Community says 'Thank You' to our Volunteers in style

Published on Monday, 31 May 2021 at 1:06:17 PM

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”   Author unknown.

A crowd of over 300 came together in Gingin on Saturday, 22 May to hold a special event to ‘thank’ our Shire’s many wonderful volunteers. Times of late have been very testing with the COVID-19 Pandemic, bush fires both within our Shire and without in addition to the cancellation of events and everyday ongoing activities where so often volunteers are asked to contribute.

The Volunteer ‘Thank You’ Evening event was a special opportunity to recognise the contribution made by our many communities’ wonderful volunteers and to provide them with an evening’s entertainment. Four separate organisations applied for and were able to successfully acquire funding from Volunteering WA in order to put on the evening event. The four organisations were the Lancelin Community Resource Centre, Ledge Point Community Association, Woodridge Community Association and the Shire of Gingin.

Across our community so many give freely of themselves for so many different reasons. Obvious volunteers include our fire fighters, ambulance crews and other emergency services volunteers who sometimes face very harrowing situations and yet they step up without complaint. Less obvious are those who assist at sporting events, with looking after our youth and elderly, fundraising for a cause, land care initiatives and so much more.

The Volunteer ‘Thank You’ Evening event was a wonderful chance to give back to our community volunteers who have done so much for us, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic and to those who have served their communities for so many years without expecting any form of recognition.

The evening featured entertainment provided by Kelly Gardner and the Mucky Duck Bush Band – the latter of which encouraged attendees onto the dance floor and talked them through several different types of entertaining dances.

There was a huge number of raffle prizes from community groups, businesses and residents who wanted to ‘acknowledge and thank a volunteer’ - the sheer amount was staggering! Almost no one left the event empty handed with wines, local preserves, eskies and more won over the course of the evening. Thank you to the extensive list of sponsors (as many as 116!) who donated these items including the Hon Martin Aldridge MLA, Mr Shane Love MLC and the Hon Christian Porter MP. Your generosity was hugely appreciated. 

Sergeant Dave Harnett, OIC for Gingin Police, was invited to present a special Certificate of Achievement to 15 year old Tyla Babich in recognition of his outstanding bravery and courage during the Red Gully Bush Fire event earlier this year. His actions to save wildlife affected by the fire and his commitment to the active defence of the Moore River Ranch and Wildlife Sanctuary was truly commendable.

The evening was a momentous success and would not have been possible without the additional support of the Gingin & Chittering Lions Club for providing and setting up the marquees outside, David Roe for the supply of the hay bales, Sylvia Kelly for the flowers, the bus services provided for coastal attendees by Kim and Jenny Rule, Jenny Walker from the Woodridge Community Association and Shire staff from the Community Services Department and the Parks and Gardens team. Thanks must also be extended of course to the previously mentioned raffle sponsors, caterers and the evening entertainment, without which this event would not have been possible.

In 2019 volunteers contributed 596.2 million hours to communities across Australia according to Volunteering WA which is an amazing figure. This year’s National Volunteer Week theme acknowledged that it is time to recognise, reconnect and reimagine volunteering. By recognising volunteers, reconnecting by giving our time and reimagining how we can continue to support our volunteers – we can keep volunteering invigorated in our Shire as we head into the future.  

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”    Sherry Anderson.

*Photos from the event may be viewed on the Shire's Facebook page. Original copies may be obtained from the Shire by contacting cmo@gingin.wa.gov.au

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Shire of Gingin Offices

Gingin

7 Brockman Street
Gingin WA 6503

T: (08) 9575 5100

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

Lancelin

255 Vins Way
Lancelin WA 6044

T: (08) 9575 5155

F: (08) 9575 2121

E: mail@gingin.wa.gov.au

Yued Country Moore River Region