Volunteer Awards 2021

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Tasmanian Volunteering Awards 2024 – Nominate today

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Volunteer Awards 2021

The sixth annual Tasmanian Volunteering Awards are the only state-wide awards program showcasing inspiring stories and recognising excellence in volunteering – from individuals, groups, and organisations.

By recognising our volunteers, we promote the importance of, and send a powerful message about, the value of volunteering; and the important contribution our 297,000 volunteers make towards building stronger, healthier, and more resilient communities.

After a particularly challenging year for many people, there is no better time to thank, recognise, and acknowledge the incredible efforts of volunteers, volunteer managers and organisations. Their contributions are keeping Tasmanian communities supported and connected.

Volunteering activities must have occurred within the Award period of April 2020 to March 2021. Click on each of the categories below to read about the  Winner and Finalists. Winners were announced on 17 May 2021, marking the start of National Volunteer Week.

Click below to read about the Winners & Finalists in each category

The Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Award is in recognition of an individual’s exemplary long-term commitment to volunteering. It is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions accumulated over a minimum of 25 years. This award celebrates an individual who has an established history of distinguished service across any category of volunteering, someone who has exhibited community spirit and provided inspiration to others, and who has positively influenced the community or communities they have volunteered in.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Lorraine Walker–Rotary Club of D’Entrecasteaux Channel

Lorraine has made significant contributions to the Tasmanian community, thereby becoming an inspirational role model in the process. She has raised more than $250,000 for Rotary causes, including mental health and family violence initiatives. Lorraine has worked passionately to raise vital funds to help reduce stigma and provide activities and training for the community.

FINALIST: Steven Martin–Toast for Kids Charity Inc.

Steven created the Toast for Kids Charity Inc, which raises funds for school breakfast clubs for students who had not had breakfast or lack the means to obtain lunch. The program also helps with their education, and the literacy program Books for Babies provides a free picture story book to newborn babies, highlighting the huge benefits of reading aloud to your child from birth.

FINALIST: Judy Ling–Meals on Wheels Tasmania

Judy started with Meals on Wheels in Penguin in 1972. She has been an active volunteer at the Penguin Information Centre since 1988 and has volunteered at numerous community organisations. She is enthusiastic about Penguin and shares her love of the town with visitors at the information centre.

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The Youth Volunteer Award recognises the positive difference young volunteers between 0-25 years old make to Tasmania. Young volunteers contribute to our communities in many ways. From sports and the arts, to health care, to emergency services, to social welfare and the environment, young volunteers play an active role in every aspect of community life. We encourage community leaders and members to nominate a young person who has made an outstanding voluntary commitment and who, through their volunteering, has positively impacted the lives of others.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Nicky van Dijk–UTAS Salsa Dance Society and Fossil Free UTAS

Nicky is a talented organiser, and whatever the context – be it climate activism, a dance class or a board meeting – Nicky stays true to her values, creating an inclusive and safe space for all. Nicky is also a finalist in the Sport, Recreation and Service Groups Award and Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Award categories.

FINALIST: Izabella Spizick–The Hive Collective

Izzy is the director of fundraising and grants for The Hive Collective, an organisation that provides Tasmanian women who participate in the workforce with the tools and skills to further their careers in Tasmania.

FINALIST: Isabella Oakley–Kingborough Helping Hands

Bella has played a vital role in her community since she was seven years old. She has been involved with Kingborough Helping Hands during this time and she is also an active member of the St Aloysius Catholic College school community, leading school tours, providing support to new students and volunteering for the school’s Vinnies group.


The Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Events Volunteer Award recognises the volunteers who contribute their time to informing, enriching, and entertaining Tasmanians and visitors across the state. Tasmania has a vibrant arts culture, a rich history, beautiful natural landmarks, and a variety of exciting events. Much of these activities would not be possible without extensive volunteer support. Volunteers share their passion and knowledge willingly, for the benefit of all who spend time in Tasmania.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Charles Burns–Sailing Tasmania

Charles is the skipper of the SV Rhona H and he dedicates over 300 days each year to the vessel. There are very few people who can command such a vessel, keep the crew performing at their very best and promote Tasmania all at once! Charles has accomplished all that and more.

