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Finalists for 2021 Tasmanian Volunteer Awards

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Volunteering Tasmania has announced the finalists for this year’s Tasmanian Volunteering Awards. Tasmanians from all over the state, from Sandford to Smithton, have been recognised as finalists for this year’s awards. A total of 21 volunteers, four volunteer programs and three volunteer managers from the arts, sport, education, environment, emergency services and the community sector have […]

Volunteering Tasmania has announced the finalists for this year’s Tasmanian Volunteering Awards. Tasmanians from all over the state, from Sandford to Smithton, have been recognised as finalists for this year’s awards.

A total of 21 volunteers, four volunteer programs and three volunteer managers from the arts, sport, education, environment, emergency services and the community sector have made the prestigious final list.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 17 May at Blundstone Arena, marking the start of National Volunteer Week. Governor of Tasmania Kate Warner AC is the patron for the event and will be presenting the awards to the winners. The event location has moved this year due to COVID-19 restrictions still in place at Government House.

National Volunteer Week celebrates the significant contribution of Australia’s almost six million volunteers, who dedicate more than 600 million hours to help others. The theme for National Volunteer Week 2021 is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine. The theme acknowledges it is time to recognise, celebrate and thank volunteers for the vital role they play in our lives; to reconnect to what is important by giving our time to help others and ourselves. And lastly, to reimagine how we can better support volunteers and the communities they help.

The judging panels for the awards were made up of 36 representatives from awards sponsors and industry experts, who had the difficult task of identifying the finalists in each award category.

Volunteering Tasmania’s CEO Dr Lisa Schimanski said:

“We received feedback from many judges that it has been a very difficult decision-making process to identify finalists in each category, as all nominees have made significant contributions to volunteering and their communities.”

“Volunteering has long been a driver of individual and community wellbeing, contributing more than $4 billion to our state every year and providing enormous social and cultural benefits. The Tasmanian Volunteering Awards celebrate those amazing people contributing in a multitude of ways, and every contribution is significant.”

Finalists for the 2021 Tasmanian Volunteer Awards

Community Care and Health Volunteer Award

Finalist: Chris Walker – Blackmans Bay

Kingston Fire Brigade

As an active fire fighter and member of the Kingston Fire Brigade for the past 12 years, Chris regularly responds to incidents in the region. As well as his work with the fire brigade, Chris is active in many other community initiatives and is passionate and driven to help his community.

Finalist: Robert Thomas – Longford

Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association

Bob has devoted a lifetime of volunteering across many different organisations. Starting out in 1978, he remains an active volunteer with his continued contributions to the men’s shed movement in Tasmania. Robert was the founding president of the Longford Men’s Shed in 2008 and has touched the lives of many across our state.

Finalist: Ken Harriss – Primrose

Skin Cancer Tasmania

Ken’s enthusiasm and tireless passion to raising awareness about skin cancer has proven vital in improving the lives of Tasmanians. His work educating others is literally saving lives – following on from his awareness raising events, many people contact Skin Cancer Tasmania requesting presentations about skin checks at workplaces and sporting clubs.

Education, Science and Technology Volunteer Award

Finalist: Steven Martin – Stony Rise

Toast for Kids Charity Inc.

Steven believes that kids that read succeed and to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, children need to gain an education and, in turn, a rewarding occupation. He is the creator of the Devonport Reader’s Cup and kickstarted the Toast for Kids Charity, which raises funds for school breakfast clubs for students who have not had breakfast or lack the means to obtain lunch.

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Finalist: Una Hobday – Old Beach

Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group

Food Plant Solutions creates science-based resources for the community, explaining nutrition and why the human body needs it. As chair of the group, Una leads a small team working to end malnutrition and enabling food security for all people of the world, including Tasmanian families.

Finalist: Niamh Chapman – Kingston

Niamh volunteers as weekly host and director of That’s What I Call Science (TWICS) a radio show and podcast on Edge Radio. TWICS is produced by an all-women team of experts in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and is managed by Niamh to engage local communities with accessible and interesting content, while showcasing the diversity in STEM.

