Meet the Finalists and Recipients!

Queensland’s volunteers have since the beginning of time been the life force of their communities, extending helping hands and fostering vital human connections that give hope and meaning to the lives of others, and this year has been no exception. 

Through their remarkable endeavours our volunteers have been there to ensure the continued delivery of essential everyday services and then stepped above and beyond the call of duty to help others impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic floods. 

Whether it was filling thousands of vials of saline for COVID-19 tests, helping out at community vaccination centres, supporting people with disability in using technology to access vital services, providing social support and companionship to people residing in residential aged care facilities where workforces have been decimated by the pandemic, or rolling up their sleeves to clean up and support recovery efforts after the SE Queensland flood event, we have witnessed countless acts of kindness. 

The Queensland Volunteering Awards acknowledge and honour the astonishing contribution and spirit of service of all Queensland volunteers and volunteer involving organisations. The Awards are presented across six categories: 

  • Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award
  • Queensland Youth Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Corporate Volunteering Award
  • Excellence in Volunteer Management Award
  • Volunteering Impact Award
  • Queensland Volunteer of the Year Award

Thank you to all recipients, finalists, nominees and nominators who took the time to share the great work of our volunteer heroes in the community. To view photos from the event please click here for our Facebook Gallery.

Recipient


Tracey Holt

Tracey Holt dedicated her life to volunteering. Beginning at age ten with South’s rugby club in Ipswich, Tracey continued to volunteer over a period of 50 years, leaving an incredible imprint specifically on the game of softball across Queensland and on the lives of many thousands of people. She believed in the power that sport had in healing, reconciliation and supporting people at risk.  

Tracey’s achievements include long standing board positions, helping commence softball competitions in places such as Longreach, Normanton, Camooweal & Cherbourg. She also held roles in softball associations in Brisbane, Ipswich, Rockhampton, Mt Isa, Gympie, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg, and Toowoomba, designing governance structures, strategic and operational plans and implementing volunteering programs. 


Tracey coached Olympic and world series players, played softball up to the age of 60, and received the highest honour, a SQI Diamond award from Queensland Softball.  


While her contribution to softball is by far the most significant, Tracey also made an impact by volunteering in other sports, employment, training, and indigenous programs & organisations.  


Whilst battling lung cancer throughout 2019-2021, Tracey surged on, founding a local softball club, coaching and playing softball and even leading her team to achieve a 4th in the state ranking for the Rockhampton association at the Open Women’s State Championships – the highest they have ever achieved.

Throughout her life, she has demonstrated that she is an exemplary volunteer, giving without expectation of anything in return. She is described by many as unique, supportive, inspiring and amazing.

Sadly, Tracey is no longer with us, losing her battle to cancer in late 2021. However, I invite you all to rise and give a standing ovation to Tracey Holt, who continues to inspire and motivate and has embedded her values into many who continue to contribute to community and sport in Queensland. 

Finalists


Kaye Williams

20 years volunteering for Protect all Children Today (PACT), Kaye Williams is passionate about children’s rights and helping them through the most difficult times in their life. She feels as though her role assists children in regaining a sense of self-respect that is important to everyone. 

As a volunteer, Kaye has a vital role in helping children, teen victims and witnesses – often who are victims of sexual abuse – and their families find crucial support as they navigate the criminal justice system to give evidence. From taking outbound calls with new families, meeting the victim at the beginning of their court journey, to giving emotional support to victims, Kaye is an exceptional volunteer who has dedicated 20 years to helping victims. She works with children in both remote and regional areas of Queensland in the Bundaberg area. 

Volunteering at PACT requires a lot of commitment to meet the emotional, time-heavy demands of the role, and Kaye does this admirably. This is a phenomenal achievement. Even after hearing horrific stories, not once has Kaye considered resigning. This program is something she firmly believes in and reminds herself she is there to help the children. 

 

Recognised for her continuous support, Kaye has helped hundreds of children. Years later the people she helped have remembered Kaye going out of their way to show their appreciation. 

 

The wheels of justice can turn slowly and take years. Feeling as though this long process can retraumatise children, she says. “If I’ve helped even one child go through the court system and come out the other side knowing they’ve done their best, I’m happy. I always tell children they should be proud that they stood up and went through this; maybe they’ve stopped it from happening to someone else.” 

