Read about the individual and team honours and all those nominated in the 2010 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards.

Outstanding achievement by an individual volunteer

Metropolitan health service

Nominee name



Norma Bett

Southern Health

Norma Bett’s commitment and dedication spans 23 years and continues to be as strong today. She has volunteered since 1996 and was among the first on the palliative care unit.

Norma displays an enthusiasm and skill at engaging with patients and families on the ward, providing a calming presence that immediately puts people at ease. Norma is a leader among her peers – always providing support and guidance to the newer volunteers.

Loula Kostos

The Royal Children’s Hospital

Loula Kostos has been volunteering at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) for more than 45 years. She started volunteering at the hospital in 1964 when there was an urgent appeal for multilingual volunteers. Loula responded and joined the RCH as a volunteer working in the interpreter service.

Loula worked in this role for 25 years and in 1989 moved to another family support role in the hospital operating suite and recovery room where she continues to volunteer each week.

Charlie Gore

St Vincent’s

Charlie Gore has exceptional organisational skills, professionalism and an eagle eye for detail to his volunteer work at St Vincent’s. Charlie has worked across several departments to deliver a range of projects.

His leadership of the annual Christmas hampers project over the past six years is his largest role and one that is of most personal significance. Charlie’s absolute dedication and commitment to St V’s and the patients is reflected in his passion, flexibility and enthusiasm for each project he undertakes.

Primary health service

Nominee name



Rosemary Aitken

Nillumbik Community Health Service

Rosemary Aitken has been actively involved with Nillumbik Community Health Service for 38 years and is founding and volunteer life member.

Rosemary had a vision that her community needed a health and welfare service that was local and accessible by people, particularly those on low incomes. With motivation, commitment and assistance from others, Rosemary fundamentally established the Eltham Community Health Centre, known today as Nillumbik Community Health Service.

Maria Rosa Bonacci Rocca

Merri Community Health Services

Maria is passionate, caring and extremely dedicated to supporting and engaging vulnerable members of our community. She started volunteering six years ago as a participant in a therapeutic grief and loss group and, when the group ceased, undertook an intensive training course to enhance her group work knowledge and skills and continued to provide support.

The group has since evolved into the Italian Ladies Friendship Group. Maria thoroughly enjoys contributing to the development of inclusive communities, and it shows!

Luigi Malavisi

Darebin Community Health

Luigi Malavisi has been a volunteer driver with Darebin Community Health for approximately 10 years. He is consistently polite, pleasant and cheery of disposition, making him a pleasure to interact with for both staff and clients alike.

Working predominantly with middle to older aged people, this type of voluntary driving work is invaluable and sometimes makes the difference between people participating in worthwhile programs that can enhance their social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing, or not.

Regional health service

Nominee name



Cor Horsten

Barwon Health

Cor Horsten volunteers 33 hours per week coordinating Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre Woodwork Group and has done so for the past nine years.

Cor’s ongoing commitment to the community is outstanding in terms of his years of service, the care and compassion he continually displays, and his incomparable enthusiasm to be involved and lead by example.

Lorraine Riordan

Goulburn Valley Health

Lorraine Riordan and her late husband Kevin have provided hundreds of unpaid hours to many regional groups, particularly at Goulburn Valley (GV) Health. Lorraine became an official volunteer for GV Health 42 years ago when she was one of the founding members of our GV Health Hospital Auxiliary and also its first president.

Lorraine’s volunteering prior to this was not official but would account for more than 10 years, which adds up to more than 50 years of dedicated volunteering at GV Health.

Rural health service

Nominee name



Roberta Hay

Colac Area Health

Roberta Hay was the instigator and founder of the Palliative Care Volunteer Team in 1991 and coordinated and trained the volunteer team until 1996.

Over the years, Roberta has been a friend, confidante, support and rock to more than 40 men and women who were facing death. Her quiet, reassuring presence has eased both the preparation for dying and the grief and loss of bereavement.

Ron Munn

Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital

Ron Munn has been a volunteer in the Edenhope Adult Day Centre Men’s Shed for eight years, volunteering two full days a week.

The Men’s Shed is primarily where retired men from the community can come for woodwork or social interaction. Ron’s assistance in the set-up of the shed and his ongoing dedication to its sustainability is immeasurable.

May Ridgway

Kooweerup Regional Health Service

May Ridgway is a kind, generous, determined, hardworking lady who is always keen to lend a hand, sees a project and becomes enthusiastic and is then instrumental in recruiting others to join her to get the job done.

