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Volunteers from Southern NSW in the spotlight

Ian Campbell 29 August 2019
South Coast/Southern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year winners from the Goulburn Relay for Life Event Committee Team and Young Volunteer of the Year Thomas Shannon. Photo: Supplied.

South Coast/Southern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year winners from the Goulburn Relay for Life Event Committee Team and Young Volunteer of the Year Thomas Shannon. Photo: Supplied.

Volunteers from across Southern New South Wales have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to their communities and regional life.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering and has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country.

Regional finalists are acknowledged at 21 ceremonies around NSW, with all invited to the Gala State Ceremony in Sydney later this year.

The NSW 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the South Coast / Southern Inland Award are:

Young Volunteer of the Year – Thomas Shannon, Goulburn Speedway and Windellama Rural Fire Brigade from Windellama.

Twenty-one-year-old Thomas Shannon was selected as the 2019 NSW Young Volunteer of the Year for the South Coast and Southern Tablelands for his outstanding volunteer rescue work with his local fire brigade.

He has joined a number of teams to fight fires throughout the region as well as assisting in lifesaving roadside rescues. Thomas is also part of the volunteer fire rescue team at the Goulburn Speedway – a vital part of keeping the speedway operating for the local motorsport community

Adult Volunteer of the Year and South Coast/Southern Inland Volunteer of the Year – Duncan Taylor, Country Universities Centre from Nimmitabel.

Duncan Taylor is the founding chairman and volunteer CEO of the Country Universities Centre, having helped establish the group’s first regional centre in Cooma six years ago. The Centres provide access to university and TAFE education to students in rural communities, helping them to gain new skills while remaining in country NSW.

Through Duncan’s persistent volunteer work he has now helped establish six Country University Centres in NSW that are helping to educate hundreds of students throughout the state.

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Beryl Harris, South East Regional Hospital, Bega.

Beryl Harris has been volunteering for more than 30 years giving her support to a long list of local health services on the Far South Coast. Her decades of volunteering have added up to more than 40,000 hour

Volunteer Team of the Year – Goulburn Relay for Life Event Committee.

This volunteer team has been operating for an amazing 18 years and last year’s event was attended by 550 people, who helped to raise $75,000.

CEO of The Centre for Volunteering Gemma Rygate says “volunteers build connections for people in towns and communities across the region.”

“They help to build such positive experiences and links to services across health, education and community sectors. Our ceremony recognises their work and gives us the chance to say thank you.”

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward adds “In NSW, volunteers contribute more than $5 billion to the economy each year and their social contribution is even greater.”

“The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are a fitting way to say thank you.”

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