NSW Volunteers to Be Recognised
Monday, 2nd July 2007 at 2:54 pm
The 1.4 million community volunteers in NSW are to be recognised in a new award.
The Centre for Volunteering, the peak body for unpaid work in NSW, has launched the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Chief Executive of The Centre, Lynne Dalton, has called on representatives of thousands of Not for Profit organisations throughout the State to nominate their most dedicated and productive workers.
Dalton says that volunteers in Australia are estimated to contribute about $12.5 billion a year through their unpaid efforts. In NSW the figure is almost $3 billion a year, based on $15 per hour.
Dalton says the contributions stretch from aged care, education and child welfare and counselling, through to emergency callout, event control to running sporting clubs, environmental care and animal protection.
Minister for Volunteering, Linda Burney, who will be the patron of the inaugural awards, says that the importance of the volunteering effort had been highlighted during the recent storms in the Hunter and on the Central Coast.
It’s estimated that around 1300 volunteers each day were involved in the rescue effort on the Central Coast and many more in the Hunter.
The Minister says the awards are about recognising the efforts of outstanding volunteers across all of these fields.
Details of how the awards will be conducted throughout the State will be promoted through Councils and State Government organisations and posted on the Internet.
They will include Awards for volunteers up to the age of 25; from 26 and over; as well as for those people whose volunteering is supported by their employer.
There will be 2 major award categories:
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award
The first round of judging for these awards will take place at regional level. At each regional level there will be an overall winner and, depending on numbers of entries, awards for Youth and Seniors. The winners of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award will be selected from the Regional winners. There will also be special awards for Youth and Seniors
The NSW Corporate Volunteering Award
This award will be open to volunteers who are sponsored by their employers and are released from employment to carry out volunteer activities.
Lynn Dalton says she hopes that in later years other States will take up the NSW initiative to become national.
The Centre for Volunteering is the peak body for more than 330,000 Not for Profit organisations in NSW. An award ceremony will be held on December 5th – International Volunteer Day.
To find out more go to www.volunteering.com.au