Hospital volunteers celebrated at regional forum

Nambucca UHA’s dynamic duo, Treasurer Keith Parkin and President Michelle O’Keefe, enjoyed the chance to catch up with other hospital volunteers at the annual North Eastern forum, held this year in Dorrigo.

VOLUNTEERS from Nambucca and BowraMacksville United Hospital Auxiliaries (UHA) took a day trip up the mountain to Dorrigo for the organisation’s regional forum.

More than 40 dedicated volunteers from across the Mid North Coast gathered in Dorrigo for the UHA of NSW’s North Eastern meeting.

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They represented the 400-plus volunteers across the region’s hospitals, from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie and west to Dorrigo.

Their contribution is recognised as hugely significant.

In the past financial year alone, these tireless volunteers collectively contributed more than 60,000 hours of service to their respective hospitals, embodying the spirit of community and selflessness.

Their efforts also resulted in remarkable donations totalling $457,885.01, buying essential hospital equipment that enhances patient care and comfort.

The Regional Forum serves as a platform for volunteers to exchange insights, share ideas, and foster friendship among like-minded individuals committed to making a difference in healthcare delivery.

“This gathering underscores the invaluable contributions of our volunteers and the collective strength of our auxiliary branches,” said Lizzy Bennett, president of the Dorrigo UHA branch which hosted the forum.

“Their dedication and generosity resonate deeply within our communities, embodying the essence of compassion and kindness.”

Also attending the forum was the UHA’s State President Sally Cronberger, who congratulated the North Eastern UHA volunteers on a stellar year.

“The branch members’ dedication and selfless giving of their time is nothing short of amazing,” Ms Cronberger said.

“The support UHA members have given their local health facilities over the past 90 years attests to the calibre of these treasures.

“I take this opportunity to thank the Dorrigo branch for hosting the 2024 forum.

“Th eir hospitality to myself and State Treasurer Dee Hunter is very much appreciated as we realise the organisation that goes into hosting an event such as this.”

Mid North Coast Local Health District Chief Executive Stewart Dowrick also addressed the delegates to thank them for their outstanding contributions to local public hospitals.

“I would like to say to our 389 UHA members in the Local Health District that your collective achievements are a testament to your selflessness, dedication, and unwavering commitment to serving others,” he said.

“Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the impact you have made on our hospitals and the communities we serve is truly immeasurable.

“This significant contribution enhances the quality of care we provide to our patients and ensures our healthcare facilities remain at the forefront of medical excellence.

“Each hour you spend volunteering, each donation you make, is confirmation of your unwavering dedication to the wellbeing of others.”

Two volunteers were recognised at the forum with 20-year service badges being presented to Dorrigo UHA members Sandra McGuire and Shirley Tyson.

Anyone interested in volunteering at any of the Mid North Coast’s UHA branches, please email


State Treasurer and BowraMacksville UHA Branch Treasurer Dee Hunter with fellow branch committee members Susan Hedgecoe, President Lorraine Edmondson and Jan Tinson.

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