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Celebrating our local volunteers

People watching planes land.

It's National Volunteer Week and Council is recognising the wonderful work of our generous local volunteers.

Monday 21 May 2018

In celebration of National Volunteer Week, Mount Alexander Shire Council extends a thank you to all the generous people who selflessly volunteer their time and help enrich community life in the shire.

“Our community is one of the most generous in the state when it comes to volunteering. I believe this is one of the main reasons it is such a wonderful place to live,” said Bronwen Machin, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire.

“Thousands of people give their time, skills and resources every year to local groups, whether they be philanthropic, sporting, environmental, indigenous, artistic, educational, cultural, social or faith,” said Cr Machin.

“Thank you volunteers! We appreciate all that you do, your hard work, effort and incredible contribution. The community would not be the same without you!”

Around 30 per cent of shire residents volunteer in some capacity.

“We are fortunate to have many wonderful volunteers who help to deliver Council services to vulnerable and frail aged people, visitors to our shire and young people,” said Cr Machin.

“There are also the many committee members who keep our facilities in good condition, protect our environment, and help to make our community brighter, more fun and interesting.

“We are so very lucky to have these caring people helping out our community and we thank each of them for their work and commitment,” she said.

Anyone with a few hours to spare may like to consider volunteering. For more information on volunteering opportunities at Council phone 5471 1700 or visit the Volunteering page of Council’s website www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/Volunteer.

If you are interested in how you can volunteer with local organisations visit Council’s online community directory Connect Mount Alexander at www.connectmountalexander.com.au. The online resource includes a volunteers’ page that lists around 75 local organisations who are seeking more helpers.

Spotlight on our volunteers

Social Support volunteers

Council’s Social Support team has 20 volunteers who make a real difference in the lives of our vulnerable and frail aged community members. Volunteers visit socially isolated people in their homes, support our staff in the running of weekly groups and outings, and provide bus transportation to different activities across the shire. Our volunteers also run sessions for older people who are looking to build computer and online skills through the regular Be Connected sessions. Our Social Support Program would not be possible without these remarkable volunteers.

Visitor Information Centre volunteers

Volunteers spend almost 7,000 hours each year at the Castlemaine and Maldon Visitor Information Centres (VIC) promoting the region to visitors. Tourism is vital for our local economy and our team of 50 volunteers are the friendly faces who welcome visitors to our shire. These outgoing volunteers have incredible insight into everything that is happening around the community and their contribution allows our VICs to be open every day of the year other than Christmas Day. What an outstanding effort!

Youth volunteers

Council has more than 20 young volunteers on our Youth Advisory Group (YAG) and Eight Metre Speaker team. These volunteers do a great job representing the interests of young people in the shire, developing local initiatives and organising events for their peers and the community. Council is currently recruiting for members and offers training opportunities as part of the membership. This work is supported by the Victorian State Government FreeZA and Engage! programs.

Youth mentor volunteers

This year Council is looking to establish a mentor program and link young people with mentors throughout the community. This will be coordinated in partnership with Castlemaine District Community Health. If you have some time to give and are passionate about helping young people please contact the Youth Team on 5471 1700 or email youth@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

Planning groups and special committees

Volunteers play an essential role in planning the future of our towns and managing community venues and spaces. Our Special Committees of Council help to manage 20 Council venues and recreation reserves and ensure the spaces are looked after, loved and used. We also have volunteers who are the driving forces behind the creation and implementation of nine community plans for the shire. They’re working hard to create positive futures for our towns and villages.

If you have skills to share, or time to give please get in touch with Council on 5471 1700.

Image: Volunteer Russell Loats having a great time with the Fridays Out and About group at the Tullamarine Airport viewing carpark

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