FINALIST: John Bowden–Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Department Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

John has helped to inspire thousands of students, retirees and visitors across the north of the state to connect with nature, and to value wildlife. John volunteers his time whenever he can to help encourage others to create a connection with nature.

FINALIST: Elizabeth Watts–Heritage Sailing Tasmania

Liz is a senior crew member onboard the SV Rhona H and is currently completing her senior maritime qualifications. With new crew, she works hard to ensure they feel supported and then teaches them so that new skills are learnt in a meaningful way.

The Community Care and Health Volunteer Award recognises the countless volunteers who offer their time, skills, and compassion towards helping members of our community who need extra assistance with daily living, and to those volunteers that support fundraising efforts for their community-focused organisation. Many of the vital services that people rely on every day would not happen if it were not for volunteers – this category is for those who assist in keeping our community connected.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Robert Thomas–Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association

Bob has devoted a lifetime of volunteering across many different organisations. Starting out back in 1978, he remains an active volunteer with his continued contributions to the men’s shed movement in Tasmania. Robert was the founding president of the Longford Men’s Shed in 2008 and has touched the lives of many across our state.

FINALIST: Chris Walker–
Kingston Fire Brigade

As an active fire fighter and member of the Kingston Fire Brigade for the past 12 years, Chris regularly responds to incidents in the region. As well as his work with the fire brigade, Chris is active in many other community initiatives and is passionate and driven to help his community.

FINALIST: Ken Harriss–Skin Cancer Tasmania

Ken’s enthusiasm and tireless passion to raising awareness about skin cancer has proven vital in improving the lives of Tasmanians. His work educating others is literally saving lives – following on from his awareness raising events, many people contact Skin Cancer Tasmania requesting presentations about skin checks at workplaces and sporting clubs.

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The Education, Science and Technology Volunteer Award recognises volunteers who help Tasmanians from all walks of life to develop their literacy, technical, and IT skills, as well as encouraging lifelong learning. This award also celebrates the citizen scientists who collect, count, observe, and help our scientists get the data they need. These volunteers are everywhere – classrooms, libraries, neighbourhood houses, online access centres and community sheds.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Niamh Chapman–Edge Radio

Niamh volunteers as weekly host and director of That’s What I Call Science (TWICS) a radio show and podcast on Edge Radio. TWICS is produced by an all-women team of experts in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM), and is managed by Niamh to engage local communities with accessible and interesting content, while showcasing the diversity in STEM.

FINALIST: Steven Martin–Toast for Kids Charity Inc.

Steven believes that kids that read succeed and to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, children need to gain an education and, in turn, a rewarding occupation. In 2017, he launched the Devonport Reader’s Cup, linking children with books and encouraging them to enjoy what they read. In addition to this, Steven created the Toast for Kids Charity, which raises funds for school breakfast clubs for students who have not had breakfast or lack the means to obtain lunch.

FINALIST: Una Hobday–Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group

Food Plant Solutions creates science-based resources for the community, explaining nutrition and why the human body needs it. As chair of the group, Una leads a small team working to end malnutrition and enabling food security for all people of the world, including Tasmanian families

Sponsored by

Spirit Super is a multi-industry super fund with $23 billion funds under management and over 300,000 members across Australia. We’re here to help everyday Australians get the most out of their super through low fees and a focus on competitive investment returns. We take great pride in offering excellent service no matter your life stage or retirement goals. When it comes to super, it all starts with Spirit.

The Emergency Services Volunteer Award recognises the formal emergency services volunteers, but also the informal emergency volunteers – the ones who are there after disasters supporting their communities through the recovery phase. Tasmania’s Emergency Services rely on a multitude of skilled volunteers to help respond to a fire, flood, medical emergency, or other crisis. These volunteers dedicate large amounts of personal time to training and many of them are on call day and night.

