The Mahi Aroha Awards 2023

Celebrating Volunteers at the Mahi Aroha Awards

The 2023 Volunteer Wellington Mahi Aroha Awards took place in June, during National Volunteer Week. This event recognises outstanding individuals and organisations for their exceptional contributions to the community. The awards ceremony was held at the KPMG offices in Wellington, and brought together inspiring stories, the spirit of unity, and influential figures such as Deputy Mayor Laurie Foon. The event highlighted the immense impact that individuals can have on their communities. We’re thankful to Volunteer Wellington for establishing the Mahi Awards, a valuable and important tool for recognising the importance of volunteers across the Region.

The recipients of the Mahi Aroha Awards 2023 were:
• Volunteer of the Year Winner – Gail Marshall from Community Comms Collective
• Volunteer of the Year Runner up – Chris Hare from Hataitai Childcare Collective & Community House
• Volunteer of the Year Highly commended – Ananyaa Dharmarajan from Swaratmika NZ
• Team Governance winner – Mothers Network Board
• Excellence in Governance Special Award – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa Board
• Employee Volunteering Team winner – Busy Bee Quilt Shop, Kilbirnie for volunteering with Wellington Hospitals Foundation• Employee Volunteering Team runner up – Department of Corrections for volunteering with Wellington City Mission

Age Concern Wellington Region Mahi Aroha nominee, Mick Calder, was unfortunately not selected as a finalist, but to us, Mick is certainly a winner!

Mick Calder is Age Concern Wellington Region’s Office Support Volunteer. Mick is one of our ‘super volunteers’ who goes above and beyond the call of duty regularly to help us reach more isolated and lonely seniors.

Mick is a gifted interviewer, researcher, writer and editor. He supports the staff and enables the communications and admin staff to have greater reach and impact. At 82 years old, Mick is in the same age bracket as many of the seniors we support through our services, yet he remains energetic and eager to help in whatever way he can.

Although not a paid employee, Mick is as much a part of the staff team as everyone else. He brings wisdom and a lot of humour to our office, which the team really appreciates. Mick contributes hours of his time to our mahi every week, and has a great impact on our mahi.

Mick recently wrote a blog post about his experience volunteering with us, which can be read here: https://www.acwellington.org.nz/the-benefits-of-volunteering/


The Mahi Aroha Awards showcased the power of compassion, highlighting the transformative impact that even small acts of kindness can have.

Thank you to Volunteer Wellington, volunteer photographer Joseph He, KPMG, our fabulous volunteer Mick Calder, and all the other nominees for your great contributions towards a more inclusive and caring society.

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