WA Volunteer Service Awards

The Department of Communities helps to acknowledge the significant efforts of Western Australia's volunteers through the WA Volunteer Service Awards program.
Last updated: 16 May 2023

Western Australian volunteers who have volunteered for over 25 years can be nominated in one of the three categories below to receive a commemorative pin and a personalised certificate in recognition of their service.

  • 25-49 years of volunteer service
  • 50-59 years of volunteer service
  • Lifetime of volunteer service (60 years or more of volunteer service)

In 2023, 155 individuals were recognised through the Volunteer Service Awards Program for their longstanding service to Western Australian Communities. Congratulations to all recipients!

View a full list of individuals who have received Volunteer Service Awards since the program began.

If you have any questions please telephone the Department of Communities on 1800 176 888 or email volunteering@communities.wa.gov.au.

Eligibility requirements

Nominees must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Voluntary service must meet Volunteering Australia's definition of volunteering, in that 'Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain'. This applies to donations of time and does not include periods of donating money or materials including blood donation.
  • The voluntary service period must be for a minimum of 25 years with an organisation/s providing services within Western Australia.
  • All nominees must be a current resident of Western Australia.
  • Nominees who have provided 25 - 49 years of voluntary service will receive a 25-year award.
  • Nominees who have provided 50 – 59 years of voluntary service will receive a 50-year award.
  • Nominees who have provided 60 years or more of voluntary service will receive a Lifetime of Volunteer Service Award.
  • Voluntary service does not need to be undertaken at a single organisation. Recipients can volunteer across multiple organisations to meet the required length of service as long as the years do not overlap. See FAQ below for example scenarios.

Please contact the Volunteering team on email at volunteering@communities.wa.gov.au if you are unsure about eligibility criteria.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I nominate myself?

No, only an organisation can nominate you.

I have volunteered across multiple organisations; how do I calculate the years?

A lineal timeline of service is required. Years of volunteering service completed simultaneously or overlapping cannot be counted towards the total length of service. For example:

25 – 49 years of volunteer service

Organisation 1: 1 January 1998 to 1 January 2008

Organisation 2: 1 January 2008 to 1 January 2018

Organisation 3: 1 January 2018 to 1 January 2023 (or current date)

Total years of volunteering service is 1 January 1998 to 1 January 2023 = 25 years

50 – 59 years of volunteer service

Organisation 1: 1 January 1970 to 1 January 1980

Organisation 2: 1 January 1983 to 1 January 2003

Organisation 3: 1 January 2003 to 1 January 2023 (or current date)

Total years of volunteering service is 1 January 1973 to 1 January 2023 = 50 years

Lifetime of volunteer service (60 years or more of volunteer service)

Organisation 1 :1 January 1963 to 1 January 1973

Organisation 2: 1 January 1973 to 1 January 1993

Organisation 3: 1 January 1993 to 1 January 2023 (or current date)

Total years of volunteering service is 1 January 1963 to 1 January 2023 = 60 years

I would like to nominate a volunteer from our organisation. The volunteer has previously volunteered with other organisations. How do I evidence their prior volunteer service?

Your volunteer must complete Attachment A - Evidence Record of volunteer service and submit with the VSA Nomination Form.  Volunteers will need to provide the contact position and phone number of previous organisation/s they volunteered with, or other evidence as described. 

Other evidence may include certificates of volunteer service, Annual General Reports listing the volunteers name as a volunteer, letters/emails confirming volunteer service. 

Nominating organisations will be asked to confirm nominee service, and ensure the nominee has completed the Attachment A - Evidence Record of volunteer service, providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate their volunteer service across multiple organisations for the eligible period of time for the relevant award category. 

I have provided the qualifying years of service to an organisation, but they are unable to confirm this and will not nominate me for an award. What can I do?

The Department of Communities is unable to mediate in disputes between potential nominees and an organisation. You will need to liaise with the organisation in question on this matter.

How do we prove the person has sufficient years of volunteer service with our organisation?

To ensure the nomination is valid, the organisation may confirm membership lists, minute books, or more simply through collective memory. It is appreciated that many organisations have informal foundation years and records may not be available. Proof of length of service with referenced organisations is not required by the Department of Communities.

Our organisation has changed names several times over the years. Is it still considered the same organisation in order to meet the criteria of volunteer service to the organisation?

Yes, providing there is an authorised person to attest to the nominee’s length of volunteer service.

As a branch of a national organisation are we able to make a nomination?

Yes, provided the nomination is for volunteer service provided to a Western Australian branch and the national organisation supports the nomination.

Can we nominate someone who had a break of several years or so, but still participated in the required number of years of volunteer service?

Yes, the program recognises the total number of years of service to organisation/s . The years of service do not need to be consecutive.  

Can we nominate someone who is no longer a member of the organisation, but meets the qualifying years of service?

Yes, as long as the nominating organisation confirms the years of service.

Can we nominate a previous volunteer who has now passed away?


How do nominees receive their award?

The Department of Communities hosts an Award Ceremony during National Volunteer Week each year, pending any relevant COVID-19 health advice, with a select number of award nominees. Nominees can also receive their award from their nominating organisation (i.e. through an organisation-arranged event) or directly by post.

Can I request an invite to the award ceremony in National Volunteer Week?

Yes, though an invitation is not guaranteed.  The Department of Communities will determine the final invitation list based on several variable factors. For example, venue requirements, number of nominations received and any social distancing restrictions in place at the time of the event.

Can a representative accept the award on behalf of a nominee?

It is preferred that the nominee is the recipient of the award if invited to an event held during National Volunteer Week.

Our nominee lives in a nursing home or is frail and lives with support in the community. What is the best way to present the award to him/her?

If it is not advisable to transport the nominee if their circumstances do not allow. You may like to request approval from the administration of the nursing home or from the people providing care for the person, seeking permission for your organisation to hold a small presentation event at the venue.

Our nominee would like to come to Perth for the presentation. Can the Department of Communities assist with transportation costs?

Unfortunately no. The organisation may wish to consider assisting with the costs or it may be preferable to hold the presentation ceremony in the nominee’s hometown.

Alternatively, the organisation may try contacting local service groups to assist.

Was there a Lifetime of volunteer service category previously?

No! This category is new for 2023 for eligible volunteers who have provided 60 years or more service.

If you have previously received a ‘50 years or more’ WA Volunteer Service Award, you may now be eligible. Please speak to your organisation to confirm.