Curtin University graduate Marcus Wong has won the 2019 WA Youth Volunteer of the Year award.
Mr Wong was among the 131 West Australians recognised at the 30th annual Volunteer Week Gala Awards presentation last night.
“Just to be there, to be present and to be in a room surrounded by so many incredible people was such as honour and privilege.
“And then to be told I was the recipient of the award was quite amazing, especially after hearing all the amazing stories of everyone else,” he said.
Mr Wong said he was nominated by his school teacher for the work he did as president of the Interact Club at Willetton Senior High School.
He was also recognised for volunteering at Rafiki Africa Ministries where he raised awareness for children in need as a photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer.
Mr Wong said the award means a lot to him because it represents recognition and appreciation for volunteers.
“Volunteers don’t volunteer for awards or for recognition, but to have that recognition and to know there are people who dedicate their time to recognise volunteers gives us that strength to go further and to fight for a better society,” he said.
Finalist in the same category as Mr Wong, Isobel Copeman said she loved volunteering with Fair Game Australia over the past five years.
“I was so ridiculously impressed by both Marcus and Jarrad, the other two volunteers in the same category. It’s pretty special to even be mentioned in the sentence as them,” she said.
Ms Copeman said she worked with rural and remote communities to provide them with sporting equipment, sports sessions and health promotion.
Other award recipients included Trevor Fisher for WA Volunteer of the Year, Wendy Williams for WA Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering, and Jennie Loveridge for WA Excellence in Volunteer Management.
Notable award recipient Patricia Hatch from Swanbourne was honoured for volunteering with St John Ambulance for 42 years.
Rockingham district’s Little Athletics volunteer Robert Chalmers was awarded for his 49 years spent as an executive committee member and coach.
The theme of the National Volunteer Week this year is ‘making a world of difference’.
In a media statement, Minister for Volunteering Mick Murray said volunteers are an important part of our communities and their input cannot be underestimated.
“They truly do make a world of difference and their unfaltering commitment to their chosen organisation deserves recognition and celebration,” he said.
“National Volunteer Week provides a fantastic opportunity to thank WA’s amazing volunteers for their contributions to our State.
“I encourage all Western Australians to applaud their efforts, and consider volunteering for a cause they are passionate about.”