Posted on 11/03/2015 by Phillip Island Nature Parks
Churchill Island is undoubtedly one of Victoria’s great gems.
Churchill Island’s extensive grounds are maintained by gardener Greg Ryan with help from volunteers, but more volunteers are needed. Pat Jeffery and Christine Grayden, both involved in the volunteer program, are putting out the call for new recruits. Volunteer gardeners are needed to help tend to paths and edging, weed and nurture the seedlings in the onsite nursery. Guiding is another volunteering opportunity.
“We currently don’t have enough volunteers to fill our monthly guiding roster,” said Pat Jeffrey, Churchill Island volunteer co-ordinator.
“We’re looking for volunteers to act as house guides in the old homestead. The guides, most dressed in period costume, are on hand to answer any visitors’ questions regarding the farm’s heritage.”
Fred Allen has been a volunteer house guide for 16 years and regularly answers visitors’ questions and in turn hears of their travelling experiences.
“It’s a privilege to be a guide here really,” he said from the veranda of Amess house overlooking the historic Norfolk pine on the island whose seeds are now propagated by volunteers in the nursery. “Every day I’m on I meet fascinating people, many from overseas.”
House guides work on a monthly roster. All training and an informative handbook is provided. It is not necessary to dress in period costume to act as a guide, but costume items are available for those who want to ‘dress up’.
Pat Jeffery encourages pensioners and those on Centrelink to get involved. Churchill Island is a great place to fulfil Centrelink volunteer hour requirements, with a variety of tasks available to choose from.
“We’re a social group and volunteering on the island has been a great way for many of us to make new friends and to stay active.”
A mystery bus tour for volunteers is held once a year along with workshops with other organisations and social gatherings.
Interested in volunteering on Churchill Island? Contact 5956 7214 to leave your name and contact details, and Pat will get back to you. Churchill Island is a beautiful place to volunteer so if you only have a few hours every few weeks or a day a week, it makes no difference - you would be most welcome.