1. Home

New England Volunteer Awards 2023

The New England Volunteer Awards for 2023 were presented on Thursday 18 May in the Armidale Council Chambers by Deputy Mayor Todd Redwood and Councillor Susan McMichael.

The New England Regional Volunteer Awards have been aligned with criteria for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Award 2023 run by The Centre for Volunteering to allow nominations to go forward to this award.

“National Volunteer Week was held last week from 15 – 21 May, and in Australia will celebrate the power of over six million Australians who generously volunteer their time each and every day.,” said Cr Redwood

“National Volunteer Week provides a great opportunity for us all to thank the many volunteers who help make our community stronger, and to demonstrate how much their efforts and commitment are appreciated.

“In the room today are just a very few of the many wonderful volunteers we have in the Armidale area, and it is a great pleasure to be able to invite Cr Todd Redwood and The Hon Adam Marshall to present you with certificates for your nomination to the New England Regional Volunteer awards.

“This year we have received 29 nominations for the awards – nearly twice as many as last year.”

Six categories
Adult Volunteer Award for individual volunteers 
Senior Volunteer (65 years +)
Volunteer Team
Club Volunteer
Volunteer Leader
Not-for-Profit Voluntary Governance

WINNER - The New England Regional Volunteer Team is Armidale Transport 2 Treatment Volunteers nominated by Paul Hobson for their work with NSW Cancer Council.

Cancer Council NSW provides free door to door transport to cancer patients in the Armidale Region to those that have no access to family support or community transport. Our wonderful volunteers drive cancer patients with limited opportunities for transport assistance to their life saving cancer treatments and appointments that may not be possible otherwise. The Armidale Transport 2 Treatment car has travelled over 150,000 km's since it commenced operation in Armidale in 2018.

WINNER - The New England Regional Senior Volunteer of the Year (65 years +) is Michael Porter nominated by Leah Macdonald for his work with Armidale District Cricket Association.

Michael ‘Mike’ Porter has made a lifetime contribution to cricket in Armidale, firstly as a player (a left arm opening swing bowler who not only played representative cricket for Armidale but also for Northern Tablelands) and then as an administrator. Mike has been the President of Armidale District Cricket Association (ADCA) for 34 years and his journey of contribution epitomises everything good about the game of cricket.
Mike would list the Armidale District Cricket Association and Armidale Sports Council working together on the Armidale Sports Ground as something he is most proud of. The ground now has a clubhouse, lights, updated change rooms, a better canteen facility and a new indoor training facility. The new indoor facility is a significantly notable achievement as it was Mike’s dream to build the facility and he has made it a reality. From scoping what the facility would contain and look like, to the numerous grant applications required to secure the $350,000 needed to build the facility, the number of hours Mike has dedicated to ensuring that local cricketers have an indoor facility to train in for many years to come is a real credit to him. 
Being happy to have met so many friends through cricket, Mike is extremely humble regarding his overwhelming contribution to local cricket stating that being involved in sport as an administrator is just another form of community service.

WINNER - The New England Regional Adult Volunteer of the Year is Satmak Dapar nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Mark Ostini for his work with Global Care Foodbank.

Satmak moved to Armidale from Nigeria to study at the University of New England and has been volunteering at Armidale Global Care. As a university student he is also working two jobs to help pay for his studies but still finds the time to help out at the food bank unloading groceries from the truck and taking everyone’s groceries to their car (rain, hail or shine).  He always has a big smile on his face and makes everyone feel welcome and loved.

WINNER - The New England Regional Club Volunteer of the Year is the UNE Outdoor Adventure Club Committee nominated in the Club Volunteer category by Laura Murray for their work with UNE Outdoor Adventure Club.

The UNE Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) is an entirely volunteer run committee that organises and staffs volunteers for the UNE climbing wall, which is open 4 nights per week. 
They also plan, organise and lead a variety of trips for UNE student members that develop skills such as leadership, team work, creativity, innovation, resilience, persistence and commitment. All of which are highly transferable to employment after they finish university. The current committee brought the club back from the brink after Covid forced the closure of the climbing wall. They completed a full rebrand of the club to make it more inclusive. UNE OAC is one of Australia's longest running outdoor clubs.

