NSW Volunteer of the Year awards: Central West winners

THREE young Bathurst sisters were among those to be recognised in the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

The Central West award winners were announced at Bathurst RSL Club on Thursday, with more than 100 finalists in the running.

Bathurst sisters Larissa, 17, and twins Katrina and Makayla, 24, Benham (who now live in Parkes and Orange respectively) were jointly won the Young Volunteer of the Year award.

The trio have long been involved with St Johns Ambulance have been involved since they joined as cadets when they were young teenagers.

“I like to give back to the community and it makes me feel good knowing that I can help,” Larissa said.

“It’s good to volunteer with mum and my sisters.”

Their mother, Debbie Lynch-Benham, was a finalist in the Adult Volunteer of the Year category for her many years with St Johns.

She said she was very proud of her three daughters for volunteering their time, not just with St Johns but also on Daffodil Day, Anzac Day and the Cancer Council.

“They’ve always been community-minded,” Mrs Lynch-Benham said.

While Windradyne man Barry Fuller won the Senior Volunteer of the Year category for his many years with Bathurst Meals on Wheels.

Lachlan Shire Council mayor John Medcalf and Central West Senior Volunteer of the Year Barry Fuller (Windradyne). Photo: NADINE MORTON 092117nmaward3

Lachlan Shire Council mayor John Medcalf and Central West Senior Volunteer of the Year Barry Fuller (Windradyne). Photo: NADINE MORTON 092117nmaward3

“I’ve been volunteering [with various community groups] since 1978,” he said.

“I started out with my local AFL club that needed some help. Now I do Meals on Wheels and Bushrangers AFL Club.”

Mr Fuller said while his years of volunteer work had assisted many people in the community during the past 39 years, it had also been a joy for him.

“I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and I know that I’m doing something good,” he said.

“I’ve made a lot of acquaintances.”

Mr Fuller said he was very surprised to hear his name called out as the winner among so many volunteers in the category for those aged 65 or older.

“It was very good to be recognised, I’m very proud to be awarded,” he said.

Winning Adult Volunteer of the Year was Cowra man Greg Nicholls, while Volunteer Team of the Year was awarded to the Orange CultureHub Committee.

All Central West winners will now go on to compete at the state finals in December.

Almost 110,000 nominations were received for this year’s awards out of an estimated 2.4 millions volunteers across NSW.