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Finalists announced for the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards

Finalists announced for the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards

Volunteering Tasmania, is delighted to announce this years’ finalists of the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards.

We would like to acknowledge the incredible calibre of nominations in every category and thank every nominator for their efforts. We received the highest number of nominations than ever before which is a testament to the incredible efforts of volunteers across the state.

The judging panel(s) had in incredibly difficult job this year and in some categories, there are more than three finalists.

For all those who narrowly missed out, every individual nominee and nominated program will be receiving a Certification of Recognition and Appreciation.

The winners will be announced at an official Awards ceremony at Government House on May 20, 2019


The finalists are: ( in alphabetical order )

Anglicare Tasmania Community Care and Health Award

Ken Harriss                          Melanoma Tasmania

Lyn Shegog                         Make A Wish Hobart Branch

Tania Watson                    Share the Dignity

Aurora Energy Lifetime Achievement Award

Beverley Allan                   Meals on Wheels Longford

Christine Knight                Calvary Health Care Tasmania

Douglas Renshaw            Bicheno Returned Services League (RSL) Sub-Branch

Rhonda Foster                   Bagdad Community Club

Kaye Fox                              Ambulance Tasmania

Edna Pennicott                 Kingborough Helping Hands Inc.


Bulk Nutrients Sport and Recreation Award

Shelley Miller                     Athletics Tasmania

Jason Schmidt                    Hurricanes Inclusion Cup

Christine Timms                Parkrun Australia


CatholicCare Tasmania Volunteer Program of the Year Award   

Australian Wooden Boat Festival (AWBF) Volunteer Program

Cancer Council Tasmania – transport2treatment Program

Meals on Wheels

Melanoma Tasmania


Hydro Tasmania Excellence Award for Best Practice in Volunteer Management

Michael Barnes                 Meals on Wheels Longford

Di Mason                             Melanoma Tasmania

Lisa Plohl                             Huon Valley (Ranelagh) Animal Evacuation Centre – Huon Valley Council


Lifeline Tasmania Emergency Services Award    

Damien Almond                St John Ambulance Australia (Tasmania) Inc.

Kate Gillham                       Tasmania Fire Service Campania Fire Brigade

Robert  Jordan                  Ambulance Tasmania King Island Volunteers


Spirit of Tasmania Arts, Heritage and Tourism Award

Shirley Baker                      Friends of Deal Island Wildcare Inc.

Brenda Boyle                     Calvary Health Care Tasmania

Mary Machen                    The Tamar Valley Writers Festival

Allen Rust                           Tasmanian Sail Training Association


TasTAFE Education, Science and Technology Award

Jannie Fahey                      Aurora Disability Service

Bethany Innes                   The Smith Family

David Kewley                     Beacon Foundation


Volunteering Tasmania Corporate and Civic Volunteering Award

Aurora Energy

Hydro Tasmania



Volunteering Tasmania Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Award

Anne & Peter Booth        Wildcare Inc.

Alison Curtis-Godillon    Wombat Rescue Tasmania

Toni Johnstone                 Tasmanian Lost Pet Register

Susan Weeding                 Old Beach Scout Group


For more information about our finalists please visit our Facebook page….

Finalists announced for the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards 2019-05-09T13:30:24+00:00

Statewide forum for the Community Services sector

Volunteering Tasmania is running a statewide Forum to provide professional development for staff and volunteers in the community services sector.

Attendees will participate in a variety of workshops and discussion panels to identify collaborations, connections and explore innovations and Apps in service delivery.

Funded by the Tasmanian Government under the Tasmanian HACC Program, the forum is aimed at Home and Community Care (HACC) and Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) funded organisations, and all those working or volunteering in the Community Services Sector.

The heavily subsidised price of $22.50 per person includes lunch, refreshments and attendance at FOUR of the NINE workshops on offer.

