National volunteers week celebrations

Article image - National volunteers week celebrations Derek Foster passes on his love of the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary

‘Give happy, Live happy’

Established in 1989, National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia. Many councils have taken this opportunity to highlight the role of their volunteers and to say thank you to the more than 6 million Australians who donate their time.

Sunshine Coast Council Community Programs portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said volunteers have a tremendously positive effect on their communities.

“We are blessed to have a growing culture of volunteering on the Sunshine Coast, which we really appreciate.  It is also great to get positive feedback from our volunteers about how they are getting something back from their volunteering experiences.

The ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’ theme for National Volunteers Week reflects the mutual benefits to be gained through volunteering.”

President of the Maroochy Wetland Sanctuary Support Group Inc, Derek says he is lucky to be doing something he not only enjoys but is really proud of.

“The Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary Support Group Inc was formed in 1990 and I am one of the original 30 volunteers.

“I feel privileged to be involved with the sanctuary.”

Mayor of Hobsons Bay, Peter Hemphill thanks the people who give up their time to create a strong and inclusive community.

“From volunteering to deliver meals to our more vulnerable residents to giving up time to plant trees and conserve our environment, volunteering opportunities in Hobsons Bay are wide and varied.

“We have volunteers working in our libraries, staffing our Visitor Information Centre and putting up their hands to help out with senior groups as drivers.

“Many local sporting groups and community organisations could not operate without the dedication of local volunteers and they deserve our utmost respect and thanks.”

Coffs Harbour City Council wants to use the occasion to publicly thank all the unsung heroes from the small army of volunteers who help keep the city running and attractive to both residents and visitors.

“I’m humbled every time I come across the many, many selfless heroes behind the smooth running of the sports, community, tourism and cultural facilities that we often take for granted,” said Mayor, Denise Knight.

“I never cease to be amazed when I find out just how many hours of their lives people are happy to give up. In some cases, when you add it up, it’s literally years. So I’m delighted to have this opportunity to say thank you personally to the people who do so much for the whole Coffs Harbour community.”

The Sunshine Coast will help volunteers to ‘connect and network’ via the inaugural Sunshine Coast Volunteer Expo held this week. Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Expo will provide professional development and networking opportunities for the region’s dedicated volunteers. It includes a range of inspirational presenters covering everything from funding and sponsorship to recruiting and retaining volunteers and much more.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox acknowledged that volunteers make an enormous contribution to all facets of the community.

“I would like to thank the people in our community who selflessly spend their time and share their skills for the benefit of the others.

“Volunteer work is an essential part of any community; it encourages friendships between strangers and friends and helps to build an inclusive society.”