WINNER - The New England Regional Volunteer Leader of the Year are the Armidale Sanctuary Volunteer Coordinators Kerry Dunne and Astrid Knirsch nominated in the Volunteer Leader category by Lucinda Wright for their work with Armidale Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement.

Armidale Sanctuary is the largest volunteer organisation assisting with refugee settlement in Armidale. It is heavily relied upon by the government contracted settlement agencies Settlement Services International, Mosaic and STARTTS to provide additional services and assistance to families that they are not able or not required to provide. By co-ordinating Sanctuary volunteers and maintaining records of the assistance requested and provided, the Team provide an invaluable service to Armidale Sanctuary, the agencies and the refugees themselves. Their work has provided them with the opportunity to meet and assist many of the Ezidi refugees and participate in their lives and settlement experience. Armidale Sanctuary could not function as smoothly and assist as many refugees as it does without their efficient work and empathetic interaction with the refugees and volunteers alike.

WINNER - The New England Regional Not-for-Profit Voluntary Governance winner is Juliet Kaberry nominated in the NFP Voluntary Governance category by Jayde Grant-Britton for her work with Women's Shelter Armidale.

Juliet joined the volunteer Management Committee of the Women’s Shelter Armidale in July 2014. Since that time, Juliet’s compassionate and dedicated approach to leading the Women’s Shelter has seen the organisation grow from strength to strength. Juliet joined the organisation at a time when there was significant change and expansion of the services offered. Juliet steered the organisation through this time with passion and expertise.

From the time of our establishment in October 1977 as the second women’s shelter to be founded in NSW, the Women’s Shelter Armidale has had a strong tradition of innovation, ingenuity and commitment to community. Our operations have always relied entirely on the volunteer efforts of dedicated community members who have the expertise to lead a multi-faceted, political, community driven organisation. Volunteers like Juliet, who have selflessly donated her time to the success of this important community organisation, are priceless.

WINNER - The New England Regional Honourable Mention is Janis McCarthy nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Joanna McCulloch and Samantha Guilbert for her work with Animal Welfare League Armidale Branch.

Janis has been working as a volunteer with animal welfare organisations for many years, in a variety of roles. Her passion for the wellbeing of animals has been evident and paramount in all the roles. 
Janis was part of a team of energetic and visionary women who established a Branch of the Animal Welfare in Armidale in 2020.

In order to fund the core business of the Branch, (subsidised pet desexing for low-income residents and fostering and rehoming dogs and cats largely from the Armidale Regional Council Companion Animal Shelter), an Op Shop was established in the Beardy Street Mall. Janis was nominated as Op Shop coordinator in 2020 and set about the task of establishing a highly successful business that has been founded on the important social values of inclusiveness, friendliness and generosity.

Janis brought to the op-shop space her energy, creative flair and strong sense of social justice. She has created a place where customers and volunteers come for a ‘chat and catch-up’ and friendships have been formed. Under Janis’s care, the shop has become a community hub where many human and animal welfare needs have been met.

WINNER - The New England Regional Volunteer of the Year is Margaret Waters nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Rob Richardson for her work with Uniting Church - Alwyn Jones Community Award Committee

In September 2004, just prior to Alwyn Jones’s death, the Uniting Church, in association with the then Armidale Dumaresq Council and members of the Jones family, initiated the Alwyn Jones Community Service Award, which was made annually in autumn when the fruit of Alwyn’s work is most noticeable. 

Alwyn Jones contributed to the civic, cultural, sporting and church life of Armidale over more than 60 years after he moved to the city in 1940 to take up the position of accountant at the then recently established New England University College. Alwyn died on 3 January 2005 aged 90. He was a key figure behind the tree planting programs that have earned Armidale its reputation for beautiful parks and wide variety of street trees. Alwyn’s efforts in the beautification of Armidale were recognised with three awards – Citizen of the Year in 1994, Centenary medal in 2000 and Freeman of the city in 2002.
The Alwyn Jones Community Service Award is presented to an individual or organisation who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to voluntary community service within the Armidale Regional Council area. 

Margaret Waters started the Alwyn Jones Community Service Awards eighteen years ago and apart from missing (perhaps) one year because of COVID-19 it ran continuously until 2022.
The Uniting Church is very important in Margaret’s life and she and her husband Lex have been a part of the church community for many years. Even now Margaret is the treasurer of the church committee, a role that she has fulfilled a number of times over the years. She volunteers at the church every Friday helping with administrative tasks. Margaret is also on the Uniting Church Council.