2021 Winner & Finalist

WINNER: Wayne Doran–Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania

Wayne has been a Volunteer Ambulance Officer (VAO) for Ambulance Tasmania since 1993 and displays outstanding commitment to his community. He is inspirational through the community spirit he demonstrates, not only through his volunteering, but also his continual contribution to providing strong advocacy for Volunteer Ambulance Officers across the state.

FINALIST: Geoffrey Maluga–State Emergency Service

Geoff is a dedicated volunteer with the State Emergency Service who loves to help others as he strives to keep people safe both at work and in his community. When Geoff is not training or taking part in real life rescues, he willingly offers his time to judge and adjudicate for other teams conducting training.

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The Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Volunteer Award is dedicated to the many volunteers who participate in land and environmental conservation and education; the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured, and orphaned animals; and the frequently overlooked support that goes on behind the scenes. Whether it be fundraising or creating awareness of issues, being outdoors regardless of the weather to care for animals, or working up a sweat with conservation management, this award recognises the devotion of these volunteers.


2021 Winner & Finalists


WINNER: Nicky van Dijk–Fossil Free UTAS

Nicky is an organisational mastermind, transforming organisations with adhoc structures into well-managed communities. As convener of Fossil Free UTAS, Nicky spearheaded the student activism that was instrumental to UTAS declaring its intention to divest from fossil fuels in October 2020.


FINALIST: Gregory Kidd–City of Hobart Council

Greg volunteers with three Hobart city Bushcare groups and has been convenor of one of those groups for at least 10 years. He has participated in a remarkable 400 Bushcare activities since 2002 and he likes to encourage people to care for their local patch of bush.


FINALIST: Katie Hicks–RSPCA Tasmania

Katie has been a foster carer since 2014, during which time she has fostered almost 100 animals, from unsocialised, often quite wild, little kittens, through to large litters of puppies. Whenever Katie is contacted for her help, she has unhesitatingly agreed to do whatever is necessary for the animals.


Sponsored by


Aon is proud to once again support Volunteering Tasmania by sponsoring the Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Volunteer Award.


Volunteering plays a vital role for charities and not-for-profits, and Aon not only recognizes the importance of this involvement through our work in the community, but also the importance of making sure that volunteers are protected when performing their duties. Volunteers make the everyday life of so many Tasmanians easier with the assistance they provide, and it’s clear they are an important part of Tasmanian communities.


That is why Aon is pleased to continue our growing partnership with Volunteering Tasmania, and to show our support through their annual volunteer awards. On behalf of Aon, we congratulate all the nominees for their outstanding achievements.

The Sport, Recreation and Service Groups Award recognises volunteers who turn up consistently and dedicate their spare time to help with a huge variety of tasks, whether it be at schools, clubhouses, or recreational venues across the state. Sport and recreational activities are enjoyed by countless Tasmanians, and many of these activities would not run without the generous support of volunteers. This category also recognises individuals in service groups making a difference, like those in Lions, Rotary and many more.


2021 Winner & Finalists


WINNER: Suzie Calvert–Hockey Tasmania

Suzie had already committed to taking on several large volunteering roles within the field hockey scene in 2020 before COVID-19 interrupted the events and competitions schedule. With the eventual resumption of the sport in July last year, Suzie was the first person to put her hand up to help deliver the additional requirements of operating events during the time of COVID.


FINALIST: Kristy Stone–Dominoes Basketball Club

Kristy is the treasurer for the Dominoes Basketball Club, and she works each week in a time-consuming role for their ever-growing club. The club has doubled in size since Kristy has been the treasurer, thanks to her tireless work and dedication to the club.


FINALIST: Nicky van Dijk–UTAS Salsa Dance Society

Nicky is the president of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) Salsa Dance Society, a dance school which organises weekly dance classes and social events for UTAS students and others. In addition to being the lead organiser of all events, she is also in charge of training new teachers, coordinating the volunteers, and managing social media and promotion.


The Best Practice in Volunteer Management Award recognises managers and coordinators (paid or unpaid) – in corporate, civic, and volunteer organisations – who demonstrate a leading example of their commitment to volunteer involvement. From effective recruiting and onboarding processes, to displaying exceptional leadership and encouragement, we recognise those who keep their volunteer teams running to the highest standards.

