This week marks National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate and acknowledge the important contribution volunteers make to so many areas of Australian society.
Did you know that nationally some 5.4 million Australians collectively volunteer more than 700 million hours of their time and energy each year to provide a whole gamut of community services, from health care and emergency services to arts, education, social justice and sports?
Environment conservation is another critical area that benefits from volunteers’ efforts. Certainly from a local coastal management perspective, we are very fortunate to have a number of very passionate community groups who volunteer significant time and effort to help look after our beautiful Great Ocean Road coast.
Groups such as ANGAIR, Coast Action groups in Anglesea, Jan Juc and Torquay, various ‘friends’ groups (e.g. Aireys Inlet Reserve, Aireys Inlet Wetlands, Jan Juc Creek, Lorne, Queens Park), Lornecare, Lorne Community Association and many others undertake weed control, revegetation, education and other activities to actively care for the coast.
Our local Lions, Rotary and other service clubs also provide invaluable support in the form of cleaning up after major events, such as New Years Eve, and helping with small projects such as building barbecue areas, installing new playground equipment and the like.
We are extremely grateful for the support of all these different groups, which provides our precious coast with some much needed TLC. In return, the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee aims to directly support many local groups in caring for the coast through our annual Coastal Grants program and assisting them in other ways wherever possible.
National Volunteer Week provides us with an opportunity say a big THANK YOU to all our wonderful coastal volunteers. At the same time, it also serves as timely reminder that our coast needs volunteers now, more than ever.
If you’re one of our amazing volunteers, we would love to hear your views about the role you play in caring for the coast via posting your comments on this blog. Likewise, if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, you can post a question or visit our website for more information.
Posted by David Clarke, CEO.