Celebrating Victoria’s Valiant Volunteers

Equality advocate Riley Briese has been named the Premier’s Volunteer of the Year for his work supporting young transgender people in regional Victoria.

The 20-year-old is helping change the landscape of care and support for transgender Victorians through the founding of his Gateway Health Gender Service, which provides information and referrals for children questioning their gender and other young people.

It also offers assistance to families and professionals, such as doctors, teachers and other service providers.

Mr Briese was formally recognised at the Premier’s Volunteer Champions Awards ceremony at Government House, where he received the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Trophy and $10,000 for his charity of choice.

The outstanding achievements of 60 volunteers across the state were formally recognised at today’s ceremony, spanning support for a range of different communities and causes as well as a range of services and activities.

The Volunteer Champions Awards celebrate the extraordinary contributions of all Victorian volunteers, in areas such as health, sport, education, culture, community, environment, science and animal welfare.

The Andrews Labor Government is investing $145,000 in 2018-19 to investigate ways to strengthen and diversify the volunteering sector, to build on the remarkable contribution volunteers make across our community.

There are more than 1.5 million volunteers across Victoria, contributing $2.3 billion to the state’s economy.

For more information on the winners, visit volunteer.vic.gov.au/awards.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Volunteers are our true heroes – day in, day out, they’re looking after us or someone we know.”

“Full praise to Riley for giving young transgender people a lifeline – his work and the work of all volunteers deserve our respect and recognition.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Youth Affairs Jenny Mikakos

“The strength of our society relies on the efforts of our volunteers, and these awards are a great way of saying thanks.”

Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Gabrielle Williams

“These awards celebrate the vital roles volunteers play in creating happier, healthier and well-connected communities.”