A lot has changed in the 18 years Jeff Bodley and Rob Morris have been volunteering in Sunshine Coast Hinterland visitor information centres.
When they first started in 2002, the Glass House Mountains information centre was a yellow caravan set up in Matthew Flinders Park just off Steve Irwin Way.
This was the first visitor information centre (VIC) in the region, and Jeff said until then, many visitors would simply bypass the Glass House Mountains on their way up the coast not knowing what they were or the history behind them.
Today Jeff and Rob, who are both 81 years old, have shared the Indigenous and European history of the area with countless visitors looking to explore the region, and while they both admit they’re ‘still trying to retire’, the time has come to hang up their hats on a successful 18-year stint in the Glass House and Montville VICs.
“What we’ve loved most is meeting the people and finding out where they come from, it’s a wonderful thing, and if they come from areas we’ve been to it makes it even more so,” Rob, who along with Jeff is a keen traveller himself, said.
Rob and Jeff said there was no one size fits all response on what to do in the Hinterland, but they instead tailor their suggestions to suit each visitor.
“It’s about having a conversation and sending them to where we think appropriate for that couple or family,” Jeff said.
That’s not to say they haven’t had any left of centre requests over the years, including advice on what to do about a dropped mobile phone over a mountain ledge that passing fishermen had no luck in reeling out.
Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) Interim CEO Craig Davidson thanked Jeff and Rob for their long-term commitment to supporting and promoting tourism on the Sunshine Coast.
“You’d be hard-pressed to meet anyone who knows the Hinterland as well as Rob and Jeff,” he said.
“Their passion throughout the years has been unwavering, and we wish them the very best in their future endeavours.”
Moving forward Rob and Jeff will remain active members of the new Peachester Heritage Centre and local garden club and encouraged others to get involved in volunteering.
“Rather than staying at home get out and enjoy as much as you can in your life, volunteering is a lot of fun,” Rob said.
VSC operates three Visitor Information Centres (VICs) on the Sunshine Coast at Glasshouse Mountains, Montville and Sunshine Coast Airport that are staffed by volunteers, or VSC Ambassadors.
Becoming a VSC ambassador provides you with an opportunity to share your knowledge and passion for the region with visitors, as well as learn about new visitor experiences and attractions on the Sunshine Coast through VSC organised familiarisation visits.
If you are interested in becoming in VSC Ambassador, please email VSC Visitor Servicing Coordinator Beth Mahoney on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Beth on 0458 788 285.