2010 Sydney Inner West Youth Volunteer of the Year for his involvement with World Vision, fundraising for White Ribbon and founding 180 Degrees Consulting which provides a cost-effective solution to community aid by organising volunteers to assist with a variety of projects.
Nicole Ng is the 2010 Sydney South Youth Volunteer of the Year for her volunteer work with various societies at St George Girls High School, as well as the Kogarah Library.
Tijana Kobilarov is the 2010 Sydney City East Youth Volunteer of the Year for assisting with maintenance duties at her local high school, assisting charities and knitting for the Wrap with Love organisation which provides knitwear for the poor.
Timothy Bayl is the 2010 Sydney Hornsby/ North West Youth Volunteer of the Year due to his commitment to the goals of the Australian Red Cross, and his drive to make it more accessible to other young people.
Barbara Pyrzakowski is the 2010 Sydney Inner West Senior Volunteer of the Year for volunteering with the Community Visitors Scheme for 13 years where she travels by public transport to visit elderly residents in aged-care homes and provides them with some much needed company.
Bill Phippen is the 2010 Sydney South West/ Macarthur Senior Volunteer of the Year for volunteering with Technical Aid to the Disabled for the past 35 years and is currently President of the Board, as well as Fundraising Director, supporting the work of the 250 volunteers operating in its 13 rural branches.
Chris Cartledge is the 2010 Illawarra Senior Volunteer of the Year for volunteering with Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families (SCARF) for five years and developed a program that recycles computer software for refugee families with limited means providing them with essential computer skills.
Efim Solovey is the 2010 Sydney City East Senior Volunteer of the Year for dedicating his time to volunteering to the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women and JewishCare, which helps newly-arrived immigrants liaise with government departments and better integrate into Australian society.
Frank Davies is the 2010 Sydney Mid West Senior Volunteer of the Year for his involvement with a variety of volunteer organisations over the past 10 years. He was the driving force behind the opening of the De La Salle Bankstown Soccer Club, as well as being involved with local schools and the annual walk of the Kokoda Track in Concord.
Grace Maher is the 2010 Sydney South Senior Volunteer of the Year for her work as team leader of the St. George/ Sutherland branch of the Australian Red Cross, where she has been involved for more than a decade. Grace is both a role model to new volunteers within the organisation, as well as an inspiration due to her tireless efforts to assist members of the community directly affected by natural disasters.
Jan Donaldson is the 2010 Mid North Coast Senior Volunteer of the Year for volunteering with Lifeline Mid Coast for 11 years working as a crisis telephone counsellor in addition to supervising other telephone operators and facilitating a support group for those affected by suicide.
Jill Britten is the 2010 Central West Senior Volunteer of the Year for her extensive work in the Bathurst community including her 39 years of work with the Solo House Men’s Refuge which helps the homeless, as well as her dedication to providing essential aid for people overseas.
Maureen McDonald is the 2010 Sydney North Senior Volunteer of the Year for dedicating her time to ‘Computer Pals’, where for over 10 years she has helped seniors learn computer skills.
Mavis Deaves has been named the 2010 Hunter Senior Volunteer of the Year. Mavis holds an impressive 55 year commitment to The Australian Red Cross Maitland branch and during this time has inspired many people by providing food, crafts and entertainment to people in need.
Norma Smeaton is the 2010 Central Coast Senior Volunteer of the Year. Norma has been a dedicated member and volunteer coordinator of not-for-profit organisation, Breakaway, for the past 28 years.
Olga Forner is the 2010 Murray Senior Volunteer of the Year for her 12 years of volunteering with Griffith CanAssist, providing financial aid, advice to cancer patients and encouraging a greater awareness of the financial burden that can follow cancer treatment.
Peter Jackson is the 2010 Murray Senior Volunteer of the Year for his involvement with Moulamein Football/Netball Club for the past 36 years, undertaking fundraising initiatives as well as serving as president for 12 years.
Phyllis Bylund is the 2010 New England / Northern Inland Senior Volunteer of the Year at 93 years of age. Phyllis has been volunteering in her community and for her church for 78 years and has been recognised for her involvement with the Tamworth Branch Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW for over 60 years where she has raised funds both for the CWA and for international charities
Reg Menz (represented by nominator Janice Ford)is the 2010 Sydney Outer West/ Blue Mountains Senior Volunteer of the Year for his involvement with the Nepean District Historical Society for 12 years. He was responsible for organising the inaugural William Cox Festival to commemorate the first crossing of the Blue Mountains.
