International Volunteer Day on December 5 is a time to recognise the valuable contribution our volunteers make to our region.
Sunshine Coast Council will do just that when Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay welcomes the region’s volunteers at a free Thank You Brunch at Venue 114 on Wednesday, December 5 from 9.30am to noon.
Volunteers are invited to celebrate their special day with a delicious brunch and live music by country music singer-songwriter Michael O’Rourke and women’s barber shop singers Hot Ginger Chorus.
The morning would not be complete without a special Welcome to Country performance by local Kabi Kabi man Lyndon Davis and two inspirational volunteer guest speakers Lily Dickson and Aunty Judy Shea, who will share their personal experience about how volunteering changed their lives.
Cr McKay said the theme for this year’s International Volunteer Day is “Volunteers Build Resilient Communities” and our volunteers have definitely made a difference in supporting council and the emergency services.
“There is no doubt Sunshine Coast residents have a remarkable history of volunteering their time and giving back to the community life particularly during times of natural disasters,” Cr McKay said.
“On International Volunteer Day, council will thank all our region’s volunteers for their community-minded efforts by inviting them to attend a free brunch with entertainment.
“Each year thousands of volunteers enrich life on the Sunshine Coast by supporting a diverse range of community organisations and council community programs and services.
“Council’s Social Strategy had already highlighted the significant economic contribution and social value of volunteering on the Coast and December 5 is the day we will thank them for making a difference.”
One dedicated volunteer making a difference is Lily Dickson who was encouraged by her grandmother to help others from a very young age.
Depending on the day of the week, you will find Lily sharing her time at Volunteering Sunshine Coast, Caloundra Community Centre’s Global Hub for Women, Tutoring at Read and Write for Life at Kawana Library or attending Multicultural Network Group meetings.
She also assists at the Emergency Department of Sunshine Coast University Hospital and as a Communion Minister to sick people at Tri Care and roster coordinator for Sunday mass.
Lily said volunteering kept her busy - anything from 21 hours to 40 hours depending on the week - and gave her a purpose in life.
“I just love the variety, from organising volunteers for special events, information booths at shopping centres and expos and helping people improve their reading and writing,” Lily said.
“I can definitely recommend volunteering as you get to meet lots of different people from all walks of life, it is good for your health as it keeps your mind active and you get to find out about lots of things that are happening on the Coast.
“I believe there is goodness in all the people who volunteer and they are all special.
“Volunteers should be treated with respect and it is important that volunteers be happy with what and where they volunteer – that is a happy volunteer.”
Bookings are required to attend the Volunteer Thank You Brunch. To register and to find out more details, visit council’s website and search ‘volunteering’.
Venue 114, formerly known as Lake Kawana Community Centre, is located at 114 Sportsmans Parade, Bokarina.