 

After her own experience, Kaye committed to making sure other child victims had support. Determined to make a difference for other families, she became a PACT volunteer. Wanting to be an empathetic support person for other parents, Kaye knows if she supports the parents, she’s also be supporting the child victim. 

 

Kaye tells victim children, “the defence barrister wasn’t there, you were! You know the truth so tell your story.’ I tell them to be proud of themselves because their self-esteem can suffer. Some people don’t need counselling, others need it their whole lives; we all cope differently.”

 

PACT are incredibly grateful that Kaye has coped with her own experience by choosing to support victims with PACT.

Judith Beecham

Volunteering for nearly 60 years, across four states, Judith Beecham began her volunteering journey in school tuckshops and helping in school classrooms. For the past 16 years, she has been volunteering at the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre. Judith has found every bit rewarding and by supporting others she has experienced personal growth, and has benefited from staying physically and mentally active, she believes that you get far more out of it than what you put in. 

Judith’s efforts never go unnoticed as she always welcomes everyone at the door with her warm presence and gentle direction to access support, information and referrals. With her help Communify have grown into a large place-based neighbourhood centre that serves 20,000 free meals each year, provides laundry and shower facilities, a community coffee program and access to dozens of visiting services including GP, Physiotherapy, Men’s Group, Art Class and more. 

 

With the help of volunteers like Judith, the program can rescue and repurpose around 15 tonnes of food per year and assist up to 500 people per week to access their Open House programs and visiting services. The social impact is incalculable. 

 

With all of Judith’s knowledge and volunteering skills, she is also the chief volunteer trainer for the Neighbourhood Centre. Numerous volunteers and students on placement have learnt from her. Judith is quick on her feet and even quicker with compassionate and effective problem solving. She is an asset to the centre and the wider community. Judith is so humble and hardworking. 

 

To put into perspective, the value of Judith’s 60 years of volunteering, her contribution of 10 hours per week would be in the range of $1.3 million dollars. 

Recipient


Bryce Lowes Kenworthy U’Ren

At just nine years of age after watching his mother undergo intensive cancer treatments, Bryce channelled his experience into a project that would bring connectedness, love, comfort and hope to children affected by cancer and their families. 

The Super Max and Bryce project started with an idea to give children undergoing cancer treatment on the Gold Coast (Bryce’s local community) a special night light to bring them comfort and provide them with consistency when spending time in hospital. When the project began six years ago, Bryce was determined to raise enough money to fund six Super Max night lights. 

 

Six years later, what started as a young man’s idea to make a few kids smile, has transformed into an international charity. To date Bryce has delivered over 5,000 Super Max night lights, one for every child diagnosed with cancer in both Australia and New Zealand, and now also provides a special gift to each parent. 

 

Bryce continues to spend hundreds of hours a year on the project responding to each thank you letter personally and visiting as many children in hospital as he can. 

 

The impact Bryce has made on those affected by childhood cancer is exemplary, The Super Max and Bryce project continues to build momentum and partners with a number of significant businesses, organisations and foundations. 

Finalists


Jahmayn Hicks

Jahmayn Hicks has spent the last 5 years in the Australian Army Cadet Youth Program. During this time he has been a mentor in a youth development program, running various activities for teenage participants teaching them important skills and discipline, he says that witnessing teenagers transition into young adults and being able to praise them for their efforts is what he finds most rewarding.    

Last year Jahmayn stepped up into a leadership role, and is now managing a team of volunteers to arrange activities and events throughout the year. In this role, Jahmayn is able to make a very positive and tangible impact on the community. He has single-handedly increased the number of activities that the group run, enabling members to partake in activities they would not have normally been able to, and has also been instrumental in attracting new members to the group.   

 

His drive and enthusiasm have led him to encourage the youth group to value the character and values of the Australian Army; teamwork, service, courage, initiative, integrity, respect and excellence to empower youth to achieve their potential. His time, patience and selflessness as a leader make his fellow cadets feel valued, thus resulting in better self-esteem and motivation to wholeheartedly participate in the program. 