Richard Gregory is the 2010 Sydney Hornsby/ North West Senior Volunteer of the Year for his work with Firewise, a program designed by the NSW Fire brigade Service, to inform and educate local residents on fire safety.
William Drew is the 2010 Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer of the Year for volunteering with Around the Bend Outings for Over the Hill Travellers for over 20 years where he is responsible for arranging accommodation and bus tours for senior citizens.
The Volunteer Team of the Year Award was only introduced last year and this year is the first time it has been judged and presented at a region level. The category is open to any group of volunteers working together on a common project or towards a common goal.
As the2010 Orana/Far West Volunteer Team of the Year, 2WAR FM draws on volunteers from Gilgandra and Dubbo to provide an essential information service to the community. Operating five days a week, for fifteen to twenty hours per day, the station is manned by twenty-five volunteers.
As the 2010 Orana/Far West Volunteer Team of the Year, Bears of Hope is run and organised by Amanda Bowles and Toni Tattis. It offers support to mothers and families recently bereaved by the loss of a child. Teddy Bears and information on coping with bereavement are given to grieving parents. They also host an online support group, hold monthly meetings and produce a quarterly newsletter.
As the2010 New England/Northern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year, the Boomi Amateur Thespian Group runs a community theatre group and a restaurant that raises funds for and entertains the people of the Boomi area. Each performance involves four months of preparation, with volunteers sometimes travelling from long distances away to attend rehearsals. Funds raised help support the local school, pool and sports facilities, as well as a co-operative store.
As the2010 Mid North Coast Volunteer Team of the Year, the Camp Quality Hastings/Macleay Activity Group’s 12 volunteers help provide a venue for children living with cancer to socialise and have fun as well as provide support to their families. The volunteers’ commitment and enthusiasm towards the cause has greatly helped provide a pleasant environment that caters for these children’s needs. Last year the Activity Group raised $24,000 for their charges.
As the2010 Sydney Inner West Volunteer Team of the Year, the Canterbury City Community Centre's Centre-based Volunteer Team work in an area reputable for cultural stereotypes and social disharmony, making it heartening to see this culturally diverse group of women who work together to provide two day-care service groups to frail-aged local residents.
As the2010 Hunter Volunteer Team of the Year, the Cessnock Community Transport Volunteer Team provides transport allowing citizens to keep their independence by offering the opportunity to maintain apart of the community and to be socially active. Destinations include the library, supermarkets, local banks, the post office and the local club.
As the2010 Sydney South West/Macarthur Volunteer Team of the Year, Drives for Learners Wollondilly’s ten volunteers are dedicated to the improvement of road safety knowledge within their community and provide essential assistance to the Council’s Road Safety Office. This includes stalls at community events, providing information on road safety to the community and educating parents/guardians on regulations regarding travelling with children in a vehicle.
As the2010 Central West Volunteer Team of the Year, the Goologong Community First Responders serve a small community of two hundred and sixty and those living in the surrounding rural district providing essential assistance to the ambulance services of Canowindra and Cowra. They are an essential resource in emergency situations when trained paramedics are still yet to arrive on the scene.
As the2010 Northern Rivers Volunteer Team of the Year, the Friends of Koala Care Centre Volunteer Team’s thirty-one volunteers rescue and rehabilitate injured koalas. Team-members treat injuries, managed the upkeep of the centre, providing food and care to the visiting koalas. The team also facilitates transport to the Australian Wildlife Hospital when specialised treatment is required.
As the2010 Murray Volunteer Team of the Year, the Intereach Community Transport team’s twenty-six volunteers provide transport to those no longer able to travel due to old age and physical disability in Deniliquin. This allows members of the community to perform simple actions like going to the shop, or even attending medical appointments, without undue stress.
As the2010 Sydney City East Volunteer Team of the Year, the Mission Australia Court Support Service’s 10 volunteers provide essential assistance to court witnesses and victims called to testify. They explain the protocols and procedures of court appearances, with an added focus on ensuring attendants with special needs are fully aware of what is required of them. The group assisted over seven hundred victims of crime between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2010.
