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This Award is dedicated to the many volunteers who participate in land and environmental conservation and education, and to the huge-hearted volunteers who give up their time, their skills and sometimes even their homes to helping sick, injured and orphaned animals.
The finalists are:
Anne and Peter Booth – Wildcare Inc.
Anne and Peter Booth have led a successful weed-eradication program on Maria Island for 14 years. As Friends of Maria Island ‘Sweeping the Broom’ program, they have co-ordinated over 50 volunteer working bees, to hand-pull millions of weeds that threaten the National Park’s heritage and natural values.
Anne and Peter are a powerful pair of quiet, committed, community leaders. They not only have a vision, they have an effective strategy to make it happen. For example, they developed a detailed ‘colour coding’ mapping system to systematically tackle the weeds. The Booth’s initial weed containment objective has since expanded to eradication from huge areas.
Anne and Peter have been responsible for planning, liaison with the parks service, coordinating transport on and off the island, writing reports, applying for grants, lobbying, and updating vegetation maps and the Atlas of Living Australia.
Their ability to marshall resources, train and energise the volunteer teams, and work with Parks and other organisations is truly an inspiration and shows what can be achieved with passion and commitment.
Alison Curtis-Godillon – Wombat Rescue Tasmania
Alison volunteers with both Wombat Rescue Tasmania and Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. She is an enthusiastic and willing wildlife volunteer, who is professional in her approach and dedicated to the health and welfare of wombats.
For the past year, Alison has single-handedly managed mange-affected wombats on Dalness Farm near Evandale, as well as several other properties. She visits weekly to treat mange-affected wombats and to set camera traps to check on their health. Alison self-funds most of her volunteering activities, including buying a motion sensor camera to check up on the progress of diseased wombats.
Alison volunteers to transport injured wombats for vet treatment and participates in hand-rearing orphaned young, which involves many nights of disrupted sleep due to the necessary 3-hourly feeds.
She liaises with state wildlife officers and research staff at the University of Tasmania, seeking and providing information to keep abreast of best-practice treatments. Alison also actively contributes information to DPIPWE wildlife management officers for the database.
Toni Johnstone – Tasmanian Lost Pet Register
Toni Hainsworth-Johnstone is a Team Leader at the Tasmanian Lost Pet Register. Reliable and positive, Toni consistently goes the extra mile to ensure the success of the many initiatives and improvements she has brought to the register. She dedicates over 40 hours per week to her role as coordinator, giving her time to meet with the public, the media and other animal rescue centres.
Toni tirelessly recruits, encourages and inspires a large team of volunteers to help ensure the success of the register. She shows flexibility and dedication in her role, willingly adapting her work and home life to fit her volunteer and coordinator roles.
In her seven years of volunteering with the Lost Pet Register, Toni’s responsive and helpful manner, perseverance and positive attitude has helped to reunite countless lost and found pets with their families.
Susan Weeding – Old Beach Scout Group
Susan Weeding is a Cub Scout Leader and Scout Adult Helper at Old Beach Scout Group. When the Group was recently at risk of closing, Susan tripled her volunteer hours and took on extra administration work to ensure its continued operation.
Susan is deeply committed to the environment and knows that today’s children need environmental experiences beyond the classroom. She passionately believes that children will connect best to our wild places by physically being there, having fun, and learning about environmental conservation. With her common sense and calm attitude, the youth she works with feel safe participating in challenging outdoor activities that extend their comfort zone.
Susan’s inspires environmental enthusiasm in the Scouts will carry them through to adulthood, positively impacting schoolmates, friends, and communities.
Susan’s positive attitude has kept the Old Beach Scouts alive, to the benefit of both the children and adults who participate.
Awarded to a company that has had a significant impact through its employee volunteering program. This award is open to any organisation who encourages volunteering and releases their staff from employment to carry out volunteer activities as part of an employee or corporate volunteering program.
The finalists are:
Aurora Energy has a proud history of supporting not-for-profit, volunteer and welfare groups. In December 2018, Aurora officially launched its corporate volunteering program. Through the program, employees receive two days or 15 hours of paid community service leave each year—an initiative that is meaningful to employees and directly benefits the community.
