Posted on 11/05/2017 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

Nature Parks celebrates its dedicated volunteers

Phillip Island Nature Parks celebrated the invaluable contributions of its band of dedicated and passionate volunteers with a BBQ gathering at Churchill Island on Tuesday, in recognition of National Volunteer Week.

The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’, and the 40 volunteers and staff who attended the celebration were quick to support this idea with stories of their own experiences of volunteering.

Fred Allen is one of the Nature Parks’ longest serving volunteers, having guided thousands of visitors around Churchill Island over the last 18 years. “My favourite part of the role is meeting everyone that comes here, and being able to share my knowledge and passion for the history of the island.”

Elise Biggs has been volunteering in the Churchill Island garden for 1 year and said: “I find the garden a beautiful place to volunteer - you just need to look at it and you’ll understand. It makes the volunteer work so rewarding to hear the many positive comments from visitors and know that they are really enjoying their time in the gardens.”

Volunteers attended from a range of different groups including the Barb Martin Bushbank, Churchill Island Farm, Friends of Churchill Island, Eastern Barred Bandicoot translocations, Hooded Plover Watch, and Coastcare groups.

Nature Parks’ CEO Catherine Basterfield thanked the volunteers for their hard work and dedication, and acknowledged their contributions to the successful delivery of a range of important environmental, research, visitor and community outcomes.

“Volunteer Australia’s research tells us that volunteering leads to a healthier lifestyle, is a true community builder, and is also one of the strongest predictors we have of increasing health and happiness,” said Catherine. “As I look around at all of these smiling faces and feel the warmth of this community, I would have to agree wholeheartedly that volunteering provides a great range of benefits not only for organisations such as the Nature Parks, but also for the volunteers themselves.”