Volunteer Profile

Amelia Featherston is a dedicated volunteer for Jan Juc Coast Action
Amelia Featherston is a dedicated volunteer for Jan Juc Coast Action

There are so many fantastic reasons to become a volunteer, just ask any one of the 1.5 million Victorians who are actively involved in their local community.

Alicia Patterson, Communications Manager from Volunteering Victoria said there are so many positive benefits to experience from undertaking a volunteer opportunity.

“Research shows it makes you happier, but it’s no wonder really. The four main reasons we hear (and research shows) that people volunteer include to give something to the community, to get skills and experience for work and other pursuits,  to meet and be with friends and for good physical and mental health,

“All of these things can be personally satisfying through giving back to the community you live in and being engaged with others. Basically, you’re a productive part of your community and doing something that adds meaning to your life,” she said.

Still not convinced? We interviewed Jan Juc Coast Action volunteer Amelia Featherston to find out what she loves most about being an environmental volunteer.

Name: Amelia Featherston

Age: 30

Occupation: Environmental Planning

I am a volunteer for… Jan Juc Coast Action

I have been a volunteer for… about 3 years with Jan Juc Coast Action

I contribute 2-3 hours to volunteering a month

I decided to become a volunteer because… I wanted to get involved in conservation in the local area, and saw the great work that Jac Juc Coast Action have done

Volunteer activities that I have been involved in include… participating in working bees which usually involves weeding, but sometimes planting and mulching, attending committee meetings, and helping to organise speakers and activities for the AGM. I also occasionally help with writing submissions and typing up meeting minutes.

My favourite volunteer activity is… working bees. It is great to learn from the expertise of other Coast Action volunteers, and it’s quite a good social activity, with lots of chatting while we weed and work away on the cliff tops.

My most memorable/exciting experience since being a volunteering has been… our AGM last year – it was was fantastic! The JJCA committee organised speakers to talk about local birds, and we also ran several bird themed activities for little kids, including making birds nests and eggs and we had colouring in sheets featuring local birds. Getting people involved and engaged and interested in the local environment is really important. Last winter I spent a day with other committee members hand pollinating orchids, to improve the chance of seed production, which was also fun and interesting.

My biggest achievement as a volunteer has been… I think as a group, Jan Juc Coast Action has made a real impact on the ecology of the coastal vegetation at Jan Juc, reducing the weeds and planting and protecting indigenous vegetation, meaning that the cliff tops remain a healthy, functioning ecosystem.

Volunteering is important to me… because I am involved in my local community and contributing to conservation.

My 3 favourite things about volunteering are:

1: Networking and making friends

2: Contributing to conservation projects that achieve real gains in the local environment

3: Being connected to the coast in a meaningful way

My least favourite part of volunteering is…  missing out on volunteer working bees and meetings due to work commitments!

My favourite local flora/fauna species is… the windswept moonah woodland at Jan Juc, and I really like seeing the Bristlebirds bounce off into the scrub.

I would encourage other people to become volunteers… because it is really enjoyable. You always get more out of it than you put in!

I do believe there is a need for younger generations to get involved in volunteering… because many of our core volunteer groups are older and there is a need to pass the knowledge and drive to work in volunteer groups on to the next gen of volunteers.

For more information on volunteering opportunities click here.

Related blog posts:

dsc00188GORCC thanks volunteers
img_0118Indigenous groups join weed action
Ford employees got their hands dirty last month as part of a GORCC run program, planting over 1000 coastal saltmarsh plants along the Anglesea River. Photo: Abhishek Sharma.Ford motors towards a healthier coast

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