 

As part of this role, Jahmayn has volunteered and participated at ANZAC Services since 2018. This year he was given the role of Parade Marshall, officiating and overseeing the entire parade.  

 

In addition to his Army Cadets role, Jahmayn also regularly volunteers as a school buddy, helping around the school campus and spending time with younger students. He is an excellent motivator, encouraging others as a highly respected and trusted member within the local community; reliable, hardworking and is also always very friendly and approachable. He always remains calm and never gets ruffled, and everyone thoroughly enjoys working and volunteering alongside him. 

 

Overall, Jahmayn’s selfless nature and his kind and caring instincts shine through to everything he does. 

He is a remarkable young man!

Jonesy Cairncross

Joining the SES at just 16-year-old, Jonsey Cairncross was the youngest member of the Logan SES team. Since joining, he has volunteered an incredible 380 hours of service. He makes himself available for any tasks that are required to be completed. He is keen to learn and is attentive and constructive during training, no matter what subject he is attending. 

Jonsey describes his SES volunteering experience as something he did not expect. He entered into the role blindly, having no idea the full extent of roles and jobs the SES had to offer. After a year, he developed a love for the role and found fulfilment in helping people during times of need. 

 

It is difficult to describe a typical day for an SES volunteer as no two days are alike. He could be required to climb on roofs and help repair storm damage on homes, replace broken tiles, re-fix metal roofing sheets or help remove fallen trees that have damaged homes or trapped residents within their property. As part of the SES Jonesy helps to bring reassurance to the community when it is most needed. Whether it is by providing assistance to repair a damaged home or by looking for missing people in challenging circumstances.

 

Jonesy is always keen to undertake any training on offer. In a little over a year he has qualified as a Search and Rescue Officer, a Storm Damage Operator, a First Aid officer to name a few. 

 

In addition, Jonsey volunteers his time as a surf lifesaver at the Coolangatta Surf Club providing a sharp eye on the beaches of Coolangatta when on shift and has helped prevent many drownings. His enthusiasm to be part of the team is infectious and has developed a strong bond with many members of the club. 

 

Jonsey is a positive role model for younger community members and strives to encourage them to become resilient and always offer a hand to others. 

Recipient


Mirvac

The Mirvac team at Heritage Lanes in Brisbane that created a new destination for workers, locals and visitors to work, shop, live and play, determined that having a corporate social responsibility program that met the needs of the local community was instrumental to their company ethos. 

It became apparent that the main need was to support homeless and financially disadvantaged people and what followed was an ongoing relationship with Micah Projects, a not-for-profit organisation providing assistance to locally homeless and vulnerable residents. 

 

Micah’s services range from helping people find permanent accommodation to supporting those affected by domestic violence. Over three and a half years Mirvac have volunteered to support these services. The total impact since 2018 has been over 323 staff volunteering hours plus considerable financial donations provided through Mirvac’s charitable activities. 

 

Among many, volunteering activities have included: working bees, Christmas hamper appeals creating 1,400 hampers which supported well over 2,000 vulnerable people during Christmas, food bank collections and deliveries, appliances collects and deliveries helping set up homes for those transitioning to permanent housing, fundraising BBQs and golf day hosting, bedding packs and care packs distribution to vulnerable children and adults. 

 

Mirvac has a community goal to leave a positive legacy by building strong bonds to strengthen community connections and by empathetically acknowledging local community issues they have started to create a long-term positive impact. 

Finalists


Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop

As a brand, Tommy Gun’s has always empowered their staff to do more for others. It is encouraged through onboarding when a team member starts. The Managers of Tommy Gun’s shops are accommodating to team members wanting to volunteer their time by rearranging rosters and finding back up staff to support the team member who wishes to give up their shifts and volunteer their time instead. 

Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop has been working closely with local organisations to volunteer their barber’s and support office team’s time for events such as Homeless Connect and Deadly Choices Step Up for the Jab Event. 

 

In 2021, 8-10 barbers volunteered their time to work at two Homeless Connect events at the Brisbane Showgrounds. The goal was to offer guests a premium barbershop experience with a fresh haircut, beard trim and a great conversation. “Book me in for the next one, I really enjoyed helping the community”, one barber said. 