Nominees
PCYC Armidale nominated in the Volunteer Team category by Keith Robinson for their work with Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW
Armidale Transport 2 Treatment Volunteers nominated in the Volunteer Team category by Paul Hobson for their work with Cancer Council NSW
UNE Outdoor Adventure Club Committee nominated in the Club Volunteer category by Laura Murray for their work with UNE Outdoor Adventure Club
Armidale Sanctuary Volunteer Co-ordinators Kerry Dunne and Astrid Knirsch nominated in the Volunteer Leader category by Lucinda Wright for their work with Armidale Sanctuary Humanitarian Settlement
Naomi Austin nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Lisa Evans for her work with TAFE NSW Adult Migrant English Program
Annette Turley nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Lisa Evans for her work with TAFE NSW Adult Migrant English Program
Juliet Kaberry nominated in the Adult Volunteer, NFP Voluntary Governance and the Volunteer Leader categories by Jayde Grant-Britton for her work with Women's Shelter Armidale
Armidale EALD Homework Centre Team nominated in the Volunteer Team category by Fay Paris for their work with Drummond Memorial School
Brian Flint nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Keith Robinson for his work with Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW
Uralla Historical Society nominated in the Volunteer Team category by Ruth Barratt for their work with Uralla Historical Society
Amanda Forrest nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Lisa Evans for her work with TAFE NSW Adult Migrant English Program
Michael Porter nominated in the Senior Volunteer and the Club Volunteer categories by Leah Macdonald for his work with Armidale District Cricket Association
Tom Wild nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Ady Hallam for his work with St Vincent de Paul Shop
Black Gully Printmakers nominated in the Team category by Emily Simson for their work with NERAM
Dzintra Menesis nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Janis McCarthy nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Joanna McCulloch and Samantha Guilbert for her work with Animal Welfare League Armidale Branch
Michelle Arens nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Sarah Reddington for her work with Armidale Regional Museums - ARC
Rose McCarthy nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Annemieke English nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Barbie Connah nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Merran Pearson nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Terry Cooke nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for his work with NERAM
Phil Bookallil nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for his work with NERAM
Jill Fagan nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Emily Simson for her work with NERAM
Margaret Waters nominated in the Senior Volunteer category by Rob Richardson for her work with Uniting Church - Alwyn Jones Community Award Committee
Satmak Dapar nominated in the Adult Volunteer category by Mark Ostini for his work with Global Care Foodbank


Latest stories

News

Armidale East Mall plans to go on public display
Plans to revitalise Armidale’s East Mall and make it a more appealing precinct for visitors, locals and business owners will go on display from tomorrow Friday 1 March 2024.
Be bold and bright at Armidale’s new pride event
In a celebration of diversity, Armidale is set to host a new community event that promises to be a beacon of inclusivity for young people in the region.
Fun run returns to Autumn Festival
The hugely popular Campus to City Canter will make a return to this year’s Autumn Festival program after a four-year hiatus.
Oaky River Dam purchase complete
The official sale contract for Oaky River Dam has been settled by Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland.
Mayor unveils bold plan for our region
The plan, known as Toward 50,000, commences public exhibition today through to Tuesday 19 March 2024, and identifies new employment precincts to deliver Council’s aspirational target to attract 4,000 jobs to our region by 2040 as well as areas to accommodate new housing for an increased regional population of 10,000.
Council honours leading citizens in local Australia Day ceremony
Some of Armidale’s ‘hidden treasures’ gathered at Central Park in Armidale on January 26, where they were honoured during the annual Australia Day Awards.
Alex Manners, Chief Officer Assets and Services gives an important update about Guyra’s water supply
Dear Guyra community, I understand that you may be experiencing changed water quality and am writing to share some information and plans that I hope will provide reassurance.
Armidale Folk Museum marks 90 years and steps into the future
Armidale Folk Museum has quietly marked its 90th Anniversary and released a virtual tour ahead of renovations to be completed in 2024.
Extraordinary Council Meeting - January 24
An Extraordinary Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday 24 January 2024 for Council to present the 2022/23 audited Financial Statements.
Official Statement - Tip Shop Closure
Official Statement - Tip Shop Closure