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Volunteer of the Year Award

NAB education and community business

Proudly sponsored by NAB Community

The Volunteer of the Year Award has been created to recognise those outstanding volunteers whose dedicated service has made a significant difference and contribution to our mission to prevent, treat and beat stroke.

2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Finalists

  • Jake Vincent

    2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner

    Jake joined the StrokeSafe Volunteer team in Tasmania in 2019 after experiencing a stroke at the age of 22. He is passionate about spreading the F.A.S.T.(Face.Arms.Speech.Time) message and delivers StrokeSafe talks face to face and via online video conferencing despite his busy work schedule. Since…
    Jake joined the StrokeSafe Volunteer team in Tasmania in 2019 after experiencing a stroke at the age of 22. He is passionate about spreading the F.A.S.T.(Face.Arms.Speech.Time) message and delivers StrokeSafe talks face to face and via online video conferencing despite his busy work schedule. Since becoming a StrokeSafe Speaker Jake has been engaged in media stories to help promote Stroke Week and the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke.

    What prompted you to become a volunteer at the Stroke Foundation?
    I was battling with myself to see any positive in what had happened to me. My partner Sid saw the opportunity for Stroke Foundation volunteers and encouraged me to go for it. Physically, people can understand what it must be like to lose strength or become paralysed in different parts of your body, but mentally it’s a whole other battle. So, after months of moaning about "why me" and "you don’t know what it's like", I decided to share my experience to help the community understand the effects of stroke a little bit better.  

    What contribution have you made as a volunteer and what do you get personally out of volunteering?
    I am a volunteer StrokeSafe Speaker which means I conduct presentations about stroke prevention and recognition to various community groups, workplaces, schools etc. I do this by telling stories about my experience as well as other stroke survivors I have had the pleasure of meeting.  

    I also provide support to any stroke survivor or family member that reaches out. We all know that it's scary tackling anything alone. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing I have made someone's journey just that slight bit easier.  

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  • Heidi Li

    2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Finalist

    Heidi has been volunteering at Stroke Foundation since 2017 in the Public Affairs and Advocacy team. In that time, she has performed many tasks that have played a pivotal role in the team achieving its goals. Heidi is incredibly dedicated to her work at Stroke…

    Heidi has been volunteering at Stroke Foundation since 2017 in the Public Affairs and Advocacy team. In that time, she has performed many tasks that have played a pivotal role in the team achieving its goals. Heidi is incredibly dedicated to her work at Stroke Foundation and is always happy to help with whatever task she is given. 

    What prompted you to become a volunteer at the Stroke Foundation?

    During my studies at university, I became passionate about the prevention of chronic diseases and wanted to contribute my skills to the greater community. A close family friend had a severe stroke and because of it, he was paralysed and needed constant care by the family. I saw the devastating effects of stroke on an individual and their family. 

    What contribution have you made as a volunteer and what do you get personally out of volunteering?

    I have been able use my skills and knowledge to complete a range of tasks to assist the team with their amazing work. As part of this work, I have come across a lot of stories from survivors of stroke. I get a great sense of satisfaction from volunteering knowing that I am contributing to improving the state of stroke in Australia.
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  • Janet Weir

    2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Finalist

    Janet's father, uncle and daughter all suffered from Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIAs). As a result of these close connections, Janet is passionate about stroke prevention and spreading greater awareness in the community. Janet is a volunteer StrokeSafe Speaker who joined the program in 2013 when…
    Janet's father, uncle and daughter all suffered from Trans Ischemic Attacks (TIAs). As a result of these close connections, Janet is passionate about stroke prevention and spreading greater awareness in the community. Janet is a volunteer StrokeSafe Speaker who joined the program in 2013 when it first began in South Australia. Since then, she has delivered almost 100 presentations and has made a fantastic name for herself in Adelaide doing talks, with many groups requesting her specifically. 
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  • John Stevens

    2021 Volunteer of the Year Award Finalist

    John is a survivor of stroke who proves his dedication as a volunteer by working across a number of programs and projects in Tasmania. He is a tireless StrokeSafe Speaker who presents talks to community and workplace groups in and around Hobart and in regional…

    John is a survivor of stroke who proves his dedication as a volunteer by working across a number of programs and projects in Tasmania. He is a tireless StrokeSafe Speaker who presents talks to community and workplace groups in and around Hobart and in regional areas. John has made a significant contribution to a state funding grant application and spent many hours reviewing information on stroke patient discharge from his lived experience.

    What prompted you to become a volunteer at the Stroke Foundation?
    I had lived experience of stroke and an interest in making sure people got the message about making themselves stroke safe. My father also had a stroke at the age of 76, just after celebrating his Golden Anniversary. The stroke left him seriously impaired. He couldn’t walk and he didn’t recognise my mum or any of his children anymore. The effect on my parents' relationship   was pretty dramatic. I want to help people avoid the impacts of stroke.  

    I am also profoundly deaf and have found that talking to people about the lived experience of deafness has a critical and a life changing effect on people. I hoped to achieve a similar effect on people in relation to stroke.  

    What do you get personally out of volunteering?  
    Personally, nothing brings me greater pleasure than knowing I have made a difference. The lived experience of being a stroke survivor gives my message credibility and validity. Additionally, I find it cathartic to share my experiences with people and use that as an additional tool in conveying the message about how to change your life. A little change can make a big difference!  

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