 

The aim of the Deadly Choices is to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. In 2021, Deadly Choices hosted several events across Queensland to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to get their vaccination. In return, they received a fresh haircut from volunteer barbers at Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop. With one barber expressing his gratitude saying “So excited! Thank you so much for this opportunity”. 

 

Always looking for ways to help and volunteer their time and skill to those in need, they use their international communications platform. The Tommy Gun’s Support Office use these connections to reach out to the network of barbers in Queensland, encouraging volunteers for different events. The Support Office also volunteer in these events. 

 

At Tommy Gun, all staff are big believers in giving back to the local community. 

Abt Associates Australia

In 2021 this commitment extended to a formal Employee Volunteer Policy, designating two paid workdays for staff to use for volunteering. A volunteering task force was established, and in consultation with the employee Diversity and Inclusion Working Groups, identified key organisations who had volunteering programs that fit with key areas, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, mental health, non-violence and gender equality, LGBTIQ+ and disability. 

Staff can individually apply or as a group. For example, as a group in November 2021 eight Abt staff volunteered for Homeless Connect; or individually for example, in December 2021 an individual volunteered at Emmanuel City Mission Christmas Lunch for the Homeless doing, set up, serve and clean up. This volunteer leave is available to all Abt Associates staff based in Australia, be it at the Queensland office, ACT office or those working remotely in other states.

 

Abt actively encourages volunteering, for example following the Brisbane floods the organisation put a call out for staff to sign up as part of the mud army aimed at assisting individuals and the community in the flood recovery process; and several staff signed up to participate using their own personal time, saving their two volunteering days for other opportunities that might arise throughout the year. Abt is proud of the staff and the corporate culture that their attitude, care and concern for the community creates. 

Recipient


Hussain Baba

For over 11 years, Hussain has been proactive within the Gold Coast community, running numerous volunteering programs and providing charity services, connecting with multicultural and interfaith communities. 

Two years ago, in order to engage the wider culturally diverse community across the Gold Coast, Hussain initiated the “Cultural Meals for the Homeless” An entirely community led project, ‘Cultural Meals for the Homeless’ brings together volunteers from culturally diverse backgrounds to prepare traditional meals representing their culture for 200 homeless and needy community members each week. The meals are nutritious, warm, and delicious and the program is delighted to share that they have provided over 20,000 meals to those that need them most. 

Hussain is recognised for his outstanding communication skills, which allow him to welcome people from all walks of life, and different cultural backgrounds. Coupled with strong strategic, organisational leadership skills, Hussain has been incredibly successful in his development and execution of volunteer programs, easily attracting many volunteers, who are always happy to lend a hand. He is highly professional, always looking for ways to make improvements, while maintaining the importance of making work fun, making all volunteers feel part of the team. 

 

As the face of the ‘Cultural Meals for Homeless’ and an exemplary role model, he promotes volunteers in his weekly videos, as they prepare their cultural meals. The videos are shared on the Multicultural Social Network’s Facebook page, which make the volunteers feel unique and valued. 

 

Hussain whole heartedly embraces the organisation’s beliefs and behaviours; striving for excellence by supporting and developing others, recognising when individuals require additional help, all with unflinching enthusiasm. To further recognise the importance of his volunteers’ contribution, Hussain introduced the ‘MSN Appreciation Award’ which is presented to volunteers who donate cultural meals regularly. 

 

After two years of success on the Gold Coast, this year, Hussain implemented ‘Cultural Meals for the Homeless’ in Brisbane by rallying volunteers from culturally diverse backgrounds to get involved locally. The program now runs weekly on Upper Roma Street in the city. 

 

Hussain and the ‘Cultural Meals for the Homeless’ program have been recognised by federal, state and local government levels, as well as by consulates and NGOs. 

Finalists


Catherine Hafke

Over the past two years, Catherine Hafke has worked as the People and Culture Coordinator at Foodbank Queensland. Since starting, Catherine has actively demonstrated her strong leadership qualities. She has an incredible way of connecting with her volunteers. A strong advocate for the volunteering program, she acknowledges every volunteer by name, and knows all their stories having created an emotional connection with each of them. 