Emergency Services Volunteer Award

Finalist: Wayne Doran – Bothwell

Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania

Wayne has been a Volunteer Ambulance Officer (VAO) for Ambulance Tasmania since 1993 and displays outstanding commitment to his community. He is inspirational through the community spirit he demonstrates, not only through his volunteering, but also his continual contribution to providing strong advocacy for Volunteer Ambulance Officers across the state.

Finalist: Geoffrey Maluga – Smithton

State Emergency Service

Geoffrey is a dedicated volunteer with the State Emergency Service who loves to help others as he strives to keep people safe both at work and in his community. When Geoff is not training or taking part in real life rescues, he willingly offers his time to judge and adjudicate for other teams conducting training.

Sport, Recreation and Service Groups Volunteer Award

Finalist: Kristy Stone – Sandford

Dominoes Basketball Club

Kristy is the treasurer for the Dominoes Basketball Club, and she works each week in a time-consuming role for their ever-growing club. The club has doubled in size since Kristy has been the treasurer, thanks to her tireless work and dedication to the club.

Finalist: Nicky van Dijk – Sandy Bay

UTAS Salsa Dance Society

Nicky is the president of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) Salsa Dance Society, a dance school which organises weekly dance classes and social events for UTAS students and others. In addition to being the lead organiser of all events, she is also in charge of training new teachers, coordinating the volunteers, and managing social media and promotion.

Finalist: Suzie Calvert – Howrah

Hockey Tasmania

Suzie had already committed to taking on several large volunteering roles within the field hockey scene in 2020 before COVID-19 interrupted the events and competitions schedule. With the eventual resumption of the sport in July last year, Suzie was the first person to put her hand up to help deliver the additional requirements of operating events during the time of COVID.

Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Events Volunteer Award

Finalist: Charles Burns – Kettering

Heritage Sailing Tasmania

Charles is the skipper of the SV Rhona H and he dedicates over 300 days each year to the vessel. There are very few people who can command such a vessel, keep the crew performing at their very best and promote Tasmania all at once! Charles has accomplished all that and more.

Finalist: John Bowden – Shearwater

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Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

John has helped to inspire thousands of students, retirees and visitors across the north of the state to connect with nature, and to value wildlife. John volunteers his time whenever he can to help encourage others to create a connection with nature.

Finalist: Elizabeth Watts – Glenorchy

Heritage Sailing Tasmania

Liz is a senior crew member onboard the SV Rhona H and is currently completing her senior maritime qualifications. With new crew, she works hard to ensure they feel supported and then teaches them in a way the skills are learnt in a meaningful way.

Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Volunteer Award

Finalist: Nicky van Dijk – Sandy Bay

Fossil Free UTAS

Nicky is an organisational mastermind, transforming organisations with adhoc structures into well-managed communities. As convener of Fossil Free UTAS, Nicky spearheaded the student activism that was instrumental to UTAS declaring its intention to divest from fossil fuels in October 2020.

Finalist: Gregory Kidd – Mt Nelson

City of Hobart Council

Greg volunteers with three city Bushcare groups and has been convenor of one of those groups for at least 10 years. He has participated in a remarkable 400 Bushcare activities since 2002 and he likes to encourage people to care for their local patch of bush.

Finalist: Katie Hicks – Cressy

RSPCA Tasmania

Katie has been a foster carer since 2014, during which time she has fostered almost 100 animals, from unsocialised, often quite wild, little kittens, through to large litters of puppies. Whenever Katie is contacted for her help, she has unhesitatingly agreed to do whatever is necessary for the animals.

Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Award

Finalist: Steven Martin – Stony Rise

Toast for Kids Charity Inc.

Steven created the Toast for Kids Charity Inc, which raises funds for school breakfast clubs for students who had not had breakfast or lack the means to obtain lunch. The program also helps with their education, and the literacy program Books for Babies provides a free picture story book to newborn babies, highlighting the huge benefits of reading aloud to your child from birth.

