Nominate an unsung hero

Posted by | June 17, 2017 | Awards, Community, News


Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon is urging Novocastrians to nominate a volunteer for the 2017 Newcastle Volunteer Service Awards.

The annual awards were an initiative of Ms Claydon when she came to office in 2014 and provide an important opportunity to stop and reflect on the immense and invaluable work of volunteers in our community.

“As the Federal Member for Newcastle, I have the pleasure of attending community events and meeting many of our fantastic, dedicated and hard-working volunteers,” Ms Claydon said at the Parliament House launch of the 2017 awards during National Volunteer Week.

“With this in mind I established the Newcastle Volunteer Service Awards. These awards provide an opportunity to thank volunteers for their valuable contribution.”

Thousands of Novocastrians  give their time every week, or in some cases every day, to prepare and serve meals to those in need, coach and manage sporting teams and clubs, prepare rosters and accounts, cook sausages at fundraising BBQs, or provide care for those who can’t care for themselves.

 Patricia (Pat) Price and Peter Trist were recipients of awards in 2016.

Pat has given almost her entire adult life to making the lives of disadvantaged kids better.

She has fostered 110 children and she sees all of those children as her own. Even when they have left her care, many still come back to visit and Pat is always there for them.

Peter is a respected actor and theatre director in Newcastle  who every month prepares a program called ‘Book Chat’. This event involves readings, recitals, stories and general entertainment built around the Newcastle Regional Library’s collection of literature.

This program provides an hour of free entertainment to a diverse section of our community and has become an institution to a core group of regulars.

Pat ant Peter exemplify the selfless community service the awards seek to recognise.

Today, almost 6 million Australians – including some 17,000 Novocastrians –  volunteer each year to help make a difference by freely giving up their weekends, evenings, mornings and days to do something for someone else for no financial reward.

Volunteers Australia, the peak body for volunteering in Australia, estimates that close to a third of Australians engage in volunteering activities which contributes $200 billion to the social and economic wealth of the country.

To put that figure in perspective, that’s about the same as what the entire agriculture and tourism industries put in to the Australian economy each year – combined.

In terms of statistics, 41 per cent of all Australian adults undertake volunteer work each year.

Most volunteers are aged 35-44 – although the youngest and oldest Australians contribute most.

Almost half of all part-time workers do volunteer work.

Ms Claydon urged Novocastrians to support volunteers in their community by putting in a nomination for the 2017 Newcastle Volunteer Awards.

“Novocastrians have a great record of volunteering their time and effort to help out in our community,” Ms Claydon said.

“If you know someone who deserves recognition for their volunteer service, please  nominate them.

“It’s an easy process which will take less than 15 minutes of your time. just download the nomination form from”


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