International Volunteer Day to be celebrated across Central Victoria

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, will host 4 events across the Bendigo electorate over two days to celebrate International Volunteer Day.

In partnership with local government and community groups, over 600 local volunteers will be recognised at the events happening in Castlemaine, Woodend, Heathcote and Bendigo.

Ms Chesters said she was honoured to bring attention to the wonderful volunteers across Central Victoria.

“Our volunteers and their organisations create a sense of belonging and build stronger local communities.

“International Volunteer Day is a wonderful opportunity to thank our volunteers and recognise their commitment to our community,” said Ms Chesters.

Jacqueline Brodie-Hanns, Co-ordinator of Mount Alexander Volunteer Network Inc said, “It’s fantastic having the support of our local member. It’s so important to take the time to thank and recognise the work volunteers do in strengthening our communities. The fact that Lisa is prepared to get out and do the grunt work reinforces that she knows what’s involved in being a volunteer. It actually feels like a politician is listening and it’s great knowing that she is advocating for local volunteers on the floor in Canberra.”

Cobaw Community Health Chief Executive Officer Margaret McDonald will be attending the Woodend event.

“With almost a quarter of our region currently volunteering, this is a fantastic opportunity to pause and say thanks. Volunteers by definition are givers and it is lovely to be able to give something back and thank them for all their contributions. They certainly don’t go unnoticed!

“Our volunteers are so passionate about what they do, and these events are a fantastic opportunity to hear their stories and really understand what drives them. We are extremely lucky to have them donating their time across the community,” Ms McDonald said.

“International Volunteer Day is the perfect time to encourage the community to express its gratitude and appreciation for the work that volunteers undertake, without reward or recognition. Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre has been connecting volunteers to not-for-profit organisations with some amazing and sometimes life-changing results for 14 years,” said Helen Yorston, Manager Bendigo Volunteer Resource Centre.

“These passionate people truly care about making someone else’s life better and are always dedicated to stick to the project or activity and see it through. A big thank you to every volunteer across our community for sharing your time and talents, Let’s give three cheers for Volunteers!” Ms Yorston said.

Ms Chesters also hopes the promotion of International Volunteer Day encourages new volunteers.

“If you have a little extra time and would like to contribute to building stronger local communities, I would encourage you to think about volunteering or join a service organisation.

“I enjoy volunteering for the Bendigo Farmers Market and I am a member of the Kangaroo Flat Lions Club and the Bendigo Zonta Club.

“It’s great to give back to your local community. I also enjoy the fellowship that comes with being involved in service clubs and organisations,” said Ms Chesters.