Celebrated annually in May, National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia. The week provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our communities. NVW provides the platform to pay tribute to the more than 6 million Australians who volunteer their time and expertise.
National Volunteer Week 2022
Volunteer South West recognised our region’s volunteers during National Volunteer Week from 16 – 22 May 2022, with the theme of ‘Better Together’, celebrating the power of volunteering to bring people together, build communities and create a better society overall for everyone.
With COVID-19 spreading through the region and to ensure the safety of our VIOs and volunteers in the region we took our South West Volunteer of the Year awards online. The majority of the grant from Lotterywest and Volunteering WA went towards the production of videos of most of the nominees that we shared on our Facebook page and on our YouTube channel. These now become marketing collateral for the recruitment of volunteers and will be invaluable to us and to the participating organisations.
The online event to award the SW Volunteer of the Year and SW Youth Volunteer of the Year on Tuesday, 17th May was very successful and we had some wonderful positive feedback from the various organisations that attended.
The panel of judges found it a challenge this year with the high calibre of nominations. The deserving volunteers were nominated by their volunteer managers and recognised with certificates, with one taking away the South West Volunteer of the Year award and one winning the Youth Volunteer of the Year award.
Our guest speaker was Widi Astuti Farrow who is a volunteer from an Indonesian background who spoke about how much volunteering has changed her life by giving her a community and a local ‘family’.
“Volunteers bring our communities together by making them stronger and more resilient, and these last two years it has been especially important to reconnect to our communities and each other, to say thank you. Together, through volunteering, we are changing communities for the better. We are, Better Together,” said VSW Manager, Shamara Williams.
The City of Bunbury also recognised our local volunteers by lighting up Bunbury landmarks in red, recognised as the colour of volunteering, during the week.
SW YOUTH Volunteer of the Year Award Winner 2022
Spencer Willis (nominated by Dolphin Discovery Centre)
SW Volunteer of the Year Award Winner 2022
Lyn McLean (nominated by Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre)
Nominees for South West Volunteer of the Year award:
- Warren Jones – nominated by RYDE (Investing in Our Youth)
- Freda Hutchins – nominated by Solaris Cancer Care
- Paula Levy – nominated by Dolphin Discovery Centre
- Sue Moores – nominated by WA Country Health
- Denise Sara – nominated by Bunbury Multicultural Group
- Athena Sofilas – nominated by EdConnect
- Pat Smart – nominated by Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
- Steve Williams – nominated by the Bunbury Geographe Motor Museum