A MILLTHORPE man with a passion for the village’s oval was honoured at the Central West Volunteer of the Year Awards held in Bathurst on Thursday.
Michael Truloff was named both the overall 2016 Central West volunteer of the year and the adult volunteer of the year for his work with The Redmond Oval Sub Committee and the Millthorpe Junior Cricket Club.
Mr Truloff, who is a teacher at Millthorpe Public School, could not be at the ceremony because he was on a school excursion.
He was represented by his wife Jeanne and children Max and Celeste.
The Centre for Volunteering chief executive officer Gemma Rygate said Mr Truloff’s commitment to the upgrade of Millthorpe’s only open community space - the Redmond Oval - encompassed every aspect of the project, from fundraising to lobbying Blayney Shire Council over designs and liaising with diverse sporting and other interest groups.
“Not only does Millthorpe now enjoy one of the most beautiful and useful community spaces as a result of Michael’s endeavours, but he has galvanised many diverse groups to make full use of the space, opening the way for more diverse activities in the town, including a wide range of sporting events to markets and school functions - all drawn to the lovely oval environment and its facilities,” Ms Rygate said.
“It is also an acknowledged fact that the Millthorpe Junior Cricket Club would not exist without Michael’s selfless involvement over many years and many Millthorpe kids would have missed out or had to travel significant distances to play Australia’s national sport.”
John Biggs of Forbes was named the senior volunteer of the year for his work with Life Education, and Mentor Connections, from Orange Migrant Support Service, was named the volunteer team of the year.
“This year The Centre for Volunteering received a record number of nominations [for the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards]: more than 7500 nominations covering more than 100,000 volunteers – a record number since the awards began 10 years ago,” Ms Rygate said.
All regional winners are now in the running for the overall NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, which will be announced at a gala event in Sydney on Friday, December 2 in the lead-up to International Volunteer Day.
Ms Rygate said volunteering was in the DNA of Australians.
“In NSW, more than 2.3 million people volunteer - if volunteering were an industry it would employ more people than any other sector, including mining and tourism,” she said.