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Recipients of the Queensland Volunteering Awards announced

24 May 2019

Volunteering Queensland has announced the recipients of the 2019 Queensland Volunteering Awards, which celebrate the work and achievements of dedicated volunteers from across the State. 

The awards were handed out during a ceremony at the Brisbane City Hall at 10am on Friday 24 May, as part of the celebrations around National Volunteer Week, which runs from 20 to 26 May 2019. 

CEO of Volunteering Queensland, Mara Basanovic, said the aim of the Queensland Volunteering Awards is to acknowledge the extraordinary and valuable work done every day by thousands of volunteers across the state.  

“These prestigious awards highlight and pay tribute to the caring individuals who inspire and epitomise the spirit of volunteerism through their compassion, commitment and hard work,” said Ms Basanovic. 

“The positive impact they contribute strengthens and connects their communities.”   

“The awards also promote the enormous value and vital contribution of volunteering to the social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of Queensland.” 

“The calibre of the nominations was extremely high. They came from a broad range of organisations from across the state, who rely on their volunteer workforce to advance their important causes,” said Ms Basanovic. 

The organisation received over 240 nominations across six award categories: Volunteer of the Year, Youth Volunteering, Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering, Excellence in Volunteer Management, Volunteering Impact Award (sponsored by Powerlink Queensland) and Corporate Volunteering. 

The list of winners for 2019 Queensland Volunteering Awards are:  

  • Lifetime Contribution: Judith James 

Judith has worked tirelessly as a dedicated Multiple Sclerosis Disability Advocate for people living with MS in the Toowoomba and surrounding regions for over 30 years. She established the Toowoomba MS Support Service and is one of MS Queensland's longest serving and outstanding volunteers. Her extensive lobbying has resulted in more disabled access parking and toilets, accessibility ramps and footpaths and securing ambulance transport for medical needs. 

  • Youth Volunteering: Madison Birtchnell  

Madison’s resume is impressive including volunteering with Amnesty International, Red Cross, Share the Dignity, RSPCA, Headspace and refugee advocates. Madison mentors younger and marginalised students in a range of roles at QUT including a College of Excellence Fellow, Student Leadership Conference coach and Kickstart Facilitator. She also has roles with the YWCA National Sub-Committee, Enactus Social Entrepreneurship Society and the Women in Business Society. 

  • Corporate Volunteering Award: Shell Australia  

Shell is a global energy group who’s staff are provided with 2 paid volunteering days per year. Shell’s approach provides a large number of team-based volunteering opportunities selected by their staff. Shell has supported 14 different organisations over 1,773 hours including Ronald McDonald House, the Youth Housing Project, Multicap, Salvation Army, QLD Aids Council, Homeless Connect, Rural Aid and Foodbank. 

  • Excellence in Volunteer Management Award: Zachary Reimers   

Zac is an exceptionally personable and conscientious volunteer manager. Some of the high-profile events he has worked on include the Woodford Folk Festival, World Science Festival, Brisbane Festival, and Brisbane Street Art Festival. He also managed the 2018 Cultural Festival for the Commonwealth Games. He demonstrates good practice, excellent duty of care with a personalised approach, leading teams from 200 to 2,500 volunteers. 

  • Volunteering Impact Award (sponsored by Powerlink Queensland): Court Network – Victim Support Unit  

Court Network is a frontline community organisation that supports people’s access to the court system. Their Victim Support Unit is committed to supporting adult victims and witnesses of violent crime, families and support persons to navigate their way through the court process. Based in Brisbane and Ipswich, the Victim Support Unit provides a cross jurisdictional response. The services are provided by a team of professionally trained and supported volunteers. 

  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Lyn French  

Lyn’s biggest passion is helping others. She has always cared for the environment around the station she calls home in North West Queensland. Her impressive volunteering includes positions such as volunteer firefighter, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Bureau of Meteorology, Drought Aid, Angel Flights and Northern Gulf Resources. Lyn has worked for more than 30 years supporting isolated children and set up the organisation Aussie Helpers Volunteers for Isolated Student Education. 

For more information on the 2019 Queensland Volunteering Awards, contact Vanessa Codling, 07 3002 7617 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 Volunteering Australia
 (02) 6251 4060


 Vanessa Codling
 Volunteering Queensland
 (07) 3002 7617