News

Far West’s Mary Leehane in the finals for volunteer management excellence award

  • by Volunteer Hub
  • November 20, 2017

From the original article in the Barrier Daily Truth, Saturday, 4th November 2017.

A Broken Hill woman who manages the work of over 200 volunteers from the South Australian and Victorian borders, north to Tibooburra and east to Ivanhoe has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 NSW Volunteer of the Year awards. Mary Leehane is Volunteer Manager for the Far West Local Health District (FWLHD) which covers an area of 193,000 square miles with a population of approximately 32,000.

She was nominated for the Volunteer of the Year awards in the Excellence in Volunteer Management category. Volunteers are involved in a wide range of operations including the hospital kiosk, rehabilitation services, dementia support, drug and alcohol programs, mental health, palliative care, family support and physical activity programs such as Tai Chi and aqua classes.

She helped implement programs such as the Palliative Care Biography Team and others which were developed to make the most of the limited resources of a small community and provide innovative local solutions to the problems of living in a remote area.

She centralised the volunteer program’s administration in Broken Hill and established formal procedures for volunteering, including training and at the same time forged links with organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Volunteers have been quick to respond to the inclusive approach she has developed and regard her with affection. A thank you card from one of her students on the wall of her office reads: “I would like to start by saying thank you. Thank you for being the most inspiring, loving, energetic, kind, compassionate, nurturing, strong beautiful supervisor….for watching out and supporting me”.

Chief Executive Officer of The Centre for Volunteering Gemma Rygate, said the valuable work of volunteer managers needs to be acknowledged. “They are the people who ensure the volunteering experience is a good one. They help retain and grow, develop and recruit volunteers to ensure the essential work of volunteers continues to be done.”

The Awards Patron, the Minister for Multiculturalism and Minister for Disability Services, the Hon Ray Williams said volunteering was an excellent way to give back to our community. “These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the essential work of volunteers, and the vital role of corporate volunteer managers who recruit and develop their volunteers,” he said.

“The NSW Government is proud to support these awards because we understand the significant social and economic value of volunteering, he said.”

ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said the club industry was proud to be Principal Partners of the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. “On behalf of our 1200 member clubs, we are very proud to support this Awards program which shines a spotlight on the 2.3 million volunteers in NSW. “Clubs across NSW rely upon over 40,000 volunteers to assist in their operations to provide services to members and their local communities.”

Pic: Mary Leehane.

Upcoming Events

PCNSW Education Day 2022
UPCOMING
  • MAY 27, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

PCNSW Education Day 2022

We are thrilled to be holding our first Education Day since 2019. Please jo...

Read more
NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services
UPCOMING
  • JUNE 8, 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteer Services

The role of the Network is to ensure best practice for NSW Managers of Pall...

Read more
Volunteer Manager Conference 2022
UPCOMING
  • JUNE 20 - JUNE 21, 2022
  • 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Volunteer Manager Conference 2022

The NSW Network of Managers of Palliative Care Volunteers and the Volunteer...

Read more

Become a member of Palliative Care NSW

Palliative Care New South Wales is the peak body in NSW representing palliative care providers and those with an interest in palliative care. Palliative Care New South Wales is a member of the national peak body Palliative Care Australia.

Join today and receive discounts, benefits and more!
Special member rate available for volunteers.

Subscribe to our eNews

Be the first to know our latest new, events, and research!

SUBSCRIBE TO ENEWS