Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards

2017 Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards logoThe Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards celebrate and recognise the extraordinary contributions of all volunteers in Victoria.

Congratulations to the recipients

Recipients of the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards were formally recognised at a celebration and ceremony on Sunday 11 February 2018 at Government House in Melbourne.

Premier's Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award

Riley Briese, Gateway Health Gender Service
An outstanding advocate, Riley’s work has contributed to the a changed landscape of care and support for transgender people. Over the past four years, Riley has spent countless hours co-facilitating events and his contribution has improved the lives of young transgender people in the Wodonga region and beyond.


  • Cheryl Sculthorp, Ardoch Youth Foundation
  • Susan Cole, Rotary Club of Prahran
  • Helen Worcester, Neighbourhood Watch
  • Elissa Simmons, Glenroy West Kindergarten
  • Suzanne Crellin, Banyule Community Health- 3081 Angels
  • Ella Angarane, Bass Coast Breakers Women’s Football Club
  • Jane Crozier, Macedon Ranges and Woodend communities
  • Maureen Fontana, Office of the Public Advocate
  • Sally Ritter, Backpacks 4 VIC Kids
  • Clare Gray, Stroke Association of Victoria
  • Ian Holowko, Manningham Inclusive Community Housing


  • Meryl Adams, Anglicare Victoria
  • Michael Gallus, Footys4all
  • Gail Dick, Doncaster All Abilities Basketball
  • Cuc Lam, Various- Hobsons Bay City Council Multicultural Advisory Committee, Migrant Resource Centre North West, Western English Language School, Western Health Community Advisory Committee
  • Bec Picone, Peace of Mind Foundation
  • James Simpson, Merri Health
  • Michael Lim, Community Health Advancement and Student Engagement (CHASE)


  • Graham Symons, Country Fire Authority
  • Judy Greer, Rotary and Uniting Church Ocean Grove
  • Wendy Burke, Girgarre Community Group
  • Iris Mannik, Keep Australia Beautiful Committee, Australia Day Committee, Beechworth community
  • Andrew Duncan, Country Fire Authority and State Emergency Service
  • Cynthia Patchet, Whitehorse City Council
  • Sharon Flitman, Inclusion Melbourne
  • Kaitlyn Schurmann, Golden Plains Shire Council
  • John Sharwood, Kellock Lodge Alexandra
  • Charles McCarthy, St Vincent de Paul Society
  • Angela Broadbent, Werribee Softball Association, City Raiders Softball Club, Softball Victoria
  • Barbara Davis, St John Ambulance Australia (Victoria)
  • Todd Jolly, Uniting Bendigo
  • Katrina Antony, Life Saving Victoria and Barwon Heads 13th Beach Surf Lifesaving Club
  • Margaret Keech, 1st Strathfieldsaye Scout Group, Forever Young Rock Choir, Bendigo Academy of Sport
  • Noel Dunstan, Moreland City Council
  • Abdisalan Mohamud, Community radio and the Somali community in Victoria
  • Sam Atukorala, Greater Shepparton City Council, Bourchier Street Primary School, GV Health, Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, AFL Diversity Program, Cricket Victoria, Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley, Multicultural Arts Victoria
  • Ana Ruffat-Ruiz, South Yarra Public Tenants Association
  • Alan Bartolo, Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning
  • Margaret Milne, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Sandra Lovell, Special Olympics Australia


  • Sampling the Abyss - Guadalupe (Lupita) Bribiesca-Contreras, Jasmine Bursic, Asher Flatt, Phoebe Lewis
  • The Cranbourne Regional Uniting Church Food Truck - Graham Astfalck, Jillian Drysdale, Christine Marsh, Charica McCormack, Bob Neal, Helga Pitzer, Roy Snook, Sharon Start, Jacqui Symonds, Cath Taylor
  • Sunraysia Animal Rehousing Group (SARG) - Carleen (Charlie) Bayldon, Trudie Chant, Carolyn Dufty, Nicole Thiel, Ines Wendt

View the Volunteer Champions Showcase for more information on the Award recipients and all of the nominees.

About the Awards

The broad array of volunteering that takes place in Victoria is inspiring and the Awards celebrate volunteers across all ages and from all walks of life, and the wide range of services, activities and support they provide to Victorian people, communities and causes.

To highlight the significant number of volunteers, and the variety and impact of volunteering effort across the state, up to 60 volunteers were formally recognised across four categories.

The Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award was selected from all Award recipients to honour their significant contributions and outstanding commitment.

More information

For more information on the Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards, please contact:

Phone: 03 9096 1183

Congratulations to the previous recipients

2016 recipients

60 volunteers were invited to Government House in December 2016 to be formally recognised for their outstanding achievements across five categories.

The Premier’s Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award was selected from all Award recipients, and in 2016 the selection task was so difficult, two were chosen for their outstanding contribution!

View the Volunteer Champions Showcase to see the full list of Award recipients and all of the nominees and the highly commended shortlist.


2015 recipients

View the Volunteer Champions Showcase to see the full list of Award recipients and all of the nominees and the highly commended shortlist.