Finalist: Lorraine Walker – Kingston

Rotary Club of D’Entrecasteaux Channel

Lorraine has made significant contributions to the Tasmanian community, thereby becoming an inspirational role model in the process. Lorraine has volunteered for more than 40 years for numerous Tasmanian services, community, and sporting organisations.

Finalist: Judy Ling – Penguin

Meals on Wheels Tasmania

Judy started with Meals on Wheels in Penguin in 1972. She has been an active volunteer at the Penguin Information Centre since 1988 and has volunteered at numerous Penguin community organisations. She is enthusiastic about Penguin and shares her love of the town with visitors at the Information Centre.

Youth Volunteer Award

In partnership with Youth Network of Tasmania

Finalist: Izabella Spizick- West Hobart

The Hive Collective

Izzy is the director of fundraising and grants for The Hive Collective, an organisation that provides Tasmanian women who participate in the workforce with the tools and skills to further their careers in Tasmania.

Finalist: Nicky van Dijk – Sandy Bay

UTAS Salsa Dance Society and Fossil Free UTAS

Nicky is a talented organiser, and whatever the context – be it climate activism, a dance class or a board meeting – Nicky stays true to her values, creating an inclusive and safe space for all.

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Nicky is also a finalist in the Sport, Recreation and Service Groups Award and Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Award categories.

Finalist: Isabella Oakley – Kingston

Kingborough Helping Hands

Bella has played a vital role in her community since she was seven years old. She has been involved with Kingborough Helping Hands during this time and she is also an active member of the St Aloysius Catholic College school community, leading school tours, providing support to new students and volunteering for the school’s Vinnies group.

Best Practice in Volunteer Management Award

Finalist: Debbie Smith – Deloraine

Deloraine House Inc

As the coordinator of Deloraine House, Debbie recruits, trains and supports 85 volunteers from across the community. She runs an orientation program and supports the volunteers across the wide range of activities and programs Deloraine House provides across the Meander Valley community.

Finalist: Peter Harvey – Blackmans Bay

Kingborough Community Missions

Peter inspires his team of volunteers to make a difference in the community, through their contributions to the Kingborough Community Missions. The volunteers cook and distribute thousands of nutritious meals to disadvantaged people, particularly the homeless, in Southern Tasmania.

Finalist: Li Yang – Battery Point

Australian International Youth Association

Li founded the Australian International Youth Association, a not-for-profit organisation that creates social opportunities for youth with international backgrounds to connect with their local community. She has been instrumental in building a bridge of understanding – delivering the message that Tasmania needs new residents for its future growth and that migrants play an important role in that growth.

Volunteer Program or Group of the Year Award

Finalist: Glenorchy District Football Club – Northern Heartland Project

Glenorchy District Football Club

The Glenorchy District Football Club (GDFC) has always had a strong volunteer focus, with significant contributions made by volunteers within the club itself and the wider Glenorchy community over the past 100 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GDFC Northern Heartlands Community Project volunteers packed food hampers and delivered them to the homes of those experiencing hardship, which was a great success.

Finalist: Volunteer Support Service: Specialist Palliative Care Service, Northern Region

Volunteer Support Service

The Volunteer Support Service has been providing support to people with a life limiting illness in Northern Tasmania for 32 years. Volunteering in palliative care is a rewarding experience – not only does it make a huge difference to the person and their family, it also resonates with the volunteers in teaching them to cherish and value life.

Finalist: Free2b Girls

Free2b Girls – North/East Tas Groups

Free2b Girls supports up to 60 pre-teen and teenage girls across the North and North East of Tasmania. Free2b enables girls growing up in regional areas to have access to a safe and creative spaces in their communities once a week after school, where they can develop a sense of belonging and identity, establish new friendships, eat good food, be creative and engage constructively with their community.

Finalist: MRC Tasmania Food Box Program

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania

The Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania’s Social Enterprise Catering Project launched a Food Box program in May 2020. The aim of the program is to provide food relief to temporary visa holders and other migrants experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Food Box program provides healthy, nutritious, and where possible, culturally appropriate food intended for cooking in a home kitchen.

Source: Tasmanian Times

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