FROM helping out with visitor information at the visitors’ centre in Foster, to the shire’s learner driver L2P program and even one-off Pop-Up Volunteering projects; the South Gippsland Shire Council highly values its volunteer ‘workforce’.
So much so that they will be celebrating their involvement during National Volunteer Week (NVW), Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers, from Monday, May 16 to Sunday, May 22, 2022.
“South Gippsland Shire Council is so fortunate that the proportion of the population who volunteer their time to support their communities within South Gippsland is higher than the regional or state-wide average. This has remained relatively constant over time,” said South Gippsland Mayor Cr Mohya Davies.
“The 2016 Census shows that 24 per cent of South Gippslanders volunteers which is significantly higher than the state average of 16 per cent.
“On behalf of Council I would like to send a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who volunteers in our community.
“Your contribution helps to make South Gippsland a better place to live and we would be lost without you.”
Currently there are over 100 volunteers who volunteering for Council at any given time. The volunteers assist in areas such as:
- L2P Learner Driver Mentor Program
- Visitor Information Centres
- Coal Creek Community Park and Museum
- Youth Council
- Council volunteers also assist with the upkeep of nature reserves and with rubbish collection throughout the region.
“We are hosting a Volunteer Years of Service ceremony during National Volunteer Week as a way of thanking our Council volunteers,” said a spokesperson for the shire.
“Volunteering is something that is so important to the fabric of South Gippsland and it is great to highlight their work whenever possible.”
The L2P Driver Mentor Program helps young drivers to gain the skills and experience they need to obtain their probationary licence (‘P’ plates). The program targets young people that may find it hard to find someone to supervise them to achieve 120 hours driving experience.
Pop-Up Volunteering is a great alternative for those who wish to volunteer but don’t want to be locked into a long-term commitment. Pop-Up Volunteering embraces volunteer roles that are short projects that fit the ethos of volunteering and offer the community an opportunity to participate in focussed short term projects. Opportunities to volunteer in these roles depend on available projects and the specific interest areas of volunteers.
Examples of recent Pop-Up Volunteering include: Environment projects, Administration projects, Sustainability projects.
The main function of the Youth Council is for young people to get together and take an active part in helping youth activity in South Gippsland. Youth Council members range between 12 to 25 years of age.
Generally, there are about 15 young people on the team from across South Gippsland. Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, beginning at 4.15pm and ending at about 5.30pm; held at various locations across the shire. We aim to get representation from right across South Gippsland, and will help with travel assistance (such as a taxi) if you can’t get to meetings.