Paul Signorelli of Biaggio Signorelli Asbestos Foundation came away as overall regional winner and adult volunteer of the year.

Signorelli established the Biaggio Signorelli Asbestos Foundation in 2008 after his father, Biaggio Signorelli, died of mesothelioma only eight months after his diagnosis.

The foundation is dedicated to funding early detection, treatment, care and ultimately a cure to asbestos-related illnesses.

It has helped to raise more than $10 million towards vital research.

“The day my father passed away was a light bulb moment,” Signorelli said.

“His last words to me were you can’t save me, but you can save others. This was his dying wish.”

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs at any time from ten to 60 years after first exposure to asbestos.

Biaggio Signorelli died in his son’s arms after an incredible career and life in Sydney.

He came to Australia from Sicily in 1954.

He bought his first fruit shop in Lakemba in 1964, and went on to own and run several other enterprises in the hospitality industry.

His final legacy was the Doltone House Group, which is now owned and run by Paul and which hosts more than 1000 charities annually.

Signorelli is also an advocate for charity and community-based causes throughout NSW, including Care Flight, Camp Quality, and St George and Sutherland hospitals.

The NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards, run by The Centre for Volunteering, is the biggest celebration of volunteering across the country.