Matthew Kirkham pictured at this year's Kids in Community Awards at the Twin Towns Services Club.
Matthew Kirkham pictured at this year's Kids in Community Awards at the Twin Towns Services Club. Karen HarperTWE120912kic12

Tweed youth honoured twice

A TWEED Heads man has become only the second person to ever win both the Northern Rivers' Volunteer of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year awards at a single ceremony.

Matthew Kirkham has just received the twin honours at the 2012 Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year awards ceremony at the Lismore Workers Club.

The awards recognise a near eight-year run of volunteering with the St Vincent de Paul Society, including several leadership positions, such as leading the Tweed Heads branch's Buddies Days and Kids Camps, coordinating and training other young leaders, and representing North Coast youth in the society.

Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year Award winners pictured at the Lismore Workers Club with Lismore MP Thomas George.
Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year Award winners pictured at the Lismore Workers Club with Lismore MP Thomas George.

He is currently St Vincent de Paul's NSW youth representative.

The win gives Mr Kirkham $300 to donate to the not-for-profit organisation of his choice and puts him in the running for the title of NSW Volunteer of the Year - to be announced in Sydney on December 5.

Other winners from today's ceremony include:

  • Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer of the Year: Joyce Hall of Lismore Heights
  • Northern Rivers Highly Commended Senior Volunteer of the Year Award: Joan Clarke of Cedar Point
  • Northern Rivers Volunteer Team of the Year: Lifeline Northern Rivers Volunteer In-Shift Support Supervisors

Others mentioned among the winners were:

  • Patricia Barnidge of Lismore
  • Robert Gray of South Grafton
  • Carol Johnston of Lismore
  • Robert Lee of Casino
  • Peter Luckett of Richmond Hill
  • Jack Lumley of Grafton
  • Daphne Maughan of Grafton
  • The Kyogle Seniors 24 volunteers
  • The Lismore NAB Team's 7 volunteers
  • The NR U3A (Lismore) Tuesday with U3A's 4 volunteers

NSW Volunteer of the Year award manager Kristin Sinclair said the award was an initiative of The Centre for Volunteering, the peak body for volunteering NSW. Now in its fifth year, this is the state-wide Award program recognising and thanking the volunteers in NSW who generously give more than 235 million work hours each year in NSW, contributing an extraordinary $5 billion to the State's economy.

"The week-in week-out contributions that volunteers make stretch from aged care, education, child welfare and counselling, through to emergency callouts, event control, running sports, environmental care and animal protection. There's hardly an area of life which is not helped by volunteering," she said.

Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer of the Year Joyce Hall and Mayor Jenny Dowell at the Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year ceremony.
Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer of the Year Joyce Hall and Mayor Jenny Dowell at the Northern Rivers Volunteer of the Year ceremony.


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