Community Transport now servicing Tweed & Banora Point

Gold Coast Volunteer Award Winners 2022

 Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Ian Grace – Youth Music Venture Inc.

Ian Grace founded voluntary Youth Music Venture [YMV] in 2009, FREE for 11 – 17-year-olds, in response to youth issues – over 500 kids to date! The program builds self-esteem immeasurably, saving lives and helping those disadvantaged in any way, while dramatically improving their further education uptake, resulting in partnering with the Gold Coast education industry.

In 2022 he has grown YMV to 4 programs, including launching the program in Tweed, as invited by Tweed Shire Council. For 5 years he has Chaired the Police Community Consultative Meetings, putting the public and Senior Police together, to assist with community safety. And for several years now he has been working tirelessly to help our returned Veterans’ tragic mental health and suicide rates- and has just submitted a detailed proposal to the Ministers for Veteran Affairs and Defence and the Royal Commission.

Find out more about Ian’s work at Youth Music Venture Here.

Category finalists:

Youth Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Claire Wilson (20 years old) – Radio Lollipop

Claire has given over 110 hours to improving the lives of children in the hospital with Radio Lollipop. From bodacious bracelets and badges, joyous Jenga, and curious crafts – Claire Bear always knows how to read the room and make genuine connections with the children. Attempting to quantify her impact, Claire has helped interact with over 500 children from the local community.

Claire is also an integral member of the leadership team. During their AGM, Claire took on the positions of secretary and deputy team leader for the Tuesday team. Similarly, Radio Lollipop recently expanded their service to Fridays – a feat possible only due to the unwavering support of Claire as she personally trained each volunteer. Consequently, Claire has been giving up her Tuesday and Friday nights to volunteer. What makes this even more extraordinary is she manages to do this while working full-time as a paralegal and studying law.

Find out more about Claire’s work at Radio Lollipop Here. 

Category finalists:

Community Project/Organisation of the Year

Winner: Youth Music Venture

Youth Music Venture [YMV] was launched in 2009 to alleviate youth issues – this voluntary FREE program works with kids 11 – 17 years, literally transforming the lives of 500+ kids to date. They are formed into bands, mentored by professional musicians, and then perform on stage like rock stars at the finale concert.

Their confidence and self-esteem improve immeasurably and thereon nothing can hold them back in life. It also greatly enhances their further education, resulting in YMV partnering with the Gold Coast Education Industry – Associate Member of Study Gold Coast and sponsors Southern Cross University, Coomera TAFE, Emmanuel College etc. The Charity has grown from one program/year for the first 8 years to 4 programs in 2022, benefiting 4 times the number of kids, including being invited to launch the program in Tweed, with Tweed Shire Council – as well as HOTA, Emmanuel College and final program at Southern Cross University/Gold Coast Airport.

While the program is focused on teaching young people life’s values, it has also had some amazing musical achievements:13 performances at the Commonwealth Games, Opening Ceremony Preshow in front of 35,000 people, Exclusive entertainment for media preview of the Athletes Village, Chang Po Ching through to the semi-finals of The Voice!

Find out more about Youth Music Venture Here.

Category finalists:

Student Volunteer Program of the Year

Winner: Mudgeeraba Special School Skill Development Program with Mudgeeraba Show Society

Mudgeeraba Special School has an ongoing, valued partnership with the Mudgeeraba Showgrounds. They have supported a group of Senior School students from Mudgeeraba Special School to attend the Showgrounds on a regular basis as volunteers. By volunteering at a local venue, the students become valued members of the Gold Coast community.

Through the upkeep of the gardens and grounds, volunteering at the Showgrounds has supported the students to complete competencies of their Certificate I in Agrifood Operations, and Certificate I in Active Volunteering courses.

Through volunteering, their students have developed their literacy, numeracy and vocational skills in a practical, real-world setting. They have learnt skills in professional and social communication, supported travel in the community, use of Personal Protective Equipment, and safe use of tools and Workplace Health and Safety practices.

Find out more about the Mudgeeraba Special School Skill Development Program Here. 

Category finalists:

Corporate Social Impact Award

Winner: Boots for One & All Community – Supported by Sobah Beverages

This organisation has been able to create recyclable initiatives to help Indigenous kids and adults play sports. Through collecting second-hand football boots and clothing amongst other items to send all around Australia. They have created systems in remote schools where kids have a borrow-system to be inclusive in their school sports programs. They work towards their vision of providing relief by coordinating the collection and delivery of sportswear and sports equipment to remote Indigenous locations that need them most.

Sport has been described as the ‘great equaliser’ because of its ability to break
down social barriers and improve health outcomes for all. Children who play sports perform better academically, are more likely to graduate from high school and will be healthier and happier. Sport also promotes social cohesion and values of confidence, persistence, teamwork, leadership, empathy and communication, all of which form ‘tools’ in a child’s arsenal that aid their development and empower them to contribute to their communities. In observed experiences, involvement in sports in turn encourages school attendance and contributes to overall youth development which is what Boots for One & All are all about!

Find out more about Boots for One & All Community Here.

Category finalists:

Robina Town Centre Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Winner: Cultural Meals – Multicultural Social Network

The project Cultural Meals for the Homeless and the Needy was set up in March 2020 to support the needy members of our Gold Coast community. This is entirely a ‘community project’ supported by unpaid volunteers from various culturally diverse backgrounds who prepare delicious and nutritious meals from their cultural backgrounds.

This project does not depend on Government grants or public donations. The volunteers themselves solely fund it. About 20,000 cultural meals have been distributed since the inception of this project. These meals are distributed weekly to about 200 needy members in Labrador Community Centre and Southport. The homeless and needy members are delighted to receive these cultural meals because the meals are warm, nutritious, and delicious. They really enjoy it.

Nowadays, the project is attracting more & more culturally diverse volunteers who are eager to participate in this project as they have been watching the weekly videos of distributing cultural meals on their Facebook page.

Find out more about Cultural Meals – Multicultural Social Network Here.

Category finalists:

2022 Image Gallery