May first started her volunteering at Kooweerup Regional Health Service in 1968; she joined the Ladies Auxiliary and was instrumental in the fundraising efforts for the hospital and nursing home. She was president of this committee for 42 years and continues to have an active role as its treasurer.

Outstanding achievement by a volunteer team

Metropolitan health service

Nominee name



The Pink Ladies

Peninsula Health

The members of the Frankston Hospital Pink Ladies Volunteer Auxiliary cherish the opportunity to work in partnership with Peninsula Health staff to build a healthy community – from their work with the kiosk to their contribution to clinical care. ‘The Pinkies’, as they are affectionately referred, provide thousands of hours of volunteer service to the community of Frankston.

The Pink Ladies’ fundraising activities make a significant contribution to Peninsula Health’s fundraising revenue. Over the past 42 years they have donated a total of $5 million.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Splint Team

The Royal Children’s Hospital

The Splint Team is an extremely dedicated and committed group of volunteers. The team is made up of many volunteers – in particular, three core members who have been responsible for leading the splint making team for the past 20 years.

Together these three members of the team alone have given 14,407 hours of voluntary service to the RCH. During this time, they have helped make approximately 250,000 splints, an estimated saving of $800,000 for The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Sunshine Hospital Comfort Care for Families Program

Western Health

Sunshine Hospital’s Comfort Care for Families Program has been operating for more than eight years. Volunteers support families of babies suffering primarily from neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The team consists of 12 specialist volunteers and provides comfort to the babies by nursing, rocking and providing a soothing environment that helps to calm and settle the infant. The comfort care volunteer team provides much-needed assistance to families through rotating shifts in the special care nursery.

Primary health service

Nominee name



Volunteer Transport Team

Bass Coast Community Health Service

The volunteer transport team extends our services by providing transport to medical appointments for residents unable to access public transport or get assistance from friends and family. The service has been running since 2006 and now has 10 drivers using one transport vehicle.

The drivers receive many compliments from clients who testify that without the service of this dedicated group, they would have to miss medical appointments or consider leaving their homes to be closer to medical facilities.

Food Bank Service Volunteers

Upper Murray Health and Community Services

The Food Bank service is provided by a dedicated and dynamic group of volunteers who address the needs of people experiencing food insecurity in the Upper Murray region.

The volunteers take on all roles in the service including ordering food, managing stock and providing friendly, non-judgmental customer service to those experiencing food insecurity.

Regional health service

Nominee name



Women Touched by Cancer Support Group

Swan Hill District Health

The Women Touched By Cancer Support Group is a local group of volunteers dedicated to supporting and fundraising for women with all types of cancer, their carers, family and friends.

There are now 20 active volunteers, all local women, who have faced their own challenges in dealing with cancer, making them ideal peer supports. None of the volunteers have any medical training; the support and advice provided is based entirely on personal experience.

Hamilton Community Transport Service

Western District Health Service

The Hamilton Community Transport Service was introduced in 2000 in response to the growing need to transport older and disadvantaged people to specialist medical appointments out of Hamilton.

The service began with five volunteer drivers and now has 40 drivers and 12 escorts. The escorts support residents in aged care facilities in Hamilton to attend local medical appointments. Our volunteers are outstanding; they are kind, caring and reliable and are responsible for the wonderful reputation our service enjoys.

Rural health service

Nominee name



Clunes 24 Hour Community Nursing Service Security Volunteer Team

Hepburn Health Service

The Clunes 24 Hour Community Nursing Service Security Volunteers are a small dedicated group of eight volunteers who each make themselves available on average once a week and may be rostered on call from 4.30 pm to 8.30 am weekdays and for 24 hours on the weekends.

The volunteers provide transport and security for the community nurse as well as assistance carrying equipment, making phone calls on the nurse’s instruction and waiting to direct an ambulance from the closest intersection if necessary.

Wimmera Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary

Wimmera Health Care Group

The Wimmera Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary formed in 1925 to support the local hospital. They started off mending hospital linen and later became involved in fundraising for building appeals and hospital equipment.

With more than 35 financial members (average age 65 years), the Wimmera Base Hospital Ladies Auxiliary is a dynamic group who meet monthly and work in close partnership with management to determine how their fundraising activities can best be utilised to benefit the health service and the patients at the hospital.