The 2020 Tasmanian Volunteering Awards looked a little different this year, with the ceremony taking place virtually on Monday 7 December. In celebration of International Volunteer Day, Saturday 5 December, the fifth annual awards recognised the invaluable contribution volunteers make to the Tasmanian community, while raising awareness of the important contribution made by volunteers across the world this year in response to the impact of COVID-19.

Watch the ceremony recording here

Patron of Volunteering Tasmania, Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AC, Governor of Tasmania joined the 29 finalists, their nominators, industry sponsors and VIPs at the virtual ceremony hosted by Volunteering Tasmania CEO Dr. Lisa Schimanski.

Mr John Tucker MP, Representative of The Premier of Tasmania, Peter Gutwein presented the 2020 Premier’s Volunteer of the Year Award to Ms Diane Reynoldson, who has been actively volunteering for the Annie Kenney (AK) Young Women’s Emergency Accommodation in Southern Tasmania. AK provides crisis accommodation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to young women aged 13- 20 years who are experiencing homelessness or who may be at risk of becoming homeless.

Ms Reynoldson has volunteered for the Annie Kenney (AK) Young Women’s Emergency Accommodation for over nine years. She attends the shelter weekly to undertake art sessions with residents, arranging welcome packs for young women who are new to the shelter and rallying her friends and colleagues to assist with the establishment of a fruit and vegetable garden at the shelter, amongst other things. Through her professional and nurturing approach, she helps young women develop a belief in themselves and their abilities. Ms Reynoldson also provides art sessions at Hobart’s Risdon Prison and travels to other countries to provide voluntary work internationally.

Volunteering Tasmania’s CEO Dr. Lisa Schimanski said the judging panel always finds it extremely difficult to narrow down the finalists, when so many people are doing incredible things. “There is no doubt that Diane is making a huge impact on the lives of the young women she works with and is an incredibly worthy winner of the Premier’s Volunteer of the Year award.”

“In the spirit of this year’s International Volunteers Day theme ‘Together We Can through Volunteering’, I want to honour the contribution of every volunteer in Tasmania, every contribution to volunteering is significant.” “Volunteering is not measured through the number of hours people give, but by the connection and impact of what they’re doing. It doesn’t matter if you are giving one hour a week, a few hours each month, one day a year or more, collectively volunteers are contributing an estimated $4 billion dollars to Tasmania each year and most importantly making an enormous difference in our communities, and for this we thank them all.” Dr. Schimanski said.

The Awards are Tasmania’s only state-wide program that formally recognises excellence in volunteering and are supported by the Tasmanian Government and valued sponsors.

2020 Volunteering Tasmania Award Winners Full List:

Premier’s Volunteer of the Year Award

Diane Reynoldson

Spirit of Tasmania Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Events Volunteer Award

Jasmine Power – Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife – Discovery Ranger Program

Anglicare Tasmania Community Care and Health Volunteer Award

Diane Reynoldson – Annie Kenney (AK) Young Women’s Emergency Accommodation

Tasplan Super Education, Science & Technology Volunteer Award

Xiaoxiao Xu – The Story Island Project Tasmania

Lifeline Tasmania Emergency Services Volunteer Award

James Smith – Tasmanian Fire Service

AON Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Volunteer Award

Toby Thorpe – Tasmanian Climate Leaders

VIRA Service Groups, Sport & Recreation Volunteer Award

Michael Griffiths – Judo Tasmania

Aurora Energy Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Award

John Thorne – Rotary Club of North Hobart

Hydro Tasmania Best Practice in Volunteer Management Award

Rhianna Airey – Clarence City Council

CatholicCare Tasmania Volunteer Program of the Year Award

The Fairy Godmothers

Local Government Association of Tasmania Corporate and Civic Volunteer Award

Hazell Bros

Watch the ceremony here