In addition to the workshops, the Tasmanian Department of Health will provide an update on the future direction of the Tasmanian HACC Program; a representative from the Australian Government’s Department of Health will be a keynote speaker, and the day will finish with a panel discussion with selected speakers on Community Services Sector topics.

Attendees will be asked to choose four workshops from the below:

1. Council on the Ageing: Aged Care Royal Commission
What’s happening and how can people participate?
Presenter: Deb Lewis

2. Family Based Care: CHSP Fees (understanding fees, hardship and communication)
Presenter: Douglass Doherty

3. Launceston VFC Services: Engaging with clients under 65

4. Volunteering Tasmania: Engaging your consumer in volunteering activity
Presenter: Dr. Lisa Schimanski

5. CHSP Nutrition Service: Nutrition advice for your programs
Presenter: Antonella Jarvis

6. TasCOSS: Wellness
Presenter: Ally Smith

7. National Disability Services
Presenter: Will Kestin

8. Public Health Services: Aboriginal Cultural Respect in Tasmania’s mainstream health services
Presenters: Belinda Fenney-Walch and Liz Mahnken

9. Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania: Embedding cultural appropriate care in services to meet Aged Care Quality Standards
Presenters: Hannah Poon & Fiona Rees


The forum will run on Friday, 29th March, from 10am to 3pm, at the Australian Italian Club in Launceston.

More information and registration is through Eventbrite or via our Facebook event page.  Please note places are limited and tickets are non-refundable, however if you cannot attend for whatever reason you can nominate another delegate in your place on the day.   A copy of the flyer can be downloaded here.

Upon registration you will be contacted by Kate Crawford, Coordinator of Volunteer Projects, Volunteering Tasmania, to select your nominated workshops and to record any dietary requirements.

This service is supported by funding from the Tasmanian Government under the Tasmanian HACC Program.

Statewide forum for the Community Services sector 2019-02-21T13:01:11+00:00

Editorial: Remarkable story unfolds at fire evacuation centre

THERE is a remarkable human story playing out at the bushfire evacuation centre at the Huonville Police and Citizens Youth Club (PCYC).

It’s a quiet story that ripples beneath the larger story of the bravery of the firefighters, the tireless efforts of the support workers, and the stoicism of the evacuees.

It’s a story about what connects us as human beings, our natural inclination to look out for each other. Crisis makes it visible but it is always there, this compassion we have for the people we share this place with. And that is what’s at the heart of volunteering.

The evacuation centre at the Huon Valley PCYC in Huonville, at the start of the unfolding emergency. Picture: MATHEW FARRELL

Walk into the PCYC and it looks like barely controlled chaos; there are people everywhere; there is a play centre and entertainment for kids, people gathering around the noticeboard to get the latest updates, services supporting those who have been displaced, and a very few quiet spots where those who have had a sleepless night can try to get some rest.

Many families have set up camp both inside the centre and in the grounds. At any one time there are 50 cats and 50 dogs being cared for as their owners need to keep their beloved pets close by. At another site at the Ranelagh showgrounds those who have had to evacuate livestock are staying to care for them.

Stay a while in the centre and you begin to notice the small acts of kindness. The local grandmother who takes a cup of tea to the woman sitting on her own. The “old hand” evacuees who’ve been there for five days greeting the new arrivals and showing them around.

Julie Groome of the Australian Red Cross outside the evacuation centre at Huonville. Picture: MATT THOMPSON

You’ll notice local people and businesses dropping in with food, drinks and ice creams as well as the essentials such as new underwear and earplugs. People appear to take the dogs out for a walk. Vets arrive and doctors and pharmacists are in attendance, kids (and adults) are entertained as people offer face painting, outdoor movies, games and activities.

Through the swirl of this activity there is another team at work; the evac centre volunteers. They are tidying, preparing food in the kitchen, restocking supplies, passing on information about fires and road closures, directing visitors and new arrivals, taking calls, handing out bedding and food and toiletries, and connecting people who need help with specialist support staff.