In just four months since the program started, nearly one-third of Aurora Energy employees have participated in a volunteering activity, representing 383 hours of community support. Activities have included manual warehouse support, assisting charities with Christmas giving programs, packing food hampers, and donating blood.
To encourage further participation, Aurora has recently delivered presentations to all employees to share the benefits of volunteering. Aurora encourages all employees, regardless of skills, experience or role within the organisation, to participate in the program.
Aurora Energy also produced a short video featuring employees discussing their recent experience in corporate volunteering.The program is creating the opportunity for Aurora and its employees to create meaningful connections with the local community.
Hydro Tasmania has an active volunteering program that begain in 2011. Hydro offers flexible volunteering options for their employees, with a current focus on sharing professional skills, engaging young employees as the next generation of volunteers and honouring external volunteers through sponsoring community grants and events.
As a large employer with a footprint across the state, Hydro Tasmania wants to provide a positive example to other big businesses. Volunteering in Hydro Tasmania has doubled over the past five years from 22% of its people in 2012–13 to 44% of staff in 2017–18.
Hydro Tasmania staff attend Volunteering Tasmania events to maintain best practice and to understand and use the latest research about volunteering, for example learning of difficulties in engaging young people in volunteering and that prefer volunteering opportunities that address current social issues. These issues affect us all because we are all connected. Hydro’s focus on embedding a culture of volunteering in their graduates means that over 70% of graduates participate in the volunteering program.
TasNetworks understands the value of volunteering to their staff and their community. The organisation actively supports this culture by offering employees two paid volunteering days per year as part of their EBA.
During the 2019 bushfires in the Huon Valley, TasNetworks coordinated a team of motivated employees to support the Huonville PCYC Evacuation Centre, helping with operations and logistics. TasNetworks volunteers worked to support the local communities of the Huon Valley region in a coordinated and well-managed way. They undertook meeting and greeting, running notices and communications between groups, housekeeping and hospitality of the Centre, caring for small animals and providing essential supplies for evacuees.
The efforts of the volunteers were especially appreciated by Evacuation Centre staff as TasNetworks people were often happy to take the overnight shifts.
TasNetworks has found that volunteering benefits both the culture of the organisation and the community—staff have an increased sense of personal satisfaction and the community know TasNetworks will support them in hard times.
This Award recognises volunteers that help Tasmanians of all ages develop their learning and literacy skills; their practical, technical or IT skills; and also those volunteers that collect, count, observe and/or help our scientists in other ways to get the data they need. These volunteers are everywhere – classrooms, libraries, neighbourhood houses, community access centres, men’s sheds, in front of their own computer; in a car, inside, outside, wherever they can help.
The finalists are:
Bethany Innes – The Smith Family
Bethany volunteers with the Smith Family after-school Learning Clubs, supporting students using fun, engaging activities to enhance their school experience and develop their literacy and numeracy skills. She gives her time to two Learning Clubs each week, and prepares activities in her own time, while also working, studying and volunteering elsewhere in her community.
Bethany’s enthusiasm and willingness to try anything are infectious, and the students gain a lot from her involvement. She has made a lasting impression on the students. Bethany builds positive relationships, provides good direction and assists young learners when they are struggling, and also if they wish to advance academically.
She cheerfully takes students and new volunteers under her wing to provide a positive learning environment. Bethany is a positive influence on all of the students, who gain immensely from her involvement at the Learning Clubs.
Jannie Fahey – Aurora Disability Service
Jannie volunteers two days a week training people with disabilities to help develop their independence. She has an innate ability to think creatively to train people in a range of life skills including using public transport and public speaking.
Her support with communication skills means that the trainees feel more confident in themselves and develop stronger abilities to interact and participate in Aurora’s regular social functions like dances and ten-pin bowling.
Jannie uses her excellent understanding of learning styles to support not only trainees but other support workers. She often implements new methods, programs and strategies for various trainees, furthering their knowledge and life skills.
Jannie lives with disability herself and shows great commitment in driving from Central Highlands to Glenorchy to work with people who need support. She has enormous empathy for others and takes the time to really understand what another person may be going through.
David Kewley – Beacon Foundation
David Kewley volunteers for the Beacon Foundation as a motivational speaker, role model, and mentor to Tasmanian students. He is passionate about engaging young people in career- and life-planning, to inspire and motivate young Tasmanians to reach their full potential.
