Volunteers celebrated and Women recognised at Volunteer Recognition Awards

Greater Shepparton’s volunteers were acknowledged and celebrated for their contributions to the community at Monday night’s 2024 Greater Shepparton Volunteer Recognition Awards Ceremony.


2024 Young Volunteer winner Ruby Wyatt-Carter
2024 Young Volunteer winner Ruby Wyatt-Carter

2024 Adult Volunteer winner Elaine Danda
2024 Adult Volunteer winner Elaine Danda

2024 Volunteer Team winners COGS Group of Fire Brigades and Member Brigades
2024 Volunteer Team winners COGS Group of Fire Brigades and Member Brigades

2024 Long Serving Volunteer winner Gary Gray
2024 Long Serving Volunteer winner Gary Gray

2024 Greater Shepparton Women's Charter Award winner Chelsea Sofra
2024 Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Award winner Chelsea Sofra

In Summary

  • Greater Shepparton celebrated its volunteers at the 2024 Volunteer Recognition Awards, with over 360 attendees and hundreds more watching the livestream.
  • The event introduced the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Award, highlighting the achievements and impact of local women, with Chelsea Sofra named the 2024 recipient.
  • The ceremony featured keynote speaker Samuel Johnson OAM, who emphasised the vital role of volunteers in community support.
  • This year’s awards saw a record 45 nominations, honouring diverse contributions across various organisations, with Ruby Wyatt-Carter, Elaine Danda, COGS Group of Fire Brigades and Member Brigades, and Gary Gray receiving top honors.

The ceremony, held at Riverlinks Eastbank, was fully booked with over 360 people in attendance and hundreds of people tuning in to the livestream from home.

This year’s ceremony reflected the theme for National Volunteer Week ‘Something for Everyone’, emphasising there is a place for everyone in the world of volunteering. This year’s awards saw the introduction of the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Award as part of the evening. The Women’s Award recognises and celebrates the achievements and community impact local women have made across the region.

Keynote speaker Samuel Johnson OAM, actor, author and co-founder of the ‘Love Your Sister’ charity spoke of the important role volunteers play within the community and how his charity could not operate without its volunteer village.

Now in its 15th year, the awards received 45 nominations, the highest number recorded in its history, with a diverse group of volunteers dedicating their time to various organisations, service clubs, and sporting groups across the region. The Volunteer Awards recipients for 2024 were:

  • 2024 Young Volunteer: Ruby Wyatt-Carter
  • 2024 Adult Volunteer: Elaine Danda
  • 2024 Volunteer Team: COGS Group of Fire Brigades and Member Brigades
  • 2024 Long Serving Volunteer: Gary Gray

The Greater Shepparton Women’s Award received eight nominations, with Chelsea Sofra named the 2024 recipient.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Shane Sali, congratulated each of the winners on their award.

“Every nomination we received was truly deserving of an award, but our winners stood out for their remarkable dedication to the community over several years. These awards highlight the value of their ongoing commitment and effort,” he said.

“Our volunteers deserve special recognition, and this year’s nominations showcase the impactful work happening across our community. It is inspiring to see individuals stepping up to support others, whether in crisis or everyday challenges. Greater Shepparton thrives on the selfless efforts of our volunteers and we welcome every opportunity to honour their contributions.”

Cr Sali congratulated Chelsea on her award, saying Council was pleased to recognise this important achievement as part of the Volunteer Awards Ceremony.

“Chelsea Sofra was recognised for her outstanding contributions to our community, and she is a very deserving winner of the 2024 Women’s Award,” he said.

“To select one recipient for the award out of eight incredible nominees would have been an exceptionally difficult task, so I would like to thank all of the nominees for their significant contributions to the Greater Shepparton community.”

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