WA Volunteer of the Year Awards – Recipients Announced



  • The remarkable contribution of WA volunteers was recognised at the Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Awards on Thursday 20 May at Crown Perth.
  • More than 300 volunteers, managers, and volunteer-involving organisations attended the dinner.
  • The awards program is hosted by Volunteering WA, the peak body for volunteering in WA, during National Volunteer Week (17 – 23 May).

Volunteering WA is proud to announce and congratulate the eight incredible and worthy recipients of the 2021 WA Volunteer of the Year Awards, announced last night (Thursday 20 May) at Crown Perth, during National Volunteer Week (17-23 May).

The awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding efforts made by volunteers and organisations each year across eight different categories. In 2021, 31 finalists were shortlisted from over 270 incredible nominations.

Volunteering WA CEO Tina Williams pays tribute to the generosity, dedication and contribution volunteers make to the WA community.

''It was an honour for Volunteering WA to host this beautiful event during National Volunteer Week, which acknowledged and recognised the amazing contributions volunteers make in our communities,” Tina said.

“Each day, I am humbled by the opportunity to meet extraordinary individuals and teams within our volunteering sector who give so much to make Western Australia a better place for all - and our incredible recipients are certainly no exception. Hearing the stories, impact and dedication that each of our finalists demonstrate, truly is awe-inspiring.

“There are over 550,000 volunteers in WA who make a world of difference to us all, and we gratefully acknowledge the positive impact.

“The night would not have been possible without our award partners, Department of Communities; Office of Multicultural Interests; Silver Chain; Stan Perron Charitable Foundation; Minderoo Foundation; NeonLogic; Lotterywest; and ABC Radio,” Tina said.

Nominations for the WA Volunteer of the Year Awards open in January each year, and information can be found at awards.volunteeringwa.org.au/categories.

2021 WA Volunteer of the Year recipients

Excellence in Volunteer Management, presented by Department of Communities

Marion Mitchell, Esperance Home Care

Marion has been the Volunteer Coordinator at Esperance Home Care for 20 years, and is responsible for the recruitment, training and management of more than 140 volunteers. Last year, Esperance Home Care’s volunteers provided over 9,500 hours of service across its programs.

Marion is passionate about supporting and encouraging the volunteer workforce and the results are evident by their longevity and enjoyment in the work they provide.

It is through Marion’s dedication, passion and deft hand at managing such a large group of volunteers, that clients and the wider Esperance community are able to benefit from such a service.

Volunteer for Multicultural Communities, presented by Office of Multicultural Interests

Tristan Kolay

Nominated by the Rotary of Elizabeth Quay, Tristan personifies Rotary’s mission of Service Above Self. Tristan is a champion for, and within, our multicultural communities through his volunteer involvement with Rotary, Australian Army Reserve, the Malaysian Singaporean Catholic Community, and volunteer fire and emergency services.

Through the Rotary of Elizabeth Quay, Tristan organised the Migrant Refugee Upskilling Program, partnering with local employment agencies, recruiters, TAFE, language centres, and individuals with shared experiences, to facilitate a series of workshops that helped improve communication skills, social connection, training, and resume-writing, for new Australian families from Syria, Jordan and Iraq.  Tristan actively empowers and supports Western Australia’s multicultural communities, and is the deserving 2021 Volunteer for Multicultural Communities recipient.


Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering, presented by Silver Chain

Sandra Lymbery

Sandra has dedicated 20 years to Coral Bay Volunteer Marine Rescue and 18 years to Coral Bay Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services. She also drives ambulances with St John WA and was essential in establishing a joint multipurpose facility that houses all of the community’s emergency services.

As a hub for off-shore and remote workers, and a premier tourism spot along the Ningaloo Coast, Coral Bay’s transient community presents a unique and challenging operating environment for emergency services. Taking on both formal and informal volunteer roles, Sandra is often the first point of contact for emergencies in the area, and is recognised as is a leader not only in her community but also as an emergency services volunteer.

WA Youth Volunteer of the Year, presented by Stan Perron Charitable Foundation

Riley Dolman

Riley Dolman volunteers with Fair Game; a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve access to sports and healthy lifestyle choices in under-serviced communities throughout rural and remote Western Australia.

Riley trained as a Fair Game volunteer in 2017 and started taking part in regional trips to deliver health education and fitness programs to children in remote communities across Western Australia. He quickly progressed to be a Senior Fair Gamer and Trip Leader, taking charge of teams of volunteers for week-long regional trips. As well as being a Trip leader, Riley holds a volunteer position on Fair Game’s Board of Directors where he acts as Secretary, and attends and contributes to monthly Board meetings. Riley is a fantastic role model and provides inspiration to Fair Game’s volunteers, participants and the local Kununurra community where he is now based.

WA Volunteer of the Year, presented by Minderoo Foundation

Joanne Pollard

Joanne Pollard exemplifies the volunteering ethos and has volunteered for thirty years working with the most vulnerable in our community.  Through her involvement with Radio Lollipop; Timor Leste Vision; Homeless Connect Perth; and Spirit of the Streets Choir, Joanne has served in many roles including program coordinator, treasurer, secretary, fundraiser, and advocate, and has been instrumental in developing meaningful programs that positively benefit as many people as possible.

Jo’s empathy for others reaches across all sections of the community. She is an advocate for breaking down barriers and has directly impacted the lives of so many.  Congratulations Joanne Pollard, the incredibly deserving recipient of the 2021 Western Australia Volunteer of the Year Award.

WA Corporate Volunteer of the Year, presented by NeonLogic                       

Woodside Energy

Woodside is a corporate leader in employee volunteering. They were one of the first Australian organisations to provide paid volunteering leave, is a founding member and Chair of the Corporate Volunteer Council, and a corporate representative on the Minister’s Volunteering Community Reference group.   Before the pandemic slowed their programs, Woodside celebrated its most significant year, with close to 2,000 employees volunteering over 11,000 hours. Woodside’s corporate leadership in volunteering has ensured that the organisations they work with can better serve their clients and communities, many of which are experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.

Community Volunteer Organisation of the Year, supported by Lotterywest

Teach Learn Grow

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, Teach Learn Grow is a volunteer-led, grassroots organisation with the mission to bridge the education gap for students experiencing disadvantage in rural and remote Australian communities.  With two fulltime staff and 3 part time staff, Teach Learn Grow has morphed into an organisation run largely by 60+ passionate, high-achieving and skilled volunteers. Their volunteers take on an internship-style role for a period of 6 months to 4 years, and support the organisation across any of their 13 teams, including marketing, recruitment, finance, university engagement, and education.

Over 2,500 volunteers have helped Teach Learn Grow become the organisation it is today, and given them the ability to impact thousands of students across in more than 40 WA communities.

Spirit of Volunteering Award, presented by ABC Radio

Maurice Becker

Maurice has always volunteered in Wagin and around the district. He first became involved in the Wagin Woolorama in 1955 and is still volunteering 66 years later. Maurice volunteered for the Wagin Rotary Club for 38 years and was the official time keeper for the Wagin Football Club for 30 years and held many other roles. In his younger years, he was the President of the Farmers Association and has always been a member of the South West Ward of the Wagin Bush Fire Brigade. He has also volunteered with the Wagin Historical Village for many years. 

Maurice is affectionately known to many around Wagin as Uncle Maurie. At 91 years of age, he is still heavily involved with the Wagin Woolorama and was given a Life Membership in 1992.  He doesn't stop and is a wonderful reliable source for the history of Wagin and the farming areas.