Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Volunteer leaders across the New England should mark down June 6 on their calendars because that’s when the annual 2024 Volunteering NSW State Conference will stream live in Tamworth.

At the same time, the Volunteer of the Year Awards have opened for nominations. 

The in-person conference is set to take place at the Amora Jamison in Sydney, but there is also an option to attend the live stream hybrid events. The closest for locals is Tamworth. Broken Hill, Orange, and Wagga Wagga will also have live streams. 

Gemma Rygate, CEO of The Centre for Volunteering, which is hosting the conference, told the New England Times the event has been developed for leaders in volunteer organisations to advance their knowledge, develop skills, and grow their professional networks. Over 300 volunteer leaders are expected to attend. 

“People who attend virtually, such as in Tamworth, will share a similar experience to those who go to Sydney. You will be in the room with others in your industry and can share ideas, network, and have a normal conference experience,” she said. 

“There will also be the chance to interact with the live stream and ask questions of the keynote speakers,” Gemma added. 

Industry Chiefs Ready to Share Experiences 

The experts, academics, and industry leaders at this year’s Volunteering NSW State Conference will discuss leadership, collaboration, innovation, safety, dispute resolution and much more. 

Keynote speakers sharing their experiences include David Brett, who has worked in the Office of Sport in the NSW Government for seven years, Michelle Chate, who has over a decade of experience in the volunteering industry; and Bijinder Duga, co-founding Director of AASHA Australia Foundation, a not-for-profit charity. 

According to Gemma, the conference is worthwhile not only because of the keynote speakers but also for the chance to meet other volunteer leaders. 

“We are trying to cover the whole State and give volunteer coordinators, managers, and leaders the chance to hear from experts and also share their experiences with each other,” Gemma said. 

“Some of the topics, especially on the legal side, can be very dry, but also really important for people to know what expectations are expected of them for managing volunteers.” 

Check out the Centre for Volunteering website for more information, to register, or to apply for a scholarship to attend the 2024 Volunteering NSW State Conference in Sydney. 

NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards Are Open

Volunteers, often the unsung heroes of our communities, selflessly dedicate their time and effort every year. Gemma says these individuals, who ask for no reward, are the very foundation of our society. 

“Volunteering is essential for quite a few reasons, it has contributed $178 billion worth of social and economic benefits to NSW,” she said. 

“It’s not just always about the money though; volunteers make up one of the largest workforces in NSW; over 4 million people volunteer. They are incredibly important for our communities to function.” 

At the same time, Gemma says volunteers can provide huge benefits to the individual, and the Centre for Volunteering has the data to back it up.

“Our research shows that volunteering makes people happier, which can lead to better health outcomes. Volunteering also gives people the opportunity to stay connected to others. Its mental health benefits are outstanding as well.” 

As an extra way to acknowledge everything volunteers do, the Centre for Volunteering has the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, which are billed as “a beacon of recognition for the quiet achievers of NSW.” 

“We encourage organisations to nominate volunteers for these awards, which will be presented at 25 ceremonies across the state, one of which will be in Armidale,” Gemma said. 

Anyone interested in volunteering or nominating a local volunteer for an award can find everything they need on the Centre for Volunteering website.

Like what you’re reading? Support The New England Times by making a small donation today and help us keep delivering local news paywall-free. Donate now.