THE valuable contribution volunteers make to the Tasmanian community was acknowledged at a reception held at Blundstone Arena recently when the winners of the Tasmanian Volunteer Awards 2021 were announced.
Patron of Volunteering Tasmania, Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania, hosted the 30 finalists, their nominators, industry sponsors and VIPs at the official awards ceremony, which also signified the start of National Volunteer Week (17 to 21 May 2021).
Among the award recipients was Howrah resident Suzie Calvert who was presented with the Sport, Recreation and Service Groups Award sponsored by Volunteering Tasmania.
Ms Calvert has volunteered with Hockey Tasmania as a volunteer manager at big tournaments for many years.
In December 2020, she was also awarded the Hockey Tasmania Volunteer Award.
Ms Calvert said she was stunned to be announced as the winner.
“It’s very special to be recognised as a volunteer at any awards, but I volunteer because I enjoy it,” she said.
“I want to give back to help others that I was privileged to have when playing sport.
“We have an amazing group of volunteers at Hockey Tasmania who are always willing to help me when tournaments are in our state.”
Other award winners included:
Community Care and Health Volunteer Award (sponsored by Anglicare Tasmania) – Robert Thomas from the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association.
Education, Science and Technology Volunteer Award (sponsored by Spirit Super) – Niamh Chapman from Edge Radio.
Emergency Services Volunteer Award (sponsored by Lifeline Tasmania) – Wayne Doran from Volunteer Ambulance Officers Association of Tasmania.
Arts, Heritage, Tourism and Events Volunteer Award (sponsored by VIRA) – Charles Burns from Heritage Sailing Tasmania.
Environment, Animal Care and Conservation Volunteer Award (sponsored by AON) – Nicky van Dijk from Fossil Free UTAS.
Lifetime Achievement Volunteer Ward (sponsored by Aurora Energy) – Lorraine Walker from the Rotary Club of D’Entrecasteaux Channel.
Youth Volunteer Award (in partnership with Youth Network of Tasmania) – Nicky van Dijk from UTAS Salsa Dance Society.
Best Practice in Volunteer Management Award (sponsored by Hydro Tasmania) – Li Yang from Australian International Youth Association.
Volunteer Program or Group of the Year Award (sponsored by CatholicCare Tasmania) – Free3b Girls.
The Premier’s Volunteer of the Year Award – Nicky van Dijk from UTAS Salsa Dance Society.
Volunteering Tasmania chief executive officer Dr Lisa Schimanski said the judging panel always found it extremely difficult to narrow down the finalists when so many people were making incredible contributions in their communities across the state.
“In the spirit of this year’s National Volunteer Week theme ‘Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine’, I want to remind every volunteer that their contribution, big or small, is appreciated and is significant,” she said.
“Volunteering is not measured through the number of hours people give, but by the impact of what they’re doing.
“It does not matter if you are giving one hour a week, a few hours each month, or more, collectively volunteers are contributing an estimated $4 billion to Tasmania each year and making an enormous difference – for this we thank them all.”
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.
For more information about the award recipients, visit https://www.volunteeringtas.org.au/tasmanian-volunteering-awards-2021/.