Over the past week this spontaneous village has found a kind of rhythm. You can feel the emotions ebb and flow with every report on the fires. Worry hangs heavily in the room. What the Huon Valley Council has created in this centre is not just a physically safe space but an emotionally safe space, for people who are at their most vulnerable.

Leona, 9, left, Noah, 5, and Kohen Gilliland, 10, watching a movie on the big screen outside the evacuation centre for the fire ravaged Huon Valley. Picture: MATT THOMPSON

There are about 600 people on site and there are 140 volunteers on a rotating roster. They have been vetted, inducted and they have specific jobs. They come mostly from Hobart and surrounds, and particularly from the Huon Valley.

The local football club alone has provided volunteers for nearly every shift. They are highly skilled volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators who have had to learn on the job and together have given many hundreds of hours.

It is a theme of natural disasters that people pay attention when the crisis is happening but tend to forget when the crisis has passed. Recovering from these fires will take a long time. Communities will need to deal with the damage and loss of property, the impact on jobs and families, the destruction to wildlife, and the beautiful, wild places we love that are no longer there.

Adam Lockwood, left, Jaymee Lockwood, Lochlan Barry, Leah Lockwood, all of Geeveston, reading donated books outside the evacuation centre. Picture: MATT THOMPSON

Recovery needs volunteers too. The fact that hundreds of people are turning up to help and many more have called wanting to know what they can do to help shows just how strong our communities are.

The volunteers at the Huonville PCYC are doing what many thousands more Tasmanians do every day in different ways; they are giving something of themselves, they are volunteering so that others may benefit. It may be simple; just sitting alongside someone, quietly listening to them. That is something we can all do.

Volunteering is a powerful act. It connects us to each other and makes our communities stronger.

Dr Lisa Schimanski is chief executive of Volunteering Tasmania, which has worked with Huon Valley Council to co-ordinate the volunteers at the evacuation centre.

There will be a need for volunteers in the weeks ahead. People can register their interest at or through the Volunteering Tasmania website.



Talking Point: Remarkable story unfolds at fire evacuation centre

Editorial: Remarkable story unfolds at fire evacuation centre 2019-02-14T12:39:13+00:00

Tasmanian Bushfires: Concerned members of the public wanting to help

We all want to do something to help those affected by the extreme weather around the state; but right now, Tasmania’s emergency services are responding.

Please stay away from the affected areas and help keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles. No additional assistance is required from volunteers at this time but your help may be needed once the local communities’ situation has been assessed.

When it’s safe, volunteers may be required to support approved organisations involved in the recovery.

Register your interest with Emergency Volunteering CREW (Community Response to Extreme Weather) and you may be matched to an organisation involved in the disaster recovery.

You will be contacted if and when your availability, location and skills are needed. But be patient, it might take weeks or months as the needs of the local community are gauged and recovery programs begin.

Register for EV CREW today at   It’s an effective and safe way to help your community.

Tasmanian Bushfires: Concerned members of the public wanting to help 2019-01-30T15:51:37+00:00

Office opening hours over the holiday period

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2019!

The Volunteering Tasmania team would like to wish you a very happy holiday season.

Thank you for your ongoing support of VT in 2018 and we look forward to working alongside you again in 2019.

The Volunteering Tasmania office will be closed from Friday 21 December 2018 and will reopen on Wednesday 2nd of January 2019.

Office opening hours over the holiday period 2018-12-19T15:13:19+00:00

Tasmanian Government receives our Budget Priority Submission for 2019-20

It is with great pleasure that we share with you a copy of Volunteering Tasmania’s 2019-20 Budget Priority Submission.

Our Submission was carefully researched over a number of months in consultation with Member organisations across the state. During these discussions we continued to hear of the strong need to address a range of challenges facing volunteerism, with a particular focus on professionalising the approach to volunteer management and aligning best practice frameworks.

