Congratulations to the recipients of the 2019 Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards who were honoured at Government House on 1 December 2019 for their unwavering passion, commitment and dedication to others.
Carmel Benjamin AM received the Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabth Murdoch Award in 2019.
Volunteer of the Year

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

Warm congratulations to Carmel Benjamin AM, who has been awarded the Volunteer of the Year, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Award.

Carmel Benjamin AM has dedicated more than 50 years to creating a more egalitarian society by championing the rights of people involved in the criminal justice system.

Over the years, Carmel has volunteered as a victim counsellor, official prison visitor, board member, ambassador and consultant on ministerial advisory committees. She also established vital initiatives including the ‘woman 2 woman’ program that helps women transition from prison into the community.

“I am deeply concerned about the powerlessness of people who lack understanding of complex systems, and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to create a more informed and compassionate society for individuals caught up in the criminal justice system,” she said.

Carmel is one of 57 outstanding volunteers from across Victoria who were honoured at the 2019 Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards today.



  • Mo Alam
  • Carmel Benjamin AM
  • Lucy Donaldson
  • John Forrester
  • Batul Fatima Gulani
  • Sandra Jacobs
  • Kerrigan La-Brooy
  • Gary Lee
  • Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
  • Shaoying Xu


  • Jeremey Byrne
  • Andrew Do
  • Batool Moussa
  • June Rea
  • Prateeti Sabhlok
  • Steven Unthank


  • Robina Ali
  • John Ayers
  • Cheryl Berchdolt
  • Ciara Boyle
  • Daryl Bristowe
  • Hue Man Dan
  • Rosemary Gillespie
  • Pat Grumont
  • Lyn Haupt
  • Louise Hillier
  • Mark Hopkins
  • John Horwood
  • Geoffrey Hyde
  • Anam Javed
  • Nigel Jones
  • Ravinder Kaur
  • Chris Lawless
  • Beryl McLaughlin
  • Richard Mitchell
  • Beverley O’Brien
  • Tim Rankin
  • Kevin Shinners
  • Cynthia Vincent
  • Kerry Williams
  • Reyzl Zylberman


  • BlazeAid Bunyip
    John Anderson, Susan Anderson, Therese Baker, Sarah Johnston, Sue Neilson, Joe Petersen and Simon Righton.
  • Siri Guru Nanak Darbar
    Madhu Bhatia, Navpreet Dhanoa, Ramandeep Kang, Harjinder Kaur, Harjit (Ravneet) Kaur, Brijai Parikh, Randeep Saini, Avtar Singh, Manjinder Singh and Ramneet Kaur Walia.
2019 Awards Logo

More information

For more information on the Victorian Premier's Volunteer Champions Awards, please contact:
Phone: 03 9096 0325 or 03 9096 1183