For the second year running, the caring hands of Southcare’s volunteers have been named as the best by the Australia Day Council of WA and the City of South Perth.

Volunteer Peter Cole has been named as the 2023 Senior Citizen of the Year for his work in providing thousands of local families with emergency relief, support, and advocacy.

Peter has volunteered with Southcare for 13 years and every week meets with Centrelink clients, assessing their situation and deciding if they are eligible for assistance, as part of Southcare’s Emergency Relief service.

“Sometimes it is people in domestic violence situations, other times people need help to pay their bills, or families might need help at the start of the school year because their money has been spent on supplies getting their children back to school.

“I listen without judgement and help where I can,” Peter said.  “I connect people with other support services, make phone calls on their behalf and help them get back on their feet.”

Peter is often described as Southcare’s “engine room”, having helped so many over the years and began volunteering with Southcare when he retired aged 65, after finishing a lengthy career in banking.

“Helping people is what I love to do and being able to use my skills in finance is wonderful; it’s extremely rewarding and humbling work, knowing that I am making a difference to those that really need help.

Chief Executive Officer Dr Nicky Howe said the increased cost of living meant Southcare’s emergency relief service was always in high demand.

“There are lines of people at our office every week, many feeling vulnerable and confused, so it is great to know Peter’s empathetic ear and caring hands are held in such high regard.

Last year, Board Chair Veronica Lawrance was named Senior Citizen of the Year for her voluntary work with Southcare, Rotary and other roles in the community.

The prestigious award recognises and celebrates outstanding local role models who make significant contributions to community life and active citizenship.

If you would like to volunteer with Southcare and have caring hands to make a difference like Peter and Veronica, please reach out to and if you need emergency assistance please call 9450 6233.