Posted on 05/06/2019 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
A time to celebrate our Volunteers
National Volunteer Week was a time for celebration at Phillip Island Nature Parks, along with thousands of other organisations across the nation, who benefit from the ongoing contributions of an army of willing volunteers.
Festivities kicked off on Tuesday 21 May with a celebratory lunch at the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club to honour the hard work, commitment and passion volunteers bring to the Nature Parks.
“You all make a world of difference in your own way to the programs you’re involved in,” said Nature Parks CEO Catherine Basterfield as she addressed the gathering. “As a collective we can all make a world of difference helping protect nature for wildlife and inspiring people to act.”
“It’s very fitting that this event is being held here at Cape Woolamai, given the significant contribution volunteers have made to this area with the removal of weeds, and revegetation projects that have changed the face of the dunes. I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank the Woolamai Surf Life Saving Club for generously donating this venue for this occasion.”
Two of the Nature Parks’ longest serving volunteers, mother and daughter team Lyn and Bet Francis, spoke about their experience volunteering at the Barb Martin Bushbank for the past 20 plus years.
Dressed in their volunteer uniform of apron and gloves, Lyn and Bet talked about the importance of being able to help the environment and meet new people, and that the people at the Bushbank have become like family. There were more than a few chuckles when Lyn asked her mum why she still volunteered, and Bet’s response was “Well, I am still alive.”
Following a tasty lunch supplied by Kate’s Plates, awards were presented to a select group of volunteers who had attained 10 or 20 years of service, and they were sincerely thanked for their contribution to our Island home.
“On Thursday 23 May, the weather cooperated and the sun shone down on the volunteers who visited Healesville Sanctuary,” said Rachael Ferguson, Nature Parks’ Volunteer Coordinator. “We had a great day exploring the zoo, learning from the ranger talks and interpretation throughout the sanctuary, and enjoying a picnic lunch of salad rolls in the sun.”
“As well as thanking our volunteers, I’d also like to thank Phillip Island Nature Parks, Zoos Victoria and the many organisations in the Victorian cultural and tourism industry, affiliated with the Cultural Volunteers Managers Network, who generously provided opportunities for volunteers to obtain free entry, tours and a range of activities as part of National Volunteer Week.”