Speech to Parliament: Sophie Smith named Vi Robbins Volunteer of the Award

On 16 November, local volunteers came together in November for the third annual Kingsford Smith Community Service and Vi Robbins Volunteer of the Year awards.

The Community Service Awards are an opportunity for us to say thank you to our wonderful local volunteers on behalf of our community, and to recognise their great generosity and hard work that often goes unseen and unrecognised.

Every single one of our 40 award winners had an inspirational community spirit and story to tell. From Jean Van Dam, also known as Jean the Database Queen, who for the last five years has overseen the client record management system at the Deli Women and Children's Centre, to Judith Vecellio, who has been running the Randwick Botany Little Athletics with her husband Tony for the last 47 years; they are all amazing people.

Coogee's Sophie Smith was named the Vi Robbins Volunteer of the Year. After losing her first born triplet sons, Sophie established the Running for Premature Babies group, to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Women's Newborn Intensive Care Centre.

Over their lifetime, they have raised over $2 million, with the funds going towards groundbreaking research and vital medical equipment. In the recent Sydney half marathon, 500 runners ran in Sophie's team.

Just recently, Sophie completed the New York marathon with a group of 16 runners, raising a further $200,000 for the hospital. She is an amazing person and well deserving of this honour.

Thank you to all who attended the event and, of course, thank you to our wonderful community volunteers.


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