Touch Football Australia has countless volunteers who dedicate their time across the country to make significant contributions to our Touch Football family.To celebrate and recognise these contributions, each State and Territory were asked to nominate one highly valued volunteer to be considered for the TFA Volunteer of the Year for 2017.The nominees for the 2017 TFA Volunteer of the Year Award are: Toby Burgess – TASToby Burgess is a name that is synonymous with Touch Football in Tasmania. A lifelong volunteer to sport both as a player, referee and coach, Toby has been a part of Touch Football for over 20 years. Toby Burgess over the last 12 months has been a great asset to the Tasmanian Office. Toby’s focus on improving our Tasmanian State Teams is second to none and has always put his hand up to be a coach over the years. This past year was no different, when Toby was head coach for two of our elite state teams. Toby also implemented additional training sessions for our teams during the week to ensure the highest level of performance at the NTL. Gabe Hodges – ACTGabe has made significant impacts on gender diversity in our sport. She has primarily worked with young female Touch Football players, providing them with opportunities to invest in our game at all levels following their interaction with her. Gabe is also a valuable member of the ACT SOAP, offering her years of experience in junior development over the last 4 years.Gabe has dedicated a significant amount of her time to the growth of Touch Football in the ACT – committing herself to at least four nights of Touch Football per week in a coaching or playing capacity. Her friendly, encouraging and happy disposition has made her a favourite amongst the ACT community. Graham Knights – NSWManly Warringah is one of the top affiliates in NSW, not only for their on the field performances but also their off field performances. Graham’s has been instrumental in this success. His vision of ensuring that the club has policies and procedures for every aspect of their operations has laid out a clear and concise platform to ensure not just success but also sustainability in one of the most competitive environments and landscapes in NSW.This platform paved by Graham importantly is having a great impact at grass roots level and the growth of the organisation. His and his clubs work is not just having an impact with the Manly Warringah TA, but also with other affiliates across the state. Many of whom are looking to Manly to replicate their success by following the programs and principles laid down by Graham and his team. Importantly Graham is willing to share his experiences with other affiliates and members. Thomas Edgword – NTTom has had a huge impact with improving the culture within the sport across the NT. He recognises the need to high standards to set a benchmark for others to strive to achieve to show our sport in good standing. Tom is a damn good bloke. He is loyal, enthusiastic, committed and passionate in all he does. He loves the game of touch and represents our game in the highest both in his personal and work life. He has and continues to represent the Army in touch football at the highest level. He willingly takes others under his wing to guide and nurture them within the touch football environment. Tom is the type of person who will do anything with integrity for our game. Deirdre Morrow – SADeirdre’s positive energy unites the broader touch community in South Australia as she volunteers her time across many levels of the sport. She interacts positively with junior players and parents alike which impacts positively on the Touch Football brand. Deirdre’s professional approach has allowed the TFSA office to entrust her with making decisions that reflect positively on events and roles she volunteers her time for, which also reflects positively on TFSA.Deirdre is trustworthy, honest, committed and a little cheeky which enhances the fun aspect of Touch Football. Deirdre has shown continued commitment to the sport at every level both here in South Australia and Nationally. Steve Watterson – QLDHaving been a part of the Sharks Volunteer crew since 2004, Steve has been a constant familiar face and very well liked amongst the Sharks playing group. SQBD prides itself on setting the standard on and off the field and it has been Steve’s contributions over the many years which has assisted in setting its off-field professionalism and standards. The fact that Steve is prepared to drive 16 hours to take equipment to a tournament to ensure Sharks players receive the same service as any other at another proves his importance to this organisation. As a result of his work and commitment at South Queensland Touch, Steve has also been awarded a life membership. He has also been a long-term member of the South Queensland Board of Directors and still currently supervises junior selection programs. Monique Williamson – WAOver the past 12 months Monique has once again remained President of Perth Brothers Touch Association, a position she has held since 2009. Monique is Perth Brother – she is a coach, team manager, helps in the canteen and looks after the Junior Referees. Monique does everything!Monique’s impact on the organisation has been enormous, she has bought a sense of community and pride to the Perth Brothers through her professionalism, hard work and leadership in a largely diverse area of the Perth Metropolitan area. Monique strongly deserves this nomination as a reward for the professionalism and leadership she has bought to Perth Brothers TA and is now bringing her skill and experience at the SOAP level.Congratulations to all our nominees for their nominations and a big thank you for all your hard work and effort. The winner will be announced in the coming weeks.