Beacon relies on David for his vibrant approach and ability to engage his young audience by openly sharing the stories of his personal career journey. His ability to encourages students to consider their options, set goals and be open to opportunity has inspired many students to consider career possibilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths.
David has directly affected the lives of over 1,000 young Tasmanians through his activities with Beacon. He gives freely and generously of his time to impart his knowledge and experience. Through his volunteer work, David has helped to shape the future or our workforce, encouraging young Tasmanians to create meaningful careers and positive contributions to local communities.
This Award recognise and reward volunteers who contribute their time to informing, enriching and entertaining Tasmanians and visitors, both young and old. Tasmania has a vibrant arts culture, a fascinating past and a busy events calendar, all running with extensive volunteer support. Volunteers share their passion and knowledge willingly, without payment, for the benefit of our community and Tasmania’s economy.
The finalists are:
Shirley Baker – Friends of Deal Island Wildcare Inc.
Shirley Baker is a volunteer lighthouse caretaker, fundraiser, historian and treasurer with the Friends of Deal Island (FoDI) – a group dedicated to protecting and conserving Deal Island and Kent Group National Park. She has been a dedicated member of the groups since 2002
Shirley has contributed immeasurably to preserving the cultural and natural history of the Island and Kent Group National Park. She has been secured several Arts Tasmania grants to support this work and has lead the development of a collections project, an interpretation project, and multiple information banners so that visitors can learn the rich stories of the Island and its lighthouse.
Shirley initiated the restoration of the original superintendent’s cottage (1846), which is now recognised as a small museum. She has even produced the Lighthouse Cookbook, and sales of the book have raised considerable funds for both FoDI and Friends of Tasman Island.
Shirley’s talent as a historian and her reliability, initiative and knowledge have contributed immensely to building Tasmania’s historical archives.
Brenda Boyle – Calvary Health Care Tasmania
Brenda Boyle has dedicated her retirement years to creating the Calvary Hospital’s Heritage Archive. Since 2001 she has been curating the history of Calvary Hospitals at Lenah Valley and St Johns. She has lovingly curated, preserved and catalogued a significant range of historical items which are now on display in Calvary’s public foyers for others to enjoy.
Brenda has a special skill in relating historical items to current medical practice, creating numerous links between the heritage of Calvary and its founding sisters to the history of medicine and care in our Hobart community.
Volunteering is not new to Brenda, who began volunteering in the 1970s as a coach of junior hockey. During her 23 years as a nurse working at Calvary, she has been president of Calvary’s Past Nurses Association, a conference organiser, and a committee member and vice-president of the Hospital Auxiliary and The Friends of Calvary.
Mary Machen – The Tamar Valley Writers Festival
Mary Machen is president of the Tamar Valley Writer’s Festival and was key to the highly successful Spring into the Tamar—promotional initiative with other Launceston-based arts festivals. Brimming with original ideas, Mary has worked hard to promote the festival and work with potential sponsors, arts events organisers, and politicians, enlisting support from her wide range of contacts. This year’s program included a Schools Day to support literacy and a diversity and identity element especially designed for young people.
Before joining the Tamar Valley Writers Festival board, Mary has volunteered with other arts organisations including Junction Arts Festival, Friends of the Museum, and Friends of Theatre North, where she was instrumental in growing the support base to ensure that major theatre productions are available to Launceston audiences.
Mary’s cheerful attitude and excellent people skills have enabled the Festival board to recruit many other talented people to volunteer. She leads with a light touch and is always keen to lend a hand.
Allen Rust – Tasmanian Sail Training Association
Allen Rust volunteers as the Ship’s Master for the Tasmanian Sail Training vessel the Lady Nelson. A volunteer for over 20 years, and their longest serving Master, Allen has shown great commitment to the organisation. During this time. Allen earned his Master’s ticket at his own expense, attending the Australian Maritime College in Launceston as a mature age student.
For some years he was the only Master available, and so he sailed every cruise for which the Lady Nelson was chartered. The sacrifices he made to do this allowed the Lady Nelson to operate continuously in Hobart.
