The NSW Volunteer of the Yearis an annual state award for volunteering in New South Wales, Australia run by The Centre for Volunteering and supported by the State Government. It was launched in June 2007 by the then NSW Minister for Volunteering Linda Burney.
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial or social gain "to benefit another person, group or organization". Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
The Award recognises the efforts of the 2.4 million volunteers in NSW, and promotes the importance of volunteering to the community and to companies.
Prior to 2007 there was no statewide recognition program for all volunteers, and the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award program remains the sole annual awards program committed to recognising all volunteers in NSW.
The Award is judged at a Regional and State level with 20 NSW Regional Volunteer of the Year Awards created throughout NSW: 12 country regions and 8 Sydney regions (the Award started with 15 regions and has been expanded to 20).
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.
Sydney Regions have been based on geography and population size. The Centre has structured these regions so that there is a substantial population in each and some natural synergies between the local government areas in each region.
Country Regions are based on NSW Department of State and Regional Development’s regions.
The major categories of award are:
Student – Full-time students in Primary, Secondary, Vocational or Tertiary study Youth- 24 years and under Adult – 25 to 64 years Senior – 65 years + Volunteer Team Excellence in Volunteer Management (NFP) Corporate Volunteer (Individual) Corporate Volunteer Team
The winners of Student, Youth, Adult and Senior categories will be eligible for the award of Volunteer of the Year in their region and will go on to the State finals in their category.
NSW Corporate Volunteer of the Year Award
This award is open to volunteers who are sponsored by their employers and are released from employment to carry out volunteer activities. Nominations for this award will relate to volunteers who carried out their volunteering as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program. This is awarded at a State level only.
NSW Corporate Volunteer Team of the Year Award
This award is open to a group of volunteers who have worked together on a particular project or program and are sponsored by their employers and are released from employment to carry out volunteer activities. Nominations for this award will relate to a volunteer team that has carried out their volunteering as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program. This is awarded at a State level only.
NSW Excellence in Volunteer Management Award
This award is open to not-for-profit organisations and volunteer managers in NSW who have demonstrated excellence in Volunteer Management. The Award aims to highlight a sometimes under-acknowledged, but vitally important aspect of volunteering. This is awarded at a State level only.
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award opens for nomination at the start of National Volunteer Week each year and closes at the end of July. Nominations can be made online http://www.volunteering.com.au
Regional Award Ceremonies are held throughout October–November of each year. The State Award Ceremony is held on or near the 5 December each year in recognition of International Volunteer Day, in Sydney. The Awards are presented by the Minister for Citizenship and Communities (who is also the Patron of the Award). The 2014 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award Ambassador is Paula Duncan.
The award ceremony was held at the NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on 5 December 2007, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day. The winners of the were:
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The were announced at ceremonies around NSW throughout October–November 2007.
The were announced at a gala ceremony held at the NSW Parliament House, Sydney on 5 December 2008, on the occasion of the International Volunteer Day.
The were announced at ceremonies around NSW throughout October–November 2008.
The were announced by the then Minister for Volunteering, the Hon Graham West, at a ceremony held at the NSW Parliament House, Sydney on 4 December 2009.
The were announced at ceremonies around NSW throughout October–November 2009.
The 2010 award ceremony was held at the NSW Parliament House, Sydney, on Friday, 3 December 2010, with the presented by the Minister for Volunteering, the Hon Peter Primrose and the were presented by the Hon Michael Veitch, MLC.
The 2014 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award ceremony was held at The Kirribilli Club on Friday, 5 December 2014. The award ceremony was hosted by Adam Spencer with The Hon. Victor Michael DOMINELLO, MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities in attendance to present the award for the overall winner, David Abrahams.
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