National Volunteers Week is currently underway, and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) would like to acknowledge and thank all the fantastic local volunteers who help look after our iconic coastline year after year.
Throughout the week, GORCC is featuring some of their fantastic environmental volunteers across their blog and social media, including Lornecare founder and Co-Convenor Alain Purnell.
No stranger to working with the environment, Mr Purnell was the General Manager of Environmental Affairs at BHP Billiton for a number of years before moving to Lorne in 1998.
Mr Purnell said he enjoyed the change of scene and getting his hands dirty, and believes he has personally benefited from the environmental volunteer work.
“It’s a great feeling to work in an area along the coast as a group and see the difference we make at each site,” he said.
As co-founder of LorneCare, one of Mr Purnell’s first major tasks was tackling the Stony Creek Reserve – an area which was previously overgrown with blackberries.
“Our first project at Stony Creek has completely transformed the area over the years and turned the reserve into a beautiful space. It’s one of my favourite areas,” he said.
Mr Purnell is involved in several community committees and groups and said it was the social dimension of volunteering that was the most motivating aspect.
“I get a lot of satisfaction seeing people from all parts of the community come together and work harmoniously to improve the natural areas in Lorne.”
“We have permanent residents, holiday home owners and visitors who may have differing opinions on community development or future plans for Lorne, however all work together to make a visible difference in the environment.
Mr Purnell said it was all about the balance between working and socialising, with a morning tea break and BBQ at the end.
“My suggestion to anyone who is thinking about getting involved, is to come along and experience the working bee. It’s a lot of fun and you get to meet great people,” he said.
LorneCare working bees are held on the third Sunday of each month and is a wonderful chance to have a learning experience in the Great Ocean Road’s picturesque surroundings.
Meeting place notices for the working bees are in the Lorne Independent or on the Lorne Notice Board near the post office. Alternatively you can contact Alain on 0417 031 905 for more information.
Not in Lorne but still want to help out? Go to our website to find your local environmental group.