Daniella Mandie and Daniel Lawson were announced Koala Kids 2020 Volunteers of the Year by outgoing winners Vanessa Cohen and Liz Anderson at Koala Kids cocktail party earlier this month. 

Daniella (aka La) has been a Koala Kids ambassador since 2007 inviting friends to donate to Koala Kids in lieu of birthday gifts each year. As the daughter of Mandy and brother of Nick (co-founders of Koala Kids) La has risen out of the shadows for the past five-plus years making time to volunteer in the hospitals, the office, picking up parcels and dropping off consignments to and from the office and hospitals. During 2020, whilst Koala Kids temporary distribution centre was based in the Mandie home, La sprang into action helping out across the organisation. 

Dan Lawson has volunteered with Koala Kids since 2016 and during that time has provided professional photography, videography and other support for Koala Kids young adults and other events. Only last December Dan captured the memories of Koala Kids lunches, driving between the 14 hostesses’ homes recording the beautiful table settings and happy lunch guests. 

Prior to COVID-19 Dan was a regular volunteer at Koala Kids morning teas, pizza and pancake days and taught his juggling skills to young aspiring jugglers. Throughout 2020 delivered meal boxes to families’ even driving all the way to South Gippsland and Portsea without stopping in the height of the second lockdown.