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Celebrating Maroondah’s volunteers

Published on 18 May 2023
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With National Volunteer Week upon us, Council is acknowledging the invaluable contribution volunteers make to the Maroondah community.

National Volunteer Week, which runs from Monday 15 May to Sunday 21 May this year, recognises the vital support that millions of volunteers provide to their communities across Australia and encourages others to take up volunteering too.

Council acknowledged the many wonderful volunteers who provide a range of services and activities to the Maroondah community at the annual Community Volunteers function on Tuesday 16 May.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Rob Steane, said volunteers are an essential part of our community.  

“To all the volunteers across Maroondah, thank you for your dedication and generosity. Each of you plays an important role within your communities - be they school, business, family or friendship groups - and helps ensure Maroondah residents can access a range of services,” Cr Steane said.

“Your work is invaluable and very much appreciated by our community.”

Graham and Bev volunteer with Maroondah Probus, which connects retirees with social opportunities and leisure activities. They joined the group 19 years ago and have volunteered since then, with Graham currently serving his second term as President of the committee.

Graham enjoys the energy that volunteering brings while helping the community. Along with serving as President, he has been a convenor for a range of Probus activities over the years and has encouraged other members to share their special interests to “make someone else’s life a bit better”.

“It doesn’t seem like work, it’s fun for me, and if I can generate that for anyone else, that’s a real plus,” Graham said.

“Sitting here today, it felt great being a volunteer. It was great to look around the room and say, this is not about me, it’s about the community. No one is getting paid to do it, they’re doing it because they want to.”

Bev enjoys “mixing with others” and the friendships that volunteering can bring. She has assisted Graham with various roles over the years and said they “have enjoyed it all”. 

“I started off doing welfare, but I’ve assisted Graham a lot - he’s done a lot of roles. I try to help where I can in a support role. So, the secretary was away a few weeks ago and I took the meeting minutes, things like that. But we’ve found as a team it works really well,” Bev said.

Jake has volunteered with Ringwood Football and Netball Club for seven years, including serving as President for five years. Jake also coaches one of the junior teams and is on the junior committee, along with working full-time and playing in one of the teams.

For Jake, volunteering is an opportunity to help others now and in the future.

“For me, it’s about the kids. We didn’t have a junior club years ago. We’ve managed to build one up again and the kids will have somewhere to play now for years to come. Hopefully my kids will have somewhere to play. It’s going to be a legacy that will long outlast me,” Jake said.

Volunteering also helps build a range of skills, Jake said, such as “managing people, doing things that need to be done, and time management”.

Lyn has volunteered with Maroondah Symphony Orchestra for more than 15 years. As the Secretary of the committee and a clarinet player, she enjoys sharing her skills with the community, building relationships and working collaboratively to achieve their goals.

“Being a volunteer means that you get so much more out of the time you spend doing something. I go to rehearsals to practice and volunteering enriches that experience. It’s really about the relationships. Being on the committee and volunteering enables me to interact with everybody,” Lyn said.

Bob and Bruce volunteer with Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Community Care through the Croydon Seventh-day Adventist Church. The organisation provides free food support for members of the community.

Bob and Bruce have been volunteering for about six years and both started shortly after entering retirement.

“We help serve between 50 and 150 cooked meals for a sit-down dinner on a Thursday night and also deliver parcels containing fruit, vegetables and household staples,” Bob said.

For both Bob and Bruce, the work is good fun, but also humbling.

“It humbles you - that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve taken from it,” Bruce said.

“We received a lot of chocolate for Easter and I took my load of deliveries to about four or five people in the community. I gave them all a bar of chocolate and said, ‘Happy Easter’. You should’ve seen the smiles on their faces,” Bruce said.

“We had one person come in who really needed food. We gave her fruit, frozen food, dairy, vegetables, all sorts of stuff. She was so happy,” Bob said.

“If you can do something to help someone - even the smallest thing - it’s better than not doing anything.”

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

Council has more than 400 volunteers who deliver many of Council’s services, such as Meals on Wheels, social support programs and bushland care.

You can also use Council’s Community Directory to find a range of community organisations and groups that could also use your assistance.

Whether it’s a couple of hours a month or on a weekly basis, all volunteering contributions are welcomed and appreciated across a range of areas.

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