Knowing the important role that volunteers play in the Foodbank program, Catherine ensures that all volunteers feel valued and included within the community, in all volunteering activities and team discussions. Everyday, Catherine spends morning tea with the volunteers, talking, laughing and sharing their experiences. Because of Catherine, the volunteering program is blossoming, and all the volunteers adore her. When it comes to volunteer growth, she describes it as “watching a caterpillar transforming into a beautiful butterfly”.  

 

No day is ever the same for Catherine as she manages all the HR administration and coordination for the program from recruiting, to onboarding, induction, and training. She is there at every shift ensuring volunteers are settled and well looked after. Catherine focuses on fairness and equality in her practices and ensures her knowledge is always on the cutting edge. She prioritises the volunteers, making sure that the roles they fulfil are meaningful to them, and checks in regularly. 

 

Catherine walks an extra mile by holding regular information sessions with Foodbank supervisors discussing changes occurring in the volunteer program, getting feedback on her volunteers and gathering information on their achievements which are later presented to volunteers through the reward and recognition program acknowledging their efforts and contribution.   

 

Catherine’s dedication and passion to the needs of volunteers and to deliver a program which aligns with goals of the business is admirable, and the volunteers strongly agree. 

Lisa Dingwall

Lisa Dingwall has been part of St John Ambulance Queensland volunteer management program for 13 years. Her passion and drive, has seen Lisa be promoted from unit manager regional management, and then to support state-wide volunteer activities. 

Lisa is known for her dedication and community focus. Many of the volunteers she manages are students seeking to gain practical experience and knowledge through volunteering she generously offers over fifteen hours per week to provide support and guidance to her volunteers. 

 

A typical day in Lisa’s life as a unit manager includes coordinating training & rostering, logistics, event organisation (up to fifteen per month), and welfare of the volunteer team. Lisa has a particular interest in helping with disasters and natural events, and has been recognised for supporting her team and members of the public during times of crisis and disaster recovery. An excellent example is her work is with the recent flood emergency in South East Queensland. Lisa spent several hours during the day rostering staff to support the local community as well as working in evacuation centres. 

 

Working tirelessly with Health & Medical Services, Lisa always leads others inspiring by example, consistently providing exceptional care, support and assistance to those in need. 

 

Described as an amazing problem solver and having strong relationships with volunteers, Lisa is well respected in her field by all. Whether it is lending a hand, or giving advice, she has had a huge impact to many. 

Recipient


Bolton Clarke – HOW-R-U? Program

The HOW-R-U? program is an innovative volunteer-based peer support initiative of the Bolton Clarke Research Institute. The aim of the program is to reduce isolation and loneliness in older people. 

The program works by matching referred clients with volunteers from the R-U-OK? support centre based on their interests and preferences, and facilitates weekly telephone conversations. 

During the past 12 months, the importance and relevance of this program has significantly increased with the COVID-19 epidemic, and natural disasters continuing to isolate older people from their communities. 

 

Social isolation and loneliness are often overlooked, particularly in older people. The experience of social isolation and loneliness is likely to be intensified by the current COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, with the requirement for older people to remain at home and distance themselves physically and socially from one another. This has been particularly true for those experiencing poor physical and mental health leading into the pandemic.

 

Loneliness and social isolation have been shown to be more harmful to health than the effects of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day, impacting cardiovascular health and increasing the risk of dementia. 

 

Conversation, whether in person or by telephone has been found to reduce feelings of social isolation, loneliness and depression leading to an improved quality of life. The HOW-R-U? project has been incredibly successful in the intervention and provision of important social connection, thus reducing loneliness and isolation among the participants. With a culture of respect for older people, the program also breaks down barriers between volunteers and clients serving to create deep and lasting bonds. 

 

Please put your hands together for the R-U-OK? Project, who are actively and successfully working towards reducing social isolation and loneliness amongst the senior members of our community. Thank you for all you are doing and those you are supporting. 

Finalists


Rural Aide

Small rural towns are key players in supporting the social and economic fabric of their local communities. Rural Aid works with farmers and rural communities to provide support, tools, knowledge, and volunteers. They have been there for our farmers and rural communities in times of need since our inception in 2015. 