Allen has helped many others to gain qualifications to take on senior positions on the ship through his dedication, calmness and positive instruction. He inspires those around him to learn and continue the traditional maritime crafts, skills that are part of Hobart’s rich history.
Tasmania’s Emergency Services rely on an army of skilled volunteers to help respond to a fire, flood, ambulance emergency or other sudden crisis. These volunteers work all hours without payment, and dedicate large amounts of personal time to training. The Lifeline Tasmania Emergency Services Award aims to recognise the formal Emergency Services volunteers, but also the ‘informal’ volunteers – the ones who follow after the Emergency Services crews – those who are there through the long recovery phase, to help their neighbour, a friend, or even a stranger get back on their feet
The finalists are:
Damien Almond – St John Ambulance Australia (Tasmania) Inc.
Damien Almond is the Divisional Superintendent of St John Ambulance Tasmania, Launceston. He is the Event Commander for the Falls Festival and is instrumental in planning and executing first aid support for both Falls and Party in the Paddock. These are Tasmania’s flagship music festivals with a combined attendance of over 21,000 people.
Since 2018 Damien has worked to enhance and improve the support delivery of the Party Safe Crew. Damien and his team’s implementation of the St John No Judgement approach have reduced medical centre presentations related to alcohol, drugs, and violence at the festivals, and has been a major contributor to keeping young festival patrons safe.
Damien’s outstanding planning and management skills, and his respectful manner with festival patrons and colleagues are well-recognised within St John. His quiet manner of leadership has grown the number of first aid staff and volunteers from 85 in 2018 to over 165 in 2019.
Kate Gillham – Tasmania Fire Service Campania Fire Brigade
Kate holds several roles in Campania Fire Brigade. She is Second Officer, Training Coordinator, Junior Brigade Coordinator, and during fire season she is District Resource Coordinator, sourcing crews from other local brigades to attend significant fires. Her passion is evident in the number of roles she has volunteered for in the brigade.
Kate has a great passion for educating and informing the community on safety procedures and bushfire preparedness. She is highly respected for her knowledge and her willingness to help educate others. She is the driving force and coordinator of the ‘Bushfire Ready Community’ talks, displays and information sessions. Through Kate’s initiative, attendance at these sessions has grown significantly.
Kate’s key strength is her communication skills. She is committed to providing a great program for the Junior Brigade. Her input, commitment and great rapport with the children are the foundation of the program. Campania Fire Brigade feel fortunate to have such an inspirational leader as Kate.
Robert Jordan – Ambulance Tasmania King Island Volunteers
Robert has been a volunteer Ambulance Tasmania office on King Island for 29 years and the State Emergency Service for 28 years. He is also the Ambulance Tasmania Volunteer Coordinator on King Island, assisting other volunteers, managing rosters, facilitating training and providing the motivation to improve continually.
Robert is there to save lives, provide emergency care, support grieving families and to ensure people are transferred safely to the Air Ambulance Service. He responds to 4 to 5 cases every week for Ambulance Tasmania and on most occasions, he can attend a patient within 6-7 minutes from a 000 call, where he sometimes provides over an hour of patient care.
Robert has modelled exemplary behaviour within the emergency services volunteer environment. Every family on King Island has benefited directly from his care and been inspired by his example. Robert’s face is well-recognised and his service is highly valued in the King Island community.
For best practice in volunteer management, this Award highlights managers of volunteers (either paid or unpaid) who embrace the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement; through effective recruiting, training, support, encouragement and recognition of volunteers.
The finalists are:
Michael Barnes – Meals on Wheels, Longford
Mike Barnes has been the Regional Coordinator and public face of Meals on Wheels in Longford for more than 20 years. He manages a team of 40 volunteers who are inspired by his strong allegiance to the Longford community. He personally recruits, trains and rosters drivers to ensure that clients always get the best service.
Mike cares deeply for the service he manages, always wanting to ensure that clients have consistently high-quality meals, and the volunteers who make it happen are respected. His unassuming and welcoming manner means volunteers feel valued. Mike leads by example and is always available for advice and help to his volunteers. He will always step in when volunteers are unable to be there.
His positivity serves as a fine example to the countless volunteers he has managed. Volunteers are inspired by his strong allegiance to his community and expectations of a high standard of behaviour.