Our Submission details a request for support from the Tasmanian Government to strengthen the organisational frameworks for volunteering and align them to the National Standards for Volunteer Involvement to better protect organisations from inadvertently converting volunteers to employees or not appropriately upholding the rights of volunteers in their workplaces. We have advocated for investment in an inaugural statewide training program to achieve this, and more.

We look forward to providing you an update on our progress in the New Year.

Tasmanian Government receives our Budget Priority Submission for 2019-20 2018-12-19T15:08:25+00:00

Tasmanian Volunteering Awards launched for 2019

As part of our International Volunteer Day celebrations, Premier Will Hodgman officially launched the 2019 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards.

The Awards now in their fourth year, are Tasmania’s only state-wide awards program that formally recognises excellence in volunteering and showcases inspiring stories of individual and organisational volunteering across our State.

The Premier said “The Government is a strong supporter of our wonderful volunteers and volunteer organisations and the Awards are about reflecting on the important contribution Volunteers make to our State.

“Communities and individuals are encouraged to take the time to nominate a volunteer in the 10 available award categories.”

Nominations are now officially open! Visit this webpage to see all the Award Categories and to start nominating.

The Awards would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. Our gratitude goes to Anglicare Tasmania, Aurora Energy, Bulk Nutrients, CatholicCare Tasmania, Hydro Tasmania, Lifeline Tasmania, Spirit of Tasmania and TasTAFE; and of course our major partner Tasmanian Government and our wonderful media partner Southern Cross Austereo.

Pictures from the Awards Opening Ceremony can be found on our Facebook page.

View our Awards television advert on our YouTube channel.

Tasmanian Volunteering Awards launched for 2019 2018-12-19T15:43:45+00:00

International Volunteer Day highlights the connection between volunteering and sustainability

December 5 is International Volunteers Day. It’s a day to celebrate volunteers and the contribution they make to our communities. It’s also a day to reflect on the impact that volunteering has on our world.

Volunteers build resilient communities. The theme of this year’s International Volunteers Day is Resilient Communities. Building strong communities that make sure their members are healthy, the economy is stable, and that a network of social services is available to support people in need.

Volunteers are the lifeblood that gives this strength. They run the line at the footy, raise funds for the school computers, deliver meals to the elderly, or give a loved one a break from caring. You will find them on standby in case of fire, organising the local art exhibition, planting trees, and much, much more.

In our hyper-linked, cyber-driven world we sometimes lament days gone past when we felt our communities were closer and more connected than they are today. But I think we can let nostalgia get in our way. The strength of our communities is right in front of us, and it’s powered by volunteers.

You can see it as you drive up the Brooker on a Saturday morning, with all those parents and grandparents powering the local soccer, netball and hockey matches. It’s there when you swim between the flags at the beach, when you pop into the local library, pay a visit to the dog’s home, or discover the past in our world-class museums.

Volunteers build communities that are inclusive and connected. On International Volunteers Day we celebrate how our volunteers help us build resilient communities. Communities that support those that are vulnerable, that need a helping hand. Volunteers build communities that are inclusive and connected. They help out in times of trouble to give a mate a hand, and more importantly to give a stranger a hand.

Volunteers strengthen humanity globally. The United Nations have also recognised the incredible contribution that volunteers make, particularly in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are a shared aspiration for humanity by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals are a call to action for all countries to achieve a better and more sustainable future. They include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, good education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, and sustainable cities and communities.

The only way to achieve the goals is together—community, government, civil society and the private sector. Working together we will drive the achievement of these goals locally, nationally and globally.

The United Nations understand and celebrate that it is our volunteers that underpin these goals. Volunteers inspire and engage others, as well as take action to implement these goals through grass roots activities.

Our volunteers contribute toward a humanity that is fairer, that cares more, and does not leave anyone behind. They help our communities to be resilient and sustainable.

This is how fundamental volunteers are to our communities, they build resilience locally and strengthen humanity globally.

