National Volunteer Week is on again from the 9-15 May and celebrates more than six million dedicated Australians, including local conservationist and Torquay Coast Action President Glenda Shomaly.
Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Chief Executive Officer Richard Davies said environmental volunteers have helped to transform coastal habitats.
“Glenda Shomaly is an inspiring example of the benefits of volunteering to both the land and the people, who enjoy getting out and getting healthy in nature.”
The Torquay Coast Action President became involved in environmental conservation in Torquay more than 20 years ago after she saw fellow volunteer Roma Edwards carrying some plants at Jan Juc.
“After seeing Roma with the indigenous plants, I began to think about how working along the coast would be something I would enjoy doing.
“I find being involved in the environmental conservation groups is a great way to be near the ocean and contribute something positive to our landscape.
“I love the saltmarshes, woodlands, dunes, and wide beaches along the coast that are all catering for a variety of wildlife and activities,” she said.
Glenda began volunteering with Jan Juc Coast Action before organising another group to undertake conservation efforts near the Thompson Creek and eastern Torquay areas which resulted in the creation of Torquay Coast Action.
The group started removing woody weeds from problem areas, tackling the manageable sites first to generate quality habitats for native wildlife.
“The biggest area we’ve tackled has been the muddy parking area between Horseshoe Bend Road and Deep Creek, which is looking quite nice nowadays,” she said.
Glenda said the conservation work conducted depends on the team of dedicated volunteers who help maintain and enhance the natural values of the coast.
In her role as TCA President, Glenda has conducted a variety of environmental conservation tasks, and recently helped monitor the vulnerable Hooded Plover breeding zone at Point Impossible to ensure the chick’s survival earlier in March.
“It was a wonderful moment, and it just goes to show the impact humans and dogs have on the survival of Hooded Plovers and other shore-nesting birds.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee would like to extend a huge thank you to all the environmental volunteers working along the coast.
Anyone interested in putting something back into the environment and volunteering along the coast should contact the GORCC office on 03 5220 5055 or visit their website for more details.
Want to know what our volunteers are up to along the coast? Sign up to GORCC’s coastal volunteers bulletin today!