One of the longest serving volunteers and the youngest from the region have been recognised for their service to their community at the Centre for Volunteering NSW awards.
Dubbo’s Zac Cherry won the Young Volunteer of the Year Award for his service as Deputy Superintendent for the St John’s Orana Division.
Mr Cherry is 24-years-old and has already volunteered for 270 hours during 2018.
Mr Cherry said he wasn’t expecting to receive the award for helping his local community.
“I don’t do it to get awards, it’s very nice to get the recognition, however, I don’t do it for the awards,” he said.
“I feel there are a lot of people out there in the community who are more deserving.”
Mr Cherry said he had a deep passion for St Johns Ambulance which kept him motivated.
“St Johns’ has always been there for me, I’ve moved from Sydney to Bathurst, to Dubbo and St John’s has been the one stable thing for me, the whole time, it’s been a really big part of my life, I will probably be with them for the rest of my life,” he said.
“I encourage other people to volunteer, we only have 10 volunteers for the Orana region, we cover a third of NSW and we always need more people.”
Mr Gordon Hill from Cobar received the Senior Volunteer of the Year and was the overall Regional Winner for his service in the Cobar Unit of the NSW SES.
“We do it for our community, not for ourselves, it’s great to see volunteers recognised for what they do,” Mr Hill said.
“Without volunteers a lot of things wouldn’t happen.
“It’s important we continue to encourage young people to become volunteers.”
Mr Hill said he was very humbled to be recognised after 40 years of service.
“It’s very rewarding to help somebody, in my case with the SES and the RFS, more of the time what we’re doing is helping people in trouble, it’s very rewarding going home at the end of the day and you can say you’ve helped somebody.”
Mr Hill said he and other volunteers at the ceremony could all agree they volunteer to make their community a better place.
“I’ve been very fortunate over the last few days because i’m getting towards my volunteering time purely because of my age but it’s been a phenomenal few days, I was very fortunate to be at government house to receive from the NSW governor the emergency services medal,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a pinnacle to receive that award and to come here today and receive this award.
“I find when I am doing volunteer work because I enjoy it, it gives me a feeling of purpose, keeps you younger too. I intend to keep going, I’m involved with RFS, SES, Men’s Shed and Rotary.”
Dubbo’s Samuel Swain received the NSW Adult Volunteer of the Year for the Orana region for volunteering at Taronga Western Plains Zoo for the past four years helping visitors enjoy the iconic destination.
Mr Swain was not at the awards ceremony as he is currently in overseas volunteering.