2018 Volunteering Awards, Canberra Region

22 May | National Arboretum Canberra | 6pm-8pm

Congratulations to the Award and Highly Commended recipients, and a big well done to every volunteer individual, team and organisation.

** Keep a look out on our Facebook page where we’ll be releasing photos soon!! **

1. Corporate Volunteering Award

Award RecipientBeyond Bank Staff (Nominated by Beyond Bank Australia)

Volunteering is embedded in the culture of Beyond Bank, who give each staff member two paid leave days per year to volunteer in the community. Thanks to this generous provision, Beyond Bank staff have collectively given nearly 300 hours of their time in the last 12 months to organisations in the Canberra Region. Volunteering through their organisation has given Beyond Bank employees greater connection with their community, and instilled in many an ongoing passion for giving back.

2. Thought & Leadership Award

Award RecipientAndrew Gradie (Nominated by the State Emergency Service Rivers Unit)

Andrew is the perfect example of going above and beyond for the Canberra Community. He demonstrates thought and leadership qualities that have enabled his SES Rivers Unit to provide exceptional response to every request made for community support and emergency assistance in times of severe weather and storm activity. Andrew has worked tirelessly in the role of Acting Commander, personally contributing hundreds of hours each year. Andrew has reinvigorated the 30 Unit Members and devoted enormous effort to attracting potential new recruits for the 2018 SES volunteer intake.

Highly CommendedLeanne Stevens (Nominated by Mental Health Illness Education ACT)

Mental illness has been stigmatised throughout history, but storytelling is a powerful way to break down the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illness. Leanne Stevens, as a volunteer educator for MIEACT, delivers her story to different audiences, each time reshaping and recrafting her story so her audiences can relate. She never fails to draw a laugh from her audience despite delving into deep and uncomfortable topics. Through her stories, Leanne delivers a message of hope and recovery, and enables her listeners to gain strength from not feeling alone or isolated.

3. Innovation Award

Award RecipientFiona Jarvis (Nominated by Cyclabilities)

How often can you say that someone has changed the world to make it a better place? Fiona, through her selfless dedication and lifelong commitment to improving the lives of others, proves that it is possible! Cyclabilities was just an idea, but Fiona, through setbacks and naysayers, persevered with an aspiration to connect and engage families, build community capacity and do “something that makes a difference”. Two years later, over 60 families have participated in Cyclabilities, a road safety and learn to ride program for children with additional needs. These families are now making connections in the community, breaking down isolation barriers, and their children are learning vital lifelong skills.

Highly CommendedEncampment (Nominated by the AIDS Action Council of the ACT)

The Encampment peer-led volunteer team, established in 2014, organise and facilitate a safe, fun and non-judgmental learning environment for young LGBTIQ people aged 13-17. The program enables young people to express themselves and connect with other young people and organisations that support their health and wellbeing. Encampment’s camps enable young attendees to build resilience, education and good mental health practices all whilst having fun!

4. Profound Influence Award 

Award RecipientAndrew Prowse (Nominated by Cystic Fibrosis ACT)

Andrew has been a dedicated volunteer with Cystic Fibrosis ACT for five years. He selflessly shares his own story of living with cystic fibrosis to inspire and promote the cause and essential support services needed to change lives. To a community who are socially isolated (because of the high risk of cross infection) Andy became a beacon of hope and continued inspiration who has conquered challenge after challenge while remaining focused on a better life for all.

Highly CommendedThe ParkCare Initiative Volunteers (Nominated by the ACT Parks and Conservation Service)

The ParkCare Volunteers actively contribute to protecting, enhancing and interpreting the natural and cultural values across ACT Reserves and National Parks. The ParkCare initiative is divided into 4 streams; ParkCare Patch, Ranger Assist, Wildlife Assist and Visitor Assist. Approximately 500 volunteers contribute an average of 22,000 hours of their time to managing their local environment each year.

5. Senior Volunteer of the Year

Award RecipientDelia Quigley (Nominated by Diversity ACT)

Delia epitomises tenacity and perseverance. As the President of Diversity ACT, Delia is involved with fundraising, grant applications, chairing meetings, mentoring students, managing the website, and providing support to individuals referred to Diversity ACT. Delia’s volunteer work has been an inspiration to a new generation of volunteers through her mentoring work and involvement in the LGBTQI Community.

