National Volunteer Week – Ballarat
Where would we be without volunteers?
National Volunteer Week allowed Volunteering Ballarat and the agencies it works with the opportunity to recognise and thank the thousands of volunteers across our region without whom our community would not be the culturally-rich and caring community it is. The theme adopted locally this year was ‘not all superheroes wear a cape.’
Amongst the individual agency celebrations, agencies and their volunteers came together for two events:
National Volunteer Week Launch
The heavens opened on Monday morning, providing less than ideal conditions for raising the Volunteer Flag outside the Ballarat Town Hall.
As those brave enough to venture out looked on from the entrance of the Town Hall, two courageous City of Ballarat employees juggled umbrellas and the flag, managing to lift it high above Sturt Street.
After a quick and very wet dash to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the City of Ballarat hosted morning tea and provided the opportunity for official recognition of all the volunteer-involving agencies in attendance.
The Mayor, Cr Des Hudson, spoke highly of the organisations represented and their volunteers, awarding certificates to:
Festival of Volunteering
An exciting program of entertainment, information and discussion filled Friday afternoon and into the evening.
Twenty-four different volunteering agencies participated with displays in the Annexe at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Manned by volunteers and representatives, each had the opportunity to tell their story of volunteering. The Festival was officially opened by Catherine King MP, who spoke passionately about the huge and positive impact volunteering has on making a community.
The afternoon also included performances by the Kara Kara Quartet from the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra, U3A’s recorder ensemble, and St John of God’s ‘The Joy of Singing Group’. Panel discussions and talks were held about volunteering for retirees, volunteering in Health, youth and schools volunteering, as well as emergency services volunteering.
Everyone enjoyed the demonstrations by the Eureka Strikers, who gave a ball skills demonstration, and the CFA, who cut up a car to simulate a rescue situation.
Into the evening, a ticketed celebration event was held with entertainment from The Funky Turtles and vocalist Sarah Barklay. Volunteering Ballarat also launched a collaborative video created specifically for Volunteer Week.
Guest speaker, Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, brought his wisdom gained in emergency management and presented it in a way that translated clearly to all volunteering.
A huge thank you needs to go to the organisations who provided the means for the two events to happen:
- City of Ballarat (Major Sponsor)
- Sovereign Hill
- Catherine King MP
- Power FM
and to the organising committee
- Sue Jacob, Ballarat Health Services
- Tracey Milne, Pinarc Disability Support
- Taryn Williams, Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Michelle Ward, UnitingCare Ballarat
- Jodie Kennedy, City of Ballarat/UFS Dispensaries
- Jo Grainger, City of Ballarat
- Claire Molesworth, City of Ballarat
and our volunteers
- Lyndall Bridges
- Louise Bisognin
- More photos of both events are here.