Community News

Northern Rivers region urged to nominate volunteers

Northern Rivers residents are urged to get their nominations in for the 10th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards with less than two weeks left before nominations close on Friday July 22. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the South Grafton District Ex-Services Club on September 13. The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said the annual awards were the State’s way of recognising the outstanding work of volunteers in our community. Last year Max Johnson of South Grafton won both the Adult and the overall Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with the Whiddon Group Aged Care. Ms Rygate said that while nominations were still coming in, the region had not yet received any nominations for the Youth or Student Volunteer of the Year Award categories. “That’s unusual because many young people in the area volunteer. I expect people are waiting until the last minute but I’d urge people to jump online and nominate a volunteer now, it’s a very simple process,” Ms Rygate said. Last year the area had two outstanding winners in these two categories – Anastasia Maxwell of Byron Bay won the Youth Award for her work with the Cancer Council and 12-year-old Chloe Bess of Tugan won the Student Award for her work at the Bupa Aged Care Home in Banora Point. “I help in the kitchen, I play bingo, I help in the dining room and I help water the plants,” Chloe said. “I like spending time with the residents and helping them.” “Every single volunteer nominated is invited to the Northern Rivers Awards Ceremony in September and presented with a certificate to acknowledge their selfless contribution to the community,” Ms Rygate said “These awards are not about how often a person volunteers or acts of heroism, they’re about recognising ordinary people who give their time, because every contribution counts.” There are 8 award categories: • Student Volunteer of the Year • Youth Volunteer of the Year • Senior Volunteer of the Year • Adult Volunteer of the Year • Volunteer Team of the Year • Excellence in Volunteer Management • Corporate Volunteer of the Year (individual) • Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year For more information and to nominate go to The 10th Annual NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the Department of Family and Community Services, ClubsNSW, the industry body which represents the state’s 1400 not-for-profit clubs, and by BUPA Aged Care.