Marjo Hallowell has given her time to support communities impacted by fire, people and their families living with cancer, cherished local history and community events.

Earlier this week she was recognised as the 2023 NSW Macarthur and South West Sydney Volunteer of the Year at the NSW Volunteer Awards Regional Ceremony at which many local heroes from across Macarthur were recognised for their dedication, altruism and unwavering support for their fellow neigbours.

“Volunteers from the Macarthur and South West Sydney region give their time and energy to make their community a better place. They help build healthy and well-connected communities across the region,” said Gemma Rygate, CEO, The Centre for Volunteering.

“Their tireless work helps support people across health, education, sporting and community sectors. Our awards recognise their work and give us the chance to say thank you.”

Local state parliamentarians Greg Warren (Campbelltown), Nathan Haggarty (Leppington), Sally Quinnell (Camden) and Judith Hannan (Wollondilly) were present to honour the 2023 NSW Volunteer of the Year Award winners for the Macarthur and South West Sydney region as follows:

Young Volunteer of the Year: Ziah Lloyd from Gregory Hills

Ziah Lloyd is a volunteer training officer with St John Ambulance NSW, where he equips volunteers with first aid and life-saving skills necessary to ensure the community is safe and well.

He develops comprehensive training plans in all clinical levels that keep St John volunteers up to date with the latest knowledge to save lives and provide crucial first aid in emergency situations. Ziah also actively contributes to leadership team decisions that shapes and improves the direction of St John Ambulance.

Adult Volunteer of the Year: Brian Laul from Woodbine

Brian Laul has led many initiatives and events that have brought together and supported people from all walks of life across the Macarthur region.

He founded the community news platform Good Morning Macarthur to promote the local community, its people and events to bring the community together. He is the volunteer chairperson at the Rainbow Crossing, and has established events, online forums and awards to promote and support local businesses, multiculturalism, community health and young people.

Volunteer Team of the Year – OSCA – One Stop Community Assistance

The 10 members of the OSCA volunteer team give their time to support community groups and events wherever they are needed throughout the south western and Southern Highlands community.

They have helped their local community with disaster recovery and community led recovery hubs, in aged care homes, libraries and community events. They have become a vital resource for councils, First Nations peoples, Royal Botanical Gardens and other community services groups

Senior Volunteer of the Year – Marjo Hallowell from Bargo

Marjo Hallowell has volunteered at the Bargo History Group, Can Assist Bowral, Wollondilly Women in Business, Picton Historical Society, Picton Rotary, Southern Highlands Renal Appeal and other causes and charities.

Over the last 5 years she has ridden over 2000 kms and raised $25,000 for the Children’s Medical Research Institute with her three young grandsons by taking part in the annual Great Cycle Challenge.

Congratulating the winners, NSW Minister with responsibility for Volunteering Jodie Harrison said, “I am immensely proud of the dedication and commitment to community that we see each year from volunteers across the state.”

The awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering and supported by principal partners the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,100 not-for-profit clubs.

“With more than 30,000 selfless individuals volunteering their time in clubs across NSW, we understand the incredible lengths that volunteers go to in order to support and strengthen their local communities,” ClubsNSW CEO Rebecca Riant said.

“The volunteers honoured by these awards truly deserve the recognition they receive and continue to be an inspiration to us all.”