During National Volunteer Week 21 to 27 May 2018, the City of Mount Gambier acknowledges the generous contributions made by local volunteers. This year's theme 'give a little, change a lot' represents the millions of volunteers nationally who make a profound impact within their respective communities.
Hundreds of volunteers and volunteer organisations including service clubs and community groups work together with Council throughout the year to deliver events, sustainability activities and beautify public spaces.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work provided by volunteers in the City and I offer a sincere thank you to all our volunteers for their contribution. It’s also important to recognise the individuals who informally volunteer to keep Mount Gambier great, from the sporting, cultural and service clubs to the emergency volunteers and non-government organisations, each of which provide invaluable contribution to Mount Gambier as a resilient and robust City,” City of Mount Gambier Mayor Andrew Lee said.
Council volunteers contribute to various areas throughout the organisation including the Library, Riddoch Art Gallery, Main Corner and events. The Library has a large dedicated team of volunteers consisting of approximately 55 people who assist on a daily basis. This includes a group of Lioness’ who deliver books to homes, the Friends of the Library and others who deliver to aged care facilities around Mount Gambier.
“We are very grateful for our volunteers and we are fortunate to have a lovely and reliable group that have formed wonderful relationships amongst themselves and the staff. They are like family and we love them coming into the Library and contributing meaningfully on a daily basis,” Library Technical Services Coordinator Patricia Ellis said.
Kelvin Mahoney has volunteered his time at the Mount Gambier Library for over a decade and recalls volunteering at the Library prior to the move to the new facility in 2009. Kelvin initially became a volunteer to improve his computer skills and to learn new skills after 28 years working at a local saw mill.
“The best part about volunteering at the Library is meeting new people and making new friends. I assist four afternoons each week with 3D printing, data entry and local history. I enjoy the diversity and the feeling that I’m doing something worthwhile and useful,” Mr Mahoney said.
Mr Mahoney attributes volunteering to developing new self-confidence and has learned so much about 3D printing he is now able to teach others how to make their own creations.
“I get a lot of satisfaction from volunteering at the Library especially from teaching others new skills. It’s also interesting to see what the imagination of others leads them to create.”
Mat Wall has volunteered at the Library for about a year, assisting once a week with 3D printing, Wacom tablets and sphero robots. Mat uses volunteering as a means to challenge himself and meet new people.
“I enjoy working with all the fabulous people and learning and teaching about the diverse range of technology the Library has to offer. To anyone thinking about volunteering, just do it. There are plenty of areas in the community seeking volunteers and there is something for everyone,” Mr Wall said.
The Riddoch Art Gallery and Main Corner also has a dedicated team of about 20 volunteers. At the Gallery, volunteers offer a range of skills and are pivotal during exhibition installations.
“The volunteers at the Riddoch Art Gallery are instrumental in helping with exhibitions and gallery maintenance, providing an excellent and diverse skill set that is highly valued. I am always grateful and in awe of the service they provide the community and our gallery,” Arts, Culture and Heritage Development Officer Serena Wong said.
Later this year, Council will commence the development of a new volunteer strategy which will inform future opportunities for volunteering with Council.
Photo caption: Mayor Andrew Lee with Mount Gambier Library volunteers Erin McIntyre (left), Val Milner and Kelvin Mahoney.
For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Ashlea Watson on 8721 2577 or firstname.lastname@example.org