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Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2020

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Monday, 18 May 2020 - 5:00pm

This week is National Volunteer Week 2020. With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, Golden Plains Shire Council is acknowledging the outstanding contributions of its volunteers online throughout the week.

The theme for Volunteer Week 2020 is Changing Communities, Changing Lives, in recognition that volunteering has an impact on the entire community, and not just individuals. From volunteers running grassroots sports clubs to those who provide important services to the elderly and vulnerable, volunteering is part of the fabric which holds our communities together. With COVID-19 disrupting everyday life, volunteering has never been more important than now.

Council’s 179 volunteers assist with providing some of Council’s most vital services, such as delivered meals, social support groups for the elderly or those with disabilities, community transport and community planning.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more volunteers are assisting to support elderly or vulnerable people in our community through some of these activities. This pandemic has seen many Golden Plains residents reach out to Council asking what they can do to help their communities, which is a reflection of the admirable values underpinning our community.

To acknowledge and thank our volunteers, Council will be publishing links to the below profiles of some of our extraordinary volunteers on its social media accounts. On behalf of Council, thank you to all our Council volunteers, as well as to all residents who graciously volunteer with other clubs and organisations to make our communities stronger and better. Golden Plains Shire would not be the same without your valuable contributions.

If you're looking for a way to show your appreciate for everything volunteers do in your community from home, consider taking part in Volunteering Australia's Wave For Volunteers campaign. To find out how you can take part, visit

Gail – Smythes Creek

“I like helping people and enjoy meeting different people from other backgrounds and cultures.”

Gail volunteers with Council’s Active Ageing & Disability team to help provide aged care services to residents in the north of the Shire. She is involved with the team’s social group sessions and outings, helps coordinate activities, and serves meals to clients.

Upon retirement around 20 years ago, Gail moved from Sydney to Smythes Creek. Gail had previously enjoyed volunteering in Sydney, and decided it would be a great way to become involved in her new community in Golden Plains. The one thing that Gail would like other people to know about volunteering, is that it brings you fun and fulfillment, while connecting you with others with similar interests.

Hugh – Bannockburn

“I can’t imagine not giving back.”

Hugh is one of Council’s tremendous volunteer drivers, helping some of the Shire’s most vulnerable residents get around. Outside of his work with Council, Hugh also volunteers with the State Emergency Service (SES), as well as with his local bowls and football clubs.

After witnessing the Granville train disaster 42 years ago, Hugh decided that he never wanted to be a helpless bystander again, and signed-up to volunteer with the SES. He then got involved with the local football club, and by the time he and his wife retired, volunteering was a way of life for the couple.

Hugh enjoys the satisfaction of helping people and meeting like-minded people who also care about others and their community. When asked the one thing he would like others to know about the experience of volunteering, Hugh noted s how rewarding it is to see a smile on the face of someone you are helping; that they will look forward to spending time with you, and you with them. Hugh encourages everyone to give volunteering a go, even if you can only give a small amount of your time.

Stuart – Bannockburn

“You can learn new skills, meet interesting people and feel useful.”

Stuart is a Community Coordinator with Council’s Community Planning Program. Outside of this position, Stuart is also a Community Reference Group member with the Golden Plains Shire Community Vision 2040 project, the Friends of Bannockburn Bush, and several other environmental groups.

Environmental conservation and social justice issues have always driven Stuart, which is why he is determined to volunteer his time for his local community. He finds there is a lot of satisfaction in seeing the projects he undertakes through to completion. The one thing that Stuart would like others to know about volunteering is that you get to work with great people.

Jo – Rokewood

“It gives so much to those who need a little assistance.”

Helping out her child’s school was what started Jo on her volunteer journey. Now a Community Coordinator with Council’s Community Planning Program, Jo finds the act of giving to be what she enjoys the most in her voluntary work.

According to Jo, the one thing others should know about volunteering is that while it can be hard work, it means a great deal to the person or community you are helping.

Ian and Jacki – Linton

“We have formed good friendships through volunteering, and that is invaluable.”

Ian and Jacki are both drivers with Council’s community transport team, taking clients as far and wide as Ballarat, Melbourne, Ararat and Stawall. In addition, they both also deliver meals in Golden Plains Shire, and the neighbouring Skipton area, and Jacki is also a kitchen assistant for the social support group in Haddon.

The pair saw volunteering with Council as an opportunity to be involved in the community, as well as something they could do together in their retirement. Ian and Jacki find the interactions with those they are assisting to be the most rewarding part of volunteering, and have made friends along the way. Ian and Jacki highly recommend volunteering to everyone, as it is a most rewarding experience for them.

Council always welcomes interest from those new to volunteering or wanting to know more. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Council’s Community Partnerships Officer at 5220 7220 or email

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Page Last Updated:

Monday, 18 May 2020 - 5:17pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.