Di Mason – Melanoma Tasmania
Di Mason is the volunteer Founder, Chair and Volunteer Coordinator for Melanoma Tasmania. After losing her mother to melanoma, Di realised there was no support group and awareness program for Tasmania, so she created one. Since 2014, the group’s activities have steadily evolved. Di’s determination to have an effective, credible melanoma support group led to the creation of a board and constitution, including partnerships with key organisations.
Today, Melanoma Tasmania not only supports families through counselling, but also provides opportunities for these same families to volunteer to advocate for awareness, education and early intervention within the general community.
Di has enormous consideration for her volunteers and is meticulous in ensuring volunteers are carefully matched to roles that match their wishes, capabilities and comfort zone.
In addition to a counselling service, Di has coordinated a wide variety of volunteer-led fundraising activities and education events. Di’s leadership inspires engagement and positivity from her volunteers, who feel like they can do something constructive about melanoma
Lisa Plohl – Huon Valley (Ranelagh) Animal Evacuation Centre – Huon Valley Council
Lisa Plohl developed the idea for an Animal Evacuation Centre in 2013. She has been volunteering as Coordinator ever since, with support from Huon Valley Council. Lisa’s role has involved developing plans for operation of the centre, increasing awareness and—in the event of bushfire—activating volunteers and managing the centre. Lisa has inspired others to join the cause by using community networks and personal relationships.
During the Huon Valley bushfires earlier this year, Lisa activated the centre which housed over 450 animals and about 12 families. She managed volunteers on the go, developing and refining inductions and procedures. In this highly stressful situation, Lisa was constantly training new volunteers, many of who were personally impacted by the fires, She ensured that each volunteer clearly knew their role and she was always available to provide support and answer questions.
Lisa instilled confidence in everyone around her and even managed to make it fun—a wonderful achievement in emotional circumstances.
Volunteer Program of the Year Award was introduced in 2017 so that volunteering involving organisations can nominate their volunteering program or group. Volunteers can also nominate their own group, or community members can nominate an exceptional volunteering group which has influenced their lives in a positive way. This Award aims to highlight the amazing things that volunteering groups can do and have achieved across Tasmania.
The finalists are:
Australian Wooden Boat Festival Volunteer Program
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is the largest wooden boat festival in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting more than 200,000 visitors over four days. Run every two years, the festival has about 350 volunteers who take on numerous roles including boat handlers, communications officers, safety staff, stagehands, forklift operators, information counter staff, photographers, guides, speakers and drivers.
In 2017 the festival created a $30 million boost to the Tasmanian economy, with 52% of the attendees from interstate and overseas. This is an amazing achievement from an event produced predominantly by the volunteers.
The festival encourages social engagement, new friendships, training in new skills and a profound respect for Tasmania’s long maritime heritage. The collective spirit of the AWBF volunteers is truly remarkable and it expands far beyond a shared enthusiasm for wooden boats and sailing. A collective, can-do attitude is woven into the fabric of the AWBF Volunteer Program, making it a resilient and self-sustaining program.
Cancer Council Tasmania
Cancer Council Tasmania’s transport2treatment program is a no-cost service for patients who have face hardship in accessing cancer treatment. It aims to reduce the financial and emotional burden of cancer by providing transport, with the driving undertaken entirely by volunteers.
The program engages 70 volunteers state-wide using vehicles based in five locations around the state. They manage their own daily schedule to ensure all clients attend their appointments and show great initiative and flexibility, as medical appointments don’t always run on time.
The transport2treatment volunteer team are a highly valued public face, and often the first level of face-to-face support of Cancer Council Tasmania. During the year, the team provides over 9,000 hours of volunteering for 4,600 client treatment appointments.
The transport2treatment team consistently deliver on Cancer Council Tasmania’s values of generosity, integrity, collaboration, courage and innovation. The volunteer group inspires others to join their efforts, and some clients have gone on to become volunteers themselves.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers high-quality meals to hundreds of older people throughout the state, helping them remain living at home and to maintain some independence. Having someone deliver nutritious meals also provides social interaction and a friendly face to people who might otherwise be isolated
During the year, approximately 160,000 meals are delivered state-wide. We have 1,200+ volunteers delivering meals to about 900 clients across Tasmania. Many volunteers have been involved for decades, a testament to the organisation’s support, inclusion and sense of community.
