Volunteer of the Year winner

Ken White

Wesley Mission Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland

Ken has been a loyal and high performing volunteer for over 38 years, driving two hours each fortnight to complete his telephone crisis supporter shifts (often the graveyard shift), along with meeting all of his accreditation requirements throughout the year. One can only imagine the amount of calls, suicide interventions and lives Ken has saved.

His primary responsibility, during regular fortnightly shifts, is to be available for help seekers ringing Lifeline for support and a listening ear. Outside of these shifts, Ken participates in regular group supervision and professional development sessions and has participated in our mentor program, supporting new Crisis Supporters as they begin their own journey.


Geraldine Camilleri

Big Group Hug

Driving a small grassroots charity as an Executive Director, Geraldine has worked tirelessly to increase the distribution of material aid to young children from 20,000 items per year to more than 500,000 items per year. Not only do these goods serve to improve the economic and social circumstances of children and families but this huge amount of material that otherwise might end in landfill is getting a second lease on life.

Russell Jaffe

Community First Development

Russell’s 40+ years’ of volunteer work is based on his extensive experience as a community worker then consultant, entirely focused on enhancing third sector organisations and strengthening their impact and effectiveness.

Russell’s passion and commitment to social justice shows up in all his work. He loves assisting organisations to develop awareness and insight into what is needed for their community and what ensures maximum impact. His work often establishes a blueprint for organisational change and development.

Russell’s cross cultural work includes extensive involvement with Maori communities in New Zealand followed by his volunteer work with Aboriginal communities – over 20 assignments right across Australia (especially for remote communities) since 2012. He has also given major volunteer support for over a decade to the African Australian community.

He was the key to the establishment of a major recreation program for ‘Maccabi All Abilities’ participants in Melbourne in 2008 and has mentored the Program Co-ordinator for the past ten years. His community fundraising efforts as President of the Maccabi Sports Foundation since 2003 have resulted in a massive influx of funds for the organisation.

He loves the challenge of synthesizing ‘management speak’ to community needs, capturing the essence of what a community or an organisation wants and encouraging them to trust their own knowledge and learning.

Russell has a strong value base from his Jewish upbringing, which comes out in the energy and effort he puts into his extensive volunteer efforts. This lifetime of consulting and volunteer work recently resulted in his joint authorship of the book ‘The Heart of Consulting’.


Mary Grech

Fitted for Work

Assist in the design, development and delivery of the Transition To Work Program for Fitted for Work. This program focuses on developing self-confidence and empowerment for FFW clients who are experiencing disadvantage. The program includes life skills training, current workplace practices, job search skills and each client is offered a Mentor to assist them. Also assisted in the design, development and delivery of the Mentor Training. The training is for Mentors who want to assist clients, primarily to understand this client group and have necessary tools to feel equipped to be matched with a client.

Kathy Foley


Kathy Foley started working with the not for profit charity, Dignity Ltd in 2015 when they first opened their supported temporary accommodation homes in South West Sydney. Kathy has had a long career in service to the community and is passionate about helping vulnerable persons find new hope and purpose. Volunteering just seemed like the perfect way to continue to be involved. She considers it a privilege to be able to support people experiencing homelessness.

Kathy is a brilliant networker who easily forges relationships across all parts of the community. She loves a challenge and is someone who thrives at ‘working the problem’. One of her favourite sayings when an issue arises is “MacGyver it!!!”

Kathy loves the creating and the cooking, but not so much the cleaning up part. She is a Mum of two and loves her dog, Zoe. In her spare time she loves watching baseball, AFL and spending time with family and friends.