As of recently, Rural Aid were immensely needed when damaging floods and a crippling mouse plague hit farmers. These disaster events came on the back of devastating bushfires and one of the worst droughts in history. 

 

Rural Aid’s – ‘Our Towns’ initiative deployed an enviable volunteer workforce to four Queensland towns looking to take their community to the next level of renewal. The pinnacle of the initiative is a week that Rural Aid volunteers spend in town working alongside locals, kickstarting vital projects.

 

In a farm disaster recovery effort in Warwick recently, Queensland towns have befitted from an incredible 6520 volunteer hours equivalent to an incredible $321,720.00 in labour-saving costs alone. Volunteer’s week is a special time, allowing volunteers and locals to form strong, lasting connections.

 

Whether it be farm work, painting or anything in between, all 600 registered volunteers at Rural Aid are happy to jump in wherever needed. Rural Aid are so grateful to every single person who volunteers. Projects to support farmers and communities are continually evolving to meet changing needs and the ‘Our Towns’ initiative is our commitment to drought resilience.

 

The program has consistently lifted community morale and injected much needed capital into the chosen community and surrounding farms. 

 

Retiree Di Long is one of Rural Aid’s most dedicated volunteers. On retiring, Di wanted to do something for the community. Volunteering with Rural Aid was the perfect fit, with Di enjoying the work, spending time outside the city and making many great friends.

Janice James’ commitment, skills and hard work have touched the lives of many. After the death of her husband, a friend told her about Rural Aid trips. Janice went for it and has never looked back. Janice credits Rural Aid for helping her beat depression and start a new life. 

Palliative Care Queensland – Ambulance Wish Qld

No wish is too small – Ambulance Wish Queensland (AWQ) gives dignity to the dying by providing them with an opportunity to make unsurpassable memories with their families and friends towards the end of their palliative care journey – no matter their age. The program runs on donations and the generosity of sponsors. 

Ambulance Wish Queensland communicates with the hospital and care services in South East Queensland to carefully organise each personalised wish. Palliative patients, friends and families, and the staff and volunteers involved in these magical days, all benefit from the experience in their own ways. It is a truly unique program. 

This program brings dignity to dying. Patients carry the memories of these wishes into their next life and their families are left with beautiful keepsakes to allow them to reminisce and grieve, in their absence.

 

The patients and their families are gifted with a handmade quilt (made by volunteers), an ambulance teddy and a beautiful photo story book of the day (the photographer also volunteers her time).

 

Ambulance Wish Queensland works tirelessly liaising with multiple agencies to ensure that the patients are safe, comfortable and well supported throughout their wish. Patients are appreciative that people volunteer their time to make their final weeks special. 

 

The ambulance ‘Betty’ was affectionately named after the first 2019 AWQ wish recipient, who is now no longer with us, who wanted to have an ice cream in the botanical gardens.

 

‘It takes a village to care for the dying’ and this program is supported by amazing volunteers. Being a volunteer with AWQ is like being a part of a family. Volunteers feel honoured and privileged to be a part of this program.

 

This program brings palliative care to the forefront and supports patients’ mental health and wellbeing. Being able to give these patients a small semblance of peace is humbling.

 

Volunteering in a wish, you can feel the life in the room; for a small moment death is forgotten and there is only love. 

Recipient


Alison (Ali) Lane

Alison joined the State Emergency Service in early 2018 and contributes 800 volunteer hours annually. She is one of the youngest female members in a formal leadership role in a male dominated environment, and frequently advocates for an equal culture for all within the organisation through transparency in communication and better conditions for all volunteers regardless of their gender, age, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity or ability. 

Alison quickly rose to leadership within her unit, now delivering training to new members, planning and attending large format disaster relief exercises, and also managing the groups administration and communications. 

She was awarded the National Emergency Medal for her contribution to the far north floods in 2019, and has been featured on a podcast with SES Assistant Commissioner Andrew Short about leadership in the SES. 

Ali is described by her peers as always giving 1000% and has made a significant contribution to the management of her SES group including improving the group’s ability to deliver support to the community in times of need, and quality training, resulting in high retention rates and economic benefit for local and state government. Her contribution is also recognised as having significant social benefit to those she works with. 

