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NZDF Volunteer of the Year

Juggling family, work and extensive voluntary commitments can take a bit of effort, but reservist Captain Todd Skilton seems to have nailed it. He has been named NZDF Volunteer of the Year.

23 November, 2023

Captain Skilton is a long-time Army Reservist, and also has a lengthy volunteer service record. He is a volunteer Operational Support firefighter – they’re the people who work on the periphery of major fires, helping with crowd and traffic control and doing anything else required of them by emergency services.

He has been involved in the Order of St John for many years, and three years ago became only the second New Zealander to hold an international volunteer position, that of Order Librarian. In New Zealand he holds the role of Priory Librarian which sits as an advisor to the national board and is responsible for domestic heritage activities.

Captain Skilton collects medals and leads the New Zealand branch of the Orders and Medals Research Society (UK) which encourages people to research the background to military medals. He is a Justice of the Peace, and a committee member of the Karori RSA.

He says he feels honoured to receive the Volunteer of the Year award.

It's nice to be recognised in an organisation where so many people do so much for society and their communities. The fact NZDF recognises volunteering shows the value and support the organisation places on its volunteers.

Fitting everything in means constant balancing, he says.

“Sometimes there’s sacrifice. It can be hard sometimes when you have deadlines with a day job, family and NZDF commitments and different volunteer commitments, but the rewards, opportunities and experience you get from volunteering is significant, therefore the sacrifice is worth it.”