Volunteers from across NSW South Coast were today recognised for their outstanding contribution to their local community at a special virtual ceremony for the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. About 100 special guests, volunteers and community leaders came together for the first ever virtual event to recognise and celebrate the region’s volunteers. The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are an annual program run by The Centre for Volunteering which has grown to become one of the largest celebrations of volunteering across the country. Regional finalists for the awards are announced at 25 ceremonies throughout NSW and are invited to the Gala State Ceremony for the announcement of the 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year. The 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year 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 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year for the NSW South Coast region is Paul Hamer co-founder of the Scouts Mental Health First Aid for Youth program.
2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award recipients for the South Coast are:
Adult Volunteer of the Year - Paul Hamer from Catalina
High School Teacher Paul Hamer helped establish the Mental Health First Aid for Youth program for the NSW Scout organisation. Paul has helped train over 200 scout leaders across NSW in vital skills to identify and help support young people experiencing mental health issues.
Senior Volunteer of the Year - Carleen Maley from Tathra
Carleen has been supporting multiple causes and organisations and thousands of people throughout the Far South Coast and other remote regions for the past four decades. She has given more than 60,000 hours of her time over this period for the VIEW Club of Australia, the Bega District and Pambula Hospitals and Telstra Connected Seniors program. She has helped raise more than $1 million for the Smith Family, but her contribution across so many other areas of support has been immeasurable.
Volunteer Team of the Year - WIRES Mid-South Coast Branch
The 97 team members from the Mid-South Coast Wires Branch have given their land and lounge rooms to help care for sick and injured animals that share their local communities. They provide a 24/7 response that was so important during the recent bushfires that devastated the region. More than 2,750 rescues were made over that period, in the most dire and desperate circumstances. The team also includes three trained volunteer shooters who take on the responsibility to humanely euthanize injured animals.