Finalists


Rowena Dionysius

Rowena Dionysius has been the Chair of South Burnett Relay for Life for 11 years. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to her role and volunteers countless hours to organise events throughout the year to raise funds for Cancer Council Queensland which is used for education, research and support. 

As Chair of the South Burnett Relay for Life Committee, Rowena is responsible for delivering the South Burnett annual event. Passionately, runs the event like clockwork, answering questions, solving problems ensuring the needs of all those involved are met. Her responsibilities extend to coordinating catering, rest and vendor tents, cleaning duties, power supply and refreshment provisions. Rowena undertakes these duties alongside her full-time employment as the manager at Kingaroy Returned Serviceman’s League, volunteering both before and after a full day’s work. 

Rowena ensures that all Relay for Life events are a success, demonstrating her work ethic, commitment to community and can-do approach that makes the South Burnett Relay for Life is so successful year after year. 

In 2021 the event raised well over $100,000 and Rowena and her team are committed to raising even more this year. What makes Rowena’s volunteer work even more remarkable is that a small town like Kingaroy has been able to raise over $1.7 million dollars for Cancer Council Queensland – largely thanks to Rowena’s efforts! A figure that continues to grow every year despite setbacks like COVID-19. Rowena’s fundraising contributes to much needed funds that go towards vital cancer research, support services, prevention programs, and advocacy. 

By raising awareness about cancer in regional Queensland, Rowena is saving lives by providing knowledge in the community. Her events create a space for the community to discuss, learn, and educate themselves on cancer treatment and prevention. 

Rowena’s efforts have resulted in the funding of vital services that Cancer Council Queensland provide in Kingaroy and South Burnett, including accommodation and travel assistance, counselling support, and education & prevention campaigns that directly target the needs of rural communities. 

Above and beyond fundraising, people in the community come to Rowena for guidance if they have a problem or a concern about cancer. Rowena directs them to the right support services when they need it the most.

Anne-Maria Falvey

Anne-Maria has been a volunteer at the meet & greet desk at one of the entrances of Ipswich Hospital over the past 10 years, her role is one of the most important, being a bright and friendly face to all who visit. She stays busy assisting patients and visitors, answering general enquiries, and contacting staff. As an important figure at the hospital, when Anne returned to her beloved volunteering role after the COVID-19 restrictions, she was bombarded by staff and patients welcoming her back or letting her know how much they have missed her. 

When she is not volunteering at Ipswich Hospital, she is volunteering with Rosies Friends on the Street in Ipswich, as one of the street van team offering friendship and meaningful connection to those doing it tough and driving to collect end-of-day baked goods from stores in the Ipswich area for Rosies to distribute. 

And if you think that was all, Anne-Marie also happily gives her time at St Vincent de Paul Society Ipswich as an outreach home visitor and at St Paul’s Anglican Church Coffee on Wednesday mornings serving free coffee and having a chat to those in need of social support. 

Yes, there’s more … Anne-Maria also recently volunteered at the local flood evacuation centre, providing social support and connecting people who were displaced with relevant services assisting their recovery. 

Anne-Maria is a tireless volunteer who cares about every single person she meets. She is well known by the local homeless community for her ongoing support and presence at all activities helping those in need. Her willingness to help all people, irrelevant of who they are or what challenges they are facing, is by far her greatest contribution to our community. 

Anne-Maria is unique, she never says no, never stops giving and caring, volunteering everyday to support people, local charities and community groups, always giving 100%. 


Previous Queensland Volunteer Awards

The Queensland Volunteer awards are a time to celebrate the volunteering sector and all those who dedicate their time, energy and resources to improving peoples lives and protecting our environment.

As an organisation, we are very proud of the ongoing dedication of volunteers and volunteer managers. It is an honour to witness so many individuals come together to work towards the betterment of our communities.

We would like to share with you Snippets from the Queensland Volunteering Awards from years gone by and look forward to celebrating with you in 2021 and beyond!

View all the details of past award ceremonies from 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018

Questions  

For assistance with nominations, please contact us on 07 3002 7600 or awards@volunteeringqld.org.au 

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