As the2010 Sydney North Volunteer Team of the Year, the Rotary Club of Manly Sunrise provides support for their local community and communities and individuals overseas. This includes the refurbishment of the Salvation Army New Life Community Centre Manly, the formation of a Women’s Crisis Refuge in Manly as well as supplying medical equipment, school desks and chairs to the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea to name but a few activities.
As the2010 Sydney Mid West Volunteer Team of the Year, the NSW Police Missing Persons Unit Volunteer Team consists of five members who collaborate with the Missing Persons Unit and Alzheimer’s Australia to highlight the effects of Alzheimer’s and promotes initiatives such as Safe2Walk so that wandering people can return home with minimal disruption.
As the2010 Sydney South Volunteer Team of the Year, Sailability NSW Kogarah Bay’s Volunteer Team provides disabled students and adults the experience of sailing on a one on one basis. This allows for a caring teaching environment, providing skills to disabled persons that they otherwise would not have learned, as well as a new outlet unconstrained by their disability.
As the2010 South Coast/Southern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year, St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn’s thirty-one volunteer Guides and bell-ringers ensure the cathedral is open to the public each day from 10 am to 4 pm. The cathedral volunteers provide a ready source of income to Goulburn by creating a site of interest to tourists. St. Saviour’s is also of great historical interest and the work of the team ensures its continued upkeep and preservation.
As the2010 Riverina Volunteer Team of the Year, the Temora CanAssist volunteer team provides essential aid to cancer patients who require help in paying for the cost of their expensive treatment. With 145 volunteers providing information through to fundraising, CanAssist has given financial assistance to fifty patients within the past year, at a cost of $32, 500. Accommodation and travels are also covered.
As the2010 Sydney Hornsby/North West Volunteer Team of the Year, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Volunteer Drivers work with children suffering from with impaired hearing, or sight, often taking them too and from their North Rocks school to alleviate the stress of long travel. The team is both dedicated and enthusiastic about the aims of the Institute, working with children with a consistent level of professionalism.
TheSan Remo Neighbourhood Centre Volunteer Team’s 55 members work on a diverse range of activities for the Neighbourhood Centre including office duties, driving buses, working as storemen, providing food, vouchers and support for people in hardship as part of the Emergency Relief program, taking part in the After School Care Program, Mentoring young people, Men’s Shed activities and more.
The Warrawong Community Kitchen Lunch Volunteer Team is made up of more than thirty volunteers. The team provides hot meals with desert for disadvantaged residents living within the community and surrounding areas, between Monday and Thursday.
Six outstanding volunteers were nominated for the 2010 NSW Employee Volunteer of the Year Award which recognises volunteers who are sponsored by their employers and released from employment to carry out volunteer activities:
Diane Green of ING Australia has volunteered for the Spastic Centre’s Ignition and Emerge programs as a volunteer coach and mentor for the past four years, spending at over 150 hours per year with high school students and coaching young adults with cerebral palsy towards entering the workforce.
Geoff Banting is a Senior Manager at Randwick City Council and has volunteered for the Cancer Council for over 7 years. Geoff was instrumental in establishing the first Relay for Life fundraising events in the Hawkesbury and the Eastern Suburbs raising a combined $220K in their first year. Geoff is still active on the committee and involved with both of these successful events.
Larry Ryan is an integral part of Sugarmill Surf Emporium and Misfit Shapes - which are direct founders of 'Misfit Aid'. With his immense experience in global business and retail organisations, Larry creates a stable backbone for the business to aid Misfit Aid, a not-for-profit organisation created 'to harness the resources of the surf community to impact the global community in positive ways such as disaster relief and micro finance mentoring'.
Philip Hurst is a teacher at Hawkesbury High School as well as volunteering as a RFS fire fighter for the past 29 years. During this time his leadership and experience has been recognised in the numerous roles he has undertaken, including instructor, crew leader, strike team leader, Divisional Commander, Prescribed Burn Supervisor, Permit issuing officer and District Discipline panel member.
Rodney Lowe works for Alcoa Rolled Products Australia and volunteers for the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and is part of their Ambassador Program. He has been trained by the program following his own personal experience with prostate cancer some 5 years ago. Rod has given many talks and presentations around the state in numerous locations over the past 4 years.
Sue Deaves works for law firm Mellesons Stephen Jacques and has been a Telecross Volunteer with the Australian Red Cross for the last 8 years. Each morning between 8-9am Sue phones an elderly or medically dependant person and living alone to help them maintain their independence, give support, security and care.