Highly CommendedDarryl Luff (Nominated by CanTeen)

Darryl Luff has supported CanTeen for over five years, volunteering on camps, recreation days, and for fundraising events. Darryl is a committed volunteer, and has dedicated much of his personal time to CanTeen and the young people it supports. He is a wonderful role model to many of the members, he listens, and he demonstrates how to handle daily situations in a genuine way. There is no job that Darryl won’t put his hand up for!

6. Young Volunteer of the Year

Award RecipientAllanah Marshall

Allanah has a passion for helping those around her, and has devoted her spare time to volunteering with St John Ambulance Australia with the CBRNightcrew, Camp Quality, and the Calvary Hospital in Bruce. Each role Allanah works in impacts the community in different ways, bringing laughter to children whose lives have been devastated by cancer and providing a ‘safe space’ for those who need support on a night where things are not going to plan. Allanah contributed over 640 hours to the Canberra Community in the past year alone.

Highly CommendedNathan Foley (Nominated by CanTeen)

Nathan is a passionate advocate for CanTeen, having received their support as he navigated his own cancer journey. Knowing how effective the support services are that CanTeen provides, Nathan has provided extraordinary volunteer support to help CanTeen help others.. Nathan’s ability to tell his cancer story with maturity and candour brings home the importance of CanTeen’s services in a way no other presentation can. CanTeen knows there is a massive unmet need in the community and Nathan’s efforts have directly lead to many young people reaching out for help.

7. Volunteer Team of the Year

Award RecipientThe Big Heart Project Committee (Nominated by Love Your Sister)

The Big Heart Project and its army of passionate volunteers created opportunities for cancer to be something other than a disease. The team of 15 dedicated volunteers, led by Canberra Mum the late Connie Johnson, organised the record breaking fundraising event to inspire Australia to vanquish cancer with a five-cent piece. The Big Heart Project Committee is an incredible demonstration of teamwork and community spirit. Connie Johnson said, “With their help, with their support, with their love, I have been able to build this into the event of my dreams, the day of my dreams.”

Highly CommendedAustralian Breastfeeding Association, ACT & SNSW Region (Nominated by Australian Breastfeeding Association)

The Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteers provide mother to mother support, friendship, and information to ACT families at all stages of their breastfeeding journey. They educate, support and advocate, delivering services across Australia. On average, volunteers deliver eight to ten hours of services per month, with most of this involving communicating directly with families.

Highly CommendedTake One, Leave One: The Winter Coat Project (Nominated by Darcy Jackman)

The Take One, Leave One: Winter Coat Project was founded by a team of volunteers to provide winter coats to people experiencing homelessness. The Project collects, mends, cleans, and then gives away coats to keep people protected from the harsh Canberra winter.

8. Canberra’s Choice Award

Award RecipientSoroptimist International Canberra Inc (Nominated by Carol Johnstone)

Soroptimist International Canberra is part of a global volunteer organisation inspiring action and creating opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls. They are committed to a world where women and girls achieve their potential individually and collectively, realise aspirations, and have an equal voice in creating strong, peaceful communities. Soroptimists work on local projects, which impact on a global scale. They advocate for equity and equality; create safe and healthy environments; increase access to education; and develop leadership and practical skills for a sustainable future.

9. Volunteer of the Year

Award RecipientNatalie Wright (Nominated by St Vincent de Paul Society)

Natalie is a prominent leader in our community. She is an influential role model for hundreds of Canberra school students, showing them how to make the time to give back to others. As the Mini Vinnies Coordinator, a social justice group for primary school students, she spent her lunch breaks and spare time planning and organising. Working with students aged 12 and under Natalie uses creative thinking to overcome the obstacle of age and create opportunities for meaningful engagement for students. Over seven years Natalie’s Mini Vinnies group of 25 students grew to 120 students, the largest Mini Vinnies group in Australia. Natalie is a strong advocate for social justice and a wonderful example of how a young person with a busy career can make time for volunteering.


 With thanks to the generous support of our partners, we’re proud to deliver the 2018 Volunteering Awards to the Canberra Region.

 Major Partners 


Award Partners

Volunteer Team of the Year Award         Canberra’s Choice Award          Corporate Volunteering Award        Young Volunteer of the Year Award