Meals on Wheels volunteers are without fault willing to assist and happy to be flexible when shifts need filling. The volunteers tend to encourage others to volunteers, which contributes enormously to the sustainability of the program. Many volunteers are retired and value the opportunity to continue to make a valuable contribution to their community.
Meals on Wheels has a strong reputation and is a vital service for its clients in the Tasmanian community.
Melanoma Tasmania is entirely run by volunteers who provide support and counselling for Tasmanians and their families affected by melanoma. It was started by Di Mason when she realised there were no dedicated support groups for this deadly but preventable disease.
By providing affected Tasmanians with an emotional support system that is based on shared experiences, Melanoma Tasmania is a beacon of hope by connecting those living with the disease to melanoma survivors.
Careful induction and training for volunteers ensures that volunteers are comfortable with their role, and understand the safety surrounding both fundraising and counselling. The group runs a wide variety of awareness and fundraising acivities, so there is always a role for every available volunteer.
Melanoma Tasmania is now the Tasmanian representative for the Australian Melanoma Consumer Alliance. It is also aligned with Melanoma Patients Australia, with whom they now share resources to better support those living with melanoma.
Sport and recreational activities are enjoyed by almost all Tasmanians – people of every age enjoy spending their leisure time doing activities at schools, clubhouses and indoor/outdoor recreational venues across the state. Many of these organised activities would not run without the generous support of volunteers who turn up consistently and help with a huge variety of tasks. The Bulk Nutrients Sport and Recreation Award aims to recognise those dedicated people who give up their spare time for the enjoyment of others.
The finalists are:
Shelley Miller – Athletics Tasmania
Shelley is a volunteer with Athletics Tasmania and is its first female president. She has championed recreational running for over ten years and was a founding member of Tasmanian Road Runners.
Shelley has held many volunteer positions in the sporting community. She has been race director for numerous high-profile events, including the Cadbury Marathon, City to Casino Fun Run & Walk, and state cross-country championships. In 2018 she volunteered at over a dozen community fun runs, providing the necessary assistance to provide safe, well-organised events.
Shelley leads by example in all aspects of her involvement in the running community and is well-known for her contributions. She champions women’s involvement in sport and sports management, mentors women to assume management roles, and has coached many runners to their first fun run.
Shelley is influential in improving the governance and management of sporting events and her contributions over the years have improved safety and participant experience in community fun runs.
Jason Schmidt – Hurricanes Inclusion Cup
Jason Schmidt volunteers with the Hurricane’s Inclusion Cup for junior cricketers living with disability. He is dedicated to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their ability, has an opportunity to play cricket. Jason is the force behind the Inclusion Cup, and currently runs an additional six inclusive cricket programs. He also runs or supports several other junior cricket programs in southern Tasmania.
Through Jason’s drive and determination, the Hurricane’s Inclusion Cup has grown exponentially from just six participants in 2016 to 150 participants lining up in 2018.
Jason works to establish partnerships with other organisations to spread the benefit of these inclusion programs. He encourages the players to take on leadership roles like coaching and umpiring, further developing their self-worth and confidence.
Jason exudes energy and positivity and many parents have expressed their joy at seeing their children feeling happy and included. The skills that participants are developing transfer to their daily life, further developing confidence and independence.
Christine Timms – Parkrun Australia
Christine Timms is the primary organiser for Parkrun Tasmania—a free, weekly running or walking event that is held in parks and open areas all around the state.
Christine has devoted thousands for hours to help volunteers and communities create these safe, inclusive spaces for those wanting to exercise, volunteer or simply engage with others. Through her work with Parkrun, Christine has created a non-competitive, inclusive environment for Tasmanians to participate together with a focus on encouragement and positivity.
Christine has secured numerous funding grants for Parkrun. Working with sponsors, local governments, and event teams to ensure resources, quality, and health and safety compliance of the events. Her enthusiasm and dedication have grown the weekly event from two locations in 2014 to 14 run events in 2018.
Christine is tireless in her support and encouragement of over 120 volunteers, providing advice, guidance and kind words to help develop skills that many believed were out of their reach.