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Volunteer Celebration Service 2020

This year’s Volunteer Celebration Service was unlike any other, we were able to join in the celebrations in the comfort of our own home. Our virtual Volunteer Celebration Service was an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to all the volunteers for the important contribution and ongoing commitment they make to Wesley Mission. 

While we missed the opportunity to celebrate in person, we were grateful for the ability to gather together online to give thanks. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch the video yet, this is your chance! Simply click on the video below.

An extremely important aspect of the Volunteer Celebration Service was the announcement of the of our 2020 Volunteer of the Year finalists and award winner. The Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise those volunteers who embody our vision to ‘Do all the good you can, because every life matters’. We are honoured to have over 4,500 people willingly giving their time from schools, churches, community groups and corporates. This also includes our regular and very dear volunteers who support our programs week in and week out. They all do a great job, making these awards more important to acknowledge them.

2020 Volunteer of the Year Finalists

First Name

Last Name




Wesley Fundraising



Wesley Connect



Wesley School for Seniors



Volunteer Support



Wesley Retail Newcastle



Wesley Stalls & Wesley Fair



Wesley Retail Newcastle



Wesley Aunties & Uncles



Newcastle Community Hub



Newcastle Community Hub



Community Visitors Scheme



Wesley Retail Newcastle



Meals on Wheels



Emergency Relief



The Lobby Café, Wesley Rayward



Wesley Retail Newcastle

Kaye & Neville


Meals on Wheels



Wesley Community Legal Services



Wesley Retail Newcastle



Newcastle Community Hub



Wesley Community Legal Services



Volunteer Support + L&D



Taree Community Hub

Kim & Paul


Wesley Aunties & Uncles



Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland

Senior and Overall Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

As a Lifeline Accredited Crisis Supporter at Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland he is one of its longest serving volunteers. Ken’s consistent presence, work and commitment helps to meet Lifeline’s goal of preventing and reducing suicide. His incredible achievement is particularly special in an area that sees a high volunteer turnover and quick burnout.

For over 37 years Ken has made a difference to countless people’s lives and is a pillar at Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland. During his regular fortnightly shift, his primary responsibility is to help support and listen to seekers calling Lifeline and he never tires of the mental load. Outside his shifts he participates in regular supervision and professional development sessions as well as in the mentor program supporting new crisis supporters as they begin their own volunteer journey. He is committed to serving with empathy, compassion and humility and is a shining example of ‘do all the good you can…for as long as ever you can’.

Supporting a myriad of help seekers through crises from suicide ideation to simply needing someone to chat to after a hard day, Ken’s unfailing integrity in upholding the Lifeline CARE framework, exemplify the Christlike servanthood of Wesley Mission.

Adult Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

For over 14 years, Carol has faithfully delivered meals and provided safety and wellbeing checks on Clarence Care & Support Meals on Wheels’ clients.

Two days a week, Carol delivers meals to elderly clients, and when she is available is always willing to do extra shifts. Without Carol, these elderly clients may otherwise go without a meal. Showing genuine concern for her clients, Carol is also a friendly face and someone clients can talk to when needed.

Carol is a living example of ‘courageous commitment’ as she continues to be eager to volunteer even after 14 years and despite a global pandemic.

Youth Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

Mariah is a true ‘Jane of all trades’ who has become an integral and adored member of the Learning & Development and Volunteer Support team.

When COVID-19 hit, and the country went into lockdown, she sensed the additional strain on the team and increased her volunteer days from two to three to support her team members. It meant juggling her personal life as mum to a 3-year-old and managing her own anxiety around COVID. During this time, she took it upon herself to check in with everyone in the office and when needed, provided moral support.

Mariah is focused, engaged and always willing to apply herself to any task and provides exceptional customer service and administrative support to the team. Showing up every week she brings light and levity to the office and provides new and fresh perspectives, always striving to do the right thing. She has a genuine passion for the work of Wesley Mission and a desire to ‘do all the good she can’. Every person who meets Mariah agrees she is warm, welcoming, and kind.

Volunteer Team of the Year Award

The Lifeline Crisis Support team exemplify the values of Wesley Mission through their willingness to spend time on the phones with help-seekers, undertake ongoing training, supervision and upskilling, and their commitment to Lifeline’s goals to provide support and assistance to all Australians.

Expertly trained and skilled in handling distressing situations with empathy and patience they provide support to help-seekers experiencing emotional distress and mental health. From lending a listening ear after a hard day at work to walking someone through an imminent mental health crisis, our Lifeline volunteers are trained to provide support in a myriad of ways, and through this work, they are an integral part of the greater achievements of suicide prevention work across Australia.

Lifeline volunteers are shining examples of Christlike servanthood, unfailing integrity and courageous commitment to a task that is often unseen, complex and tiring. Thank you for making a difference by working empathetically and compassionately to provide support and care for each help seeker.

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