Dr Lisa Schimanski
CEO, Volunteering Tasmania

International Volunteer Day highlights the connection between volunteering and sustainability 2018-12-04T16:56:50+00:00

Volunteer Managers in the Spotlight on November 5

November 5 is International Volunteer Managers Day, with Volunteering Tasmania joining their members and others across Australia (and the globe) in thanking the wonderful people who manage volunteers.

It is sometimes challenging for people to understand what managers’ of volunteers do, they are the ones in charge of looking after those incredible individuals who volunteer their time willingly to help our community.

Dr Lisa Schimanksi CEO of Volunteering Tasmania says

“Managers of volunteers play a vital role, you need only think about any sporting club in Tasmania, any community organisation, environmental or tourism group, arts or emergency service group to realise that every one of these organisations requires management of volunteers.

They manage recruitment and training of new volunteers, they manage the paperwork, insurances, they do inductions, they negotiate work plans, they schedule the rosters and they do the reporting. They work through difficult issues, sometimes deal with conflict and always ensure the volunteers are welcomed, appreciated, recognised and thanked” she said.

Carolyn Whamond is a qualified Volunteer Manager at Calvary Private Hospital who manages over 120 volunteers says

“It is a relatively new profession, but an increasingly necessary one.

It is obviously a role that requires people skills but it is also a role that includes understanding of regulatory frameworks, risk management and HR” she says.

Dr Schimanksi adds “ While there are more paid volunteer management roles than in previous years, it is still common for people who manage volunteers to also be volunteers themselves or if they are employees of an organisation, they do the volunteer management component from the side of their desk.

“Ideally this will change over time as volunteer involving organisations realise how impactful managing the volunteer effort is for the best organisational outcomes “ she said.

We spend much of our time recognising the contribution of volunteers in our community, and rightly so, their 7.1 million* plus hours given freely to Tasmania each year is an enormous contribution, however International Volunteer Managers Day  is a day to  reach out and thank those  people in your club or organisations making volunteering happen from the inside.

They all deserve a very big thank you for the work that they do.

Volunteer Managers in the Spotlight on November 5 2018-11-05T15:52:25+00:00

Welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of the Volunteering Tasmania Board and staff, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Lisa Schimanski as the new Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering Tasmania. 

Lisa comes to us with a wealth of experience and professional expertise.

For the past two and a half years she has worked at the Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) as the Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Projects. Much of her TasCOSS work has been deeply embedded within Tasmanian communities and within Volunteer Involving Organisations. Lisa has also supported a number of advocacy and policy campaigns that impact on the lives of those in our community.

Lisa has been and still is an enthusiastic volunteer for a range of community, sporting and school organisations, she understands first-hand the importance of volunteers for a whole range of activities that many Tasmanians rely upon, as well as the strength volunteering gives to organisations, clubs and the community.

Lisa is committed to contemporary practice, and working closely with government, organisations and volunteers in Tasmania to celebrate and promote the economic, cultural and social benefits of volunteering to all Tasmanians.

Lisa will be commencing her new role on 8 October 2018, we hope you will join us in welcoming Lisa.

Please tune in to ABC Radio on Monday 8 Oct, and hear Dr Lisa Schimanski’s vision for Volunteering Tasmania on ‘Drive with Piia Wirsu’ at approximately 5.25pm.  ABC Drive can be heard online or on air on these frequencies: Bicheno 89.7 FM, Burnie 102.5 FM, East Devonport 100.5 FM, Fingal 1161 AM, King Island 88.5 FM, Lileah 91.3 FM, Queenstown/Zeehan 90.5 FM, Rosebery 106.3 FM, Savage River/Waratah 104.1 FM, St Helens 1584 AM, St Marys 102.7 FM, Strahan 107.5 FM, Swansea 106.1 FM, Waratah 103.3 FM, Weldborough 97.3 FM, NE Tasmania 91.7 FM

Kind regards,

Venéy Hiller
Deputy CEO
Volunteering Tasmania

Welcoming our new Chief Executive Officer 2018-10-08T15:45:46+00:00