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ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards announced

Jessica Schumann

Last night over 350 people gathered at the AIS Arena to celebrate Canberra’s volunteer workforce at the 2015 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards which are proudly sponsored by Beyond Bank Australia.

Maureen Cane, CEO, Volunteering and Contact ACT, said, “We received a record 83 nominations this year of outstanding quality making the judges lives very hard. We had nominations spanning the entire range of volunteering activity from assisting young people to visit their parents in prison, lending out lawn mowers and monitoring rabbits! We are thrilled to be publicly honouring our local volunteers in celebration of National Volunteer Week (11 – 17 May).”

Ryan Erlandsen, representative of the last year’s volunteer team of the year the St Nick’s Young Carers Program, announced the 2015 ACT Volunteer of the Year and the 2015 ACT Volunteer Team of the Year:

2015 ACT Volunteer of the Year: Sophie Hope

Sophie is the winner of the Young Person category. At 22 years of age Sophie’s volunteer service is remarkable. The multifaceted nature of her work spans from telephone crisis support with Lifeline Canberra, youth reference work with Headspace, all the way through to foster care of animals for the RSPCA and membership of the ACT Refugee Action Committee.

Sophie Hope

As quoted in her nomination: ‘She never gives herself enough time to just relax- she is always out helping someone, whether it is through her volunteer work, or being someone to talk to for her friends and family when they are in tough situations. She is endlessly positive and brings her smiles and enthusiasm to her volunteer work.’

2015 ACT Volunteer Team of the Year: TADACT Skilled Project Volunteer Team

TADACT (Technical Aid for the Disabled ACT) Skilled Volunteers won the Community Care and Health category. The team is made up of over 60 skilled volunteers (engineers, tradespeople and more) who donate their time, knowledge and expertise to enable people with disabilities to live independent lives.

TADACT (Jack Williams)

As noted by their nominator the work of the TADACT Skilled Volunteers: provides solutions to help directly improve the independence of recipients (people with a disability) and improve their quality of life leading to greater social inclusion.

The event was formally concluded by Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, Patron of Volunteering and Contact ACT, who presented the final awards and congratulated the winners.

Follow all of the action for National Volunteer Week and the 2015 ACT Volunteer of the Year Awards on social media using #NVW2015.

Source: Volunteering ACT media release


Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at More about the Author