August 26 - September 1, 2018: Issue 373


NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards 2018: Northern Beaches Award Ceremony

Northern Beaches Volunteer Team of the Year Northern Beaches Palliative Care Volunteers from Mona Vale

NSW Volunteer Of The Year Awards 2018: Northern Beaches Award Ceremony

August 24, 2018

Time to say thank you to Northern Beaches tireless volunteers.

Volunteers from across the Northern Beaches region were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to volunteering in NSW at a special ceremony in Dee Why.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual event run by The Centre for Volunteering and is the biggest celebration of volunteering across the country.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the Northern Beaches region are:
Award Category                                Winner
Young Volunteer of the Year             Sophie Rothery, Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club from Whale Beach
Adult Volunteer of the Year               Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Lou’s Place from Manly
Senior Volunteer of the Year             Robyn Wynen, Cerebral Palsy Alliance from Collaroy
Volunteer Team of the Year               Northern Beaches Palliative Care Volunteers from Mona Vale
Overall Regional Winner                   Rebecca Fitzpatrick, Lou’s Place from Manly

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said volunteers from across the region had made an enormous contribution to the local community.

“Volunteers from across the area give their time helping in schools, hospitals, for sporting clubs, the environment, and with so many community based organisations,” Ms Rygate said.

“They all give so much without asking for anything in return.

“It was so pleasing to recognise their outstanding efforts and also celebrate the special contribution of the volunteers chosen to represent the region in November at the State Final of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.”

Northern Beaches Winners (from left) Palliative Care Volunteer Team, Robyn Wynen from Cerebral Palsey Alliance, Rebecca Fitzpatrick from Lou’s Place, and Sophie Rothery from Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

This year, the region’s Young Volunteer of the Year is Sophie Rothery, a relentless volunteer at the Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Sophie has been a wonderful advocate for greater participation for young girls in the club and the Women of Whale Beach mentoring program.

The team of 41 volunteers at the HammondCare Northern Beaches Palliative Care was selected for the Volunteer Team of the Year Award. It’s based on the grounds of Mona Vale Hospital and provides end of life care for patients who wish to stay at home. Each volunteer gives around 250 hours of support each month from Manly to Palm Beach.

The NSW Senior Volunteer of the Year for the Northern Beaches is Robyn Wynen who has helped run events and encourage greater participation in the Paralympic sport of Boccia – a sport similar to lawn bowls and designed specifically for people with cerebral palsy.

The Adult Volunteer of the Year and overall NSW Volunteer of the Year for the Northern Beaches region is Rebecca Fitzpatrick who is a dedicated volunteer and volunteer manager overseeing more than 100 volunteers at Lou’s Place – a women’s shelter supporting women in crisis.

Rebecca, a trained opera singer, also runs music classes for young families at the nearby Plunkett St Playgroup – a centre focused on providing extra assistance and early intervention to children and mothers in need.

The 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are supported by principal partners the Department of Family and Community Services NSW and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs. They are also supported by Etchcraft and Thrifty Car & Truck Rentals.

NSW Minister responsible for Volunteering, the Hon. Ray Williams, said the state’s 2.1 million volunteers contributed more than $5 billion to the NSW economy every year.

“Nominating local volunteers for an award or a certificate is a special way of saying thank you,” Mr Williams said.

“The fact that so many nominations were received this year is recognition of the amazing effort of volunteers across NSW who help build stronger communities.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said that volunteers were the backbone of registered clubs across NSW.

“ClubsNSW is very proud to support the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards and every one of the amazing volunteers recognised today,” Mr Ball said.

“Clubs across NSW rely on 32,000 volunteers to help make their venues a vibrant and enjoyable experience,” Mr Ball said.

“They also contribute so much more to our wider community, adding billions of dollars to the NSW economy each year.”

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards is an annual program launched in 2007 by The Centre for Volunteering to recognise the outstanding efforts of the 2 million+ volunteers in NSW, and to promote the importance of volunteering to the community. The Awards are a celebration of the amazing commitment and achievements volunteers make in our communities and a chance for us to come together to give our thanks. The Awards acknowledge the efforts of thousands of volunteers, volunteer managers, volunteer involving organisations and corporates in bringing about social change through volunteering.


Attendees report that it was stated there were over 500 people nominated for the Awards on the Northern Beaches, by far the most nominated from any district and a reflection on the community as a whole and its parts in individuals who will serve others in many capacities from health to sport and surf life saving across the beaches.

Vincent De Luca OAM attended the ceremony and took some happy snaps of some faces you may recognise - among these are Lynleigh Grieg, Margaret Murden, Bob Langbein, Michael Mannington, Julie Couston, Louis Tassone, Rowena Clarke and Tammy Cook - thanks Vince!

"Congratulations to the wonderful volunteers from the Northern Beaches that made it to the Finals of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards" - Vincent De Luca OAM