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Indigenous leader recognised as NSW Volunteer of the Year

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An esteemed local aboriginal leader has been recognised as the 2018 NSW Volunteer of the Year for support of indigenous people.

Wendy Dalton has been recognised for her support of young indigenous people and care for aboriginal women fighting breast cancer at an annual event run by The Centre for Volunteering. It recognises the outstanding work of volunteers across Australia.

The Centre for Volunteering CEO Gemma Rygate said the awards helped uncover so many incredible stories of community achievement: “We hold these awards to highlight the contribution of all volunteers. It gives us the opportunity to hear their stories, be inspired by their actions and pass on our thanks.”

Dalton is known in the local indigenous community as ‘Aunty’ and provides support for young aboriginal people, elders and aboriginal women around Grafton and Brewarrina.

One of her most important contributions has been her support of indigenous women fighting breast cancer. She is also an advocate for preventative health measures for indigenous women in her local communities.

“I save a special thank you to Wendy Dalton for her brave and relentless support of her local community on the NSW North Coast and Far Western NSW. She gives so much to all people, no matter what it takes,” Rygate said.

The 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award recipients are:

  • Adult Volunteer of the Year and overall Volunteer of the Year: Wendy Dalton
  • Young Volunteer of the Year: Aimee Caulfield
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year: George Tillett
  • Volunteer Team of the Year: Wellington Beyond Barbed Wire Volunteer Mentors
  • Corporate Volunteer of the Year: Gemma Marshall from the Macquarie Group
  • Corporate Volunteer of the Year: Pfizer Cares
  • Excellence in Volunteer Management: Colin Lott St John Ambulance NSW

Young Volunteer of the Year, Aimee Caulfield, trained as a youth leader for Youth Insearch before being selected as a chair for the organisation’s State Council and a member of the National Council. Youth Insearch is one of the country’s successful youth intervention programs, with a focus on young people mentoring others.

“At just 21 years of age, our Young Volunteer of the Year Aimee Caulfield has already helped and inspired so many of her peers,” Rygate said.

“Our Senior Volunteer of the Year George Tillett continues to apply the skills attained over a lifetime to build and create new tools and equipment that help make a huge difference to the lives of people living with a disability.”

NSW Minister responsible for Volunteering, Ray Williams, said the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards are an important way to recognise the contribution of the 2.1 million volunteers working throughout NSW.

“It was an honour to meet and talk with so many esteemed volunteers today who work so hard for their local communities,” Williams said. “I congratulate all our award finalists and those volunteers selected to receive the Volunteer of the Year Awards.

“You all make a special contribution to your local communities, right across NSW. We can all learn from hearing your stories and celebrating your efforts.”


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