2021 Winner & Finalists

WINNER: Li Yang–Australian International Youth Association

Li founded the Australian International Youth Association, a not-for-profit organisation that creates social opportunities for youth with international backgrounds to connect with their local community. She has been instrumental in building a bridge of understanding – delivering the message that Tasmania needs new residents for its future growth and that migrants play an important role in that growth

FINALIST: Debbie Smith–Deloraine House Inc

As the coordinator of Deloraine House, Debbie recruits, trains and supports 85 volunteers from across the community. She runs an orientation program and supports the volunteers across the wide range of activities and programs Deloraine House provides across the Meander Valley community.

FINALIST: Peter Harvey–Kingborough

Community Missions

Peter inspires his team of volunteers to make a difference in the community, through their contributions to the Kingborough Community Missions. The volunteers cook and distribute thousands of nutritious meals to disadvantaged people, particularly the homeless, in Southern Tasmania.

Sponsored by

As an organisation, Hydro Tasmania is committed to making a genuine difference to Tasmania. One way we achieve this is through our employee volunteering program, which offers our people the flexibility and encouragement to get involved in activities of their choice, during their working hours. It’s a popular program too, with over 40 per cent of Hydro Tasmania’s people volunteering.

Volunteering connects people across different places, cultures and generations for a common purpose, which builds strength and resilience. While there’s definitely an economic driver that volunteering delivers, it also provides the essential social benefits of hope and unity.

The Volunteer Group or Program of the Year Award recognises the exceptional things that corporate, civic, and volunteer organisations and groups have achieved across Tasmania. Sometimes there’s not just one volunteer making a significant impact – it can be a whole group that come together to make amazing things happen. Organisations and volunteers, as well as members of the community, are encouraged to nominate their own volunteer group or volunteer-run program to recognise the positive impact it’s had.


2021 Winner &  Finalists


WINNER: Free2b Girls – North/East Tas Groups

Free2b Girls supports up to 60 pre-teen and teenage girls across the North and North East of Tasmania. Free2b enables girls growing up in regional areas to have access to a safe and creative spaces in their communities once a week after school, where they can develop a sense of belonging and identity, establish new friendships, eat good food, be creative and engage constructively with their community.


FINALIST: Glenorchy District Football Club – Northern Heartland Project–Glenorchy District Football Club

The Glenorchy District Football Club (GDFC) has always had a strong volunteer focus, with significant contributions made by volunteers within the club itself and the wider Glenorchy community over the past 100 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the GDFC Northern Heartlands Community Project volunteers packed food hampers and delivered them to the homes of those experiencing hardship, which was a great success.


FINALIST: Volunteer Support Service: Specialist Palliative Care Service, Northern Region–Volunteer Support Service

The Volunteer Support Service has been providing support to people with a life limiting illness in Northern Tasmania for 32 years. Volunteering in palliative care is a rewarding experience – not only does it make a huge difference to the person and their family, it also resonates with the volunteers in teaching them to cherish and value life.


FINALIST: MRC Tasmania Food Box Program–Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania

The Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania’s Social Enterprise Catering Project launched a Food Box program in May 2020. The aim of the program is to provide food relief to temporary visa holders and other migrants experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. The Food Box program provides healthy, nutritious, and where possible, culturally appropriate food intended for cooking in a home kitchen.


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Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions
An independent judging panel will meet to discuss each category, and a maximum of three finalists for each category will be chosen.


Finalists will be notified via email/phone by May 2021. All finalists, their nominators, and a representative from the volunteer organisation will be invited to attend the Awards on Monday 17th of May 2021.


Everyone nominated will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from Volunteering Tasmania.

Click here to read the 2021 Terms and Conditions of Entry


  • Categories

  • Entry Criteria

  • Event Dates & Locations

  • Meet our Partners

Volunteer Connect

Volunteer Connect is a national volunteer referral system which connects volunteers and organisations. It allows people to search for a new volunteer role and for volunteer-involving organisations to advertise for and recruit new volunteers.

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