Binalong VRA Enhanced with New Rescue Vehicle

Representatives of the Binalong VRA have welcomed a new Medium Rescue Vehicle at an official commissioning ceremony this week.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke joined Commissioner of NSW VRA Mark Gibson to handover the keys for the new rescue appliance to Binalong VRA Captain Mark Spencer.

“This new vehicle has been designed with the needs and safety of our volunteers in mind, so that they have the tools they need to serve the community,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our VRA volunteers have an essential role, carrying out hundreds of rescues each year – from rising flood water, a car accident in the middle of the night, or when first aid support is needed at the local footy.”

Also present for the occasion was Director of Operations Andrew Luke, Wellbeing Manager and Senior Chaplain Ray Lotty, Region Coordinator Jess Holloway and President of Binalong VRA Debra Scanes.

The new vehicle is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to delivering eight light vehicles and twelve medium rescue vehicles to boost the capabilities of rescue squads across the state, with this vehicle including the equipment fit out worth close to $380,000.

VRA Rescue NSW has 38 General Land Rescue units, 2 specialist units and three support units which includes a search dog unit, across the State with a membership base of 1121 that provide premium rescue services to the public of New South Wales in their time of need.

Local Heroes Honoured for Volunteer Efforts

In recognition of their tireless dedication to the Junee community, the team at the Junee Roundhouse Museum have been named the 2021 Riverina Volunteer Team of the Year.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards recognise the significant contributions individuals and organisations make across all sections of the community.

“Congratulations to the team at the Junee Roundhouse Museum who play an integral role in keeping Junee’s rail history alive,” Ms Cooke said.

“Thank you to all of our local volunteers around the region, who are the lifeblood of our communities.”

“We are extremely grateful for their continued commitment and I congratulate all award recipients and thank everyone who nominated.”

The annual awards are run by The Centre for Volunteering, the state’s peak body for volunteering.

The awards follow the release of the inaugural NSW State of Volunteering Report, which found more than 4.8 million people volunteered in NSW in 2020.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Alister Henskens said the awards recognise volunteers who have gone above and beyond for their communities.

“The pandemic may have tested the character and resolve of our state but our volunteers responded in a variety of ways,” Mr Henskens said.

“I am inspired by the incredible people that devote their time and energy to benefit others and I congratulate all award winners.”

The recipients of the 2021 Riverina Volunteer of the Year Awards are:

  • Young Volunteer of the Year: Tylar Shepheard
  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Helen Chant
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year: Hazel Cook
  • Volunteer Team of the Year: Junee Roundhouse Rail Museum
  • Club Volunteer of the Year: John Rodd

The awards are supported by the NSW Government and ClubsNSW, which represents the state’s 1,400 not-for-profit clubs.

For more information, visit