The 2021 Southern Sydney Volunteer of the Year Awards have featured some great winners this year from St George and Sutherland Shire.
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are in their 15th year and have grown to become one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across Australia.
They are an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding work of volunteers in every region across NSW.
The awards are supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state's 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.
The 2021 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Southern Sydney region are:
Young Volunteer of the Year - Damien Ha from Kingsgrove
As a Vinnies volunteer Damien is President of the Sydney University Vinnies group, team leader of the Sydney University Night Patrol Team, and also volunteers for the Vinnies Brekky Van and the Vinnies Buddies Day Program. He has been instrumental in getting more young people involved in volunteering and finding new ways of supporting people who need extra help during COVID.
Adult Volunteer of the Year - Diana Saunders from Woronora Heights
Di is a Crisis Supporter (CS) who does a fortnightly shift on the Lifeline National Crisis phone line and is a valuable mentor for new volunteers. She has volunteered 1,500 hours since starting with Lifeline in 2004.
Senior Volunteer of the Year - Roslyn Vaughan from Carss Park
Roslyn volunteered for Cystic Fibrosis Community Care for over 40 years. She helped organise over 680 fundraising street stalls selling plants, cakes, books, jams, knitwear, and other handcrafts and has raised over $400,000. Her final fundraising stall was held in June and raised over $3,000 in one morning.
2021 NSW Southern Sydney Volunteer of the Year and Club Volunteer of the Year - Kathryn Tanner from Tradies Gymea/Learning Links
Kathryn is the dynamo behind the Gymea Tradies Learning Links program, which has helped 90 Sutherland Shire school children and their families with one-on-one reading and numeracy support. Katheryn herself has supported 10 children and helped Tradies provide $71,000 towards the program.
Volunteer Team of the Year - St Vincent's Care Services Heathcote (John Paul Village) Volunteers
The 110 volunteers provide pastoral care, group support, social contact, recreational activities, and even tend to the aviary for residents to improve their well-being and quality of every-day life.
Also a Banksia man was named Senior Eastern Suburbs Volunteer of the Year but sits firmly in Leader territory.
Senior Volunteer of the Year- Dr Kulbir Malhotra from Banksia
Since arriving in Australia in 1989, Dr Malhotra has devoted his life to volunteering. He volunteers for more than 35 hours a week with the Sikh Kirtan Prachar Mission of Australia, seniors dance classes, Blacktown City Council & Bayside Council libraries, domestic violence support; and with food charities Foodbank and Good360. He is also a Justice of the Peace.