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About the award

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognises the significant contribution of an individual to volunteering within NSW Health. This award aims to acknowledge an individual who:

  • provides excellent support for patients, carers and families
  • acts as a role model for volunteering in NSW Health which promotes volunteer services and inspires other volunteers
  • uses new and innovative ways to engage patients, carers and families.

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Winner - Garth Hungerford

Murrumbidgee Local Health District

Transcript: Garth Hungerford, Murrumbidgee Local Health District

Garth Hungerford has been an integral member of the Wagga Wagga community as a health advocate and advisor.

Contributing his time and knowledge of the local community to multiple councils, committees and working groups within the Murrumbidgee Local Health District as a community representative. 

Garth has been an active member of the Wagga Wagga Local Health Advisory Committee as committee chair.

In response to a concerning spike in youth suicide within the Riverina region, the Wagga Wagga Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC), under the leadership of Mr Garth Hungerford, has designed and developed a silicon wrist band which has a QR Code, allowing the user to visit associated mental health help and wellbeing websites. 

These bands have been produced in a variety of vibrant colours attractive to all ages including the Aboriginal flag colours. 

The LHAC has worked with local Wagga Wagga High Schools and the local media to distribute these wrist bands to local school children in Years 7 and Year 8. 

Approximately 5000 wristbands have been distributed to date with significant interest by local students.

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Finalist - Brad Rossiter

Southern NSW Local Health District

Transcript: Brad Rossiter, Southern NSW Local Health District

Brad Rossiter has been the chair of the Eurobodalla Community Representative Committee (CRC) since 2013. He is an enthusiastic volunteer who spends significant time supporting services to provide excellent care and to promote health in the community. Brad has always advocated for the CRC to engage with the community.

He is the driving force behind the Eurobodalla Health Expo, which has been an annual event in the Eurobodalla since 2016. It was Brad’s vision that saw a place for community and local health providers to come together and he has continued to work closely with local businesses to ensure that the event is free for exhibitors and the community. 

This has strengthened the relationship between the Eurobodalla Health Service and the local community. 

Brad is an excellent role model for other volunteers and supports other CRC members to enhance their contribution to the Eurobodalla Health Service. 

Brad is a respectful and collaborative committee member who consistently displays the CORE values through his interaction with staff, other volunteers, patients, and community members.

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Finalist - Betty Starkey

Western Sydney Local Health District

Transcript: Betty Starkey, Western Sydney Local Health District

Betty Starkey is one of Western Sydney Local Health District hospital's longest serving, punctual, friendliest volunteers. 

Betty has served at the hospital for 42 years - almost all her working life. Betty started at the hospital when volunteer teams and volunteer programs were not defined. She later became a founding member of the BMDH Pink Ladies.

Over her years of volunteer service, Betty has provided her time and support to any service in need and has been core to building a stronger volunteer service with extensive historical knowledge. She has provided a collaborative link between volunteers and workforce at many times and has always been an active and contributing person, even during COVID pandemic. 

Betty became a linchpin to the volunteers, coordinators, and managers over the years as she was so frequently available to assist with the recruitment of new volunteers. 

Betty also became the ‘go-to’ person, who had a wealth of history and information on hospital and volunteers’ processes, being described as a person who knew ‘how to get things done’.

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Current as at: Thursday 1 December 2022
Contact page owner: NSW Health