Media Releases 2018

Posted on 11/01/2018 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

The true value of Volunteering

Wherever you go on the Island you’re likely to see at least one of the 200 dedicated Nature Parks volunteers in action, planting vegetation, removing weeds, assisting research staff or engaging with visitors to enhance their experience and hopefully even inspire them to care for the environment and our wonderful Island home.

The reasons people volunteer and the benefits they derive from giving of their time are as diverse and unique as the volunteers themselves, but there are a couple of things they all have in common. There is an undeniable love of Phillip Island and its amazing places, wildlife and heritage, along with a desire to have fun and motivate people to get involved as well.

Bob has been volunteering with the Nature Parks for over 10 years, helping to conserve Churchill Island’s heritage through his blacksmithing skills. According to Bob, “It’s just good fun volunteering at the Nature Parks and sharing this special place with them. You get to meet different people from all parts of the world and in all different stages of their lives – it’s so interesting.”

The array of opportunities available at the Nature Parks means there is something to appeal to everyone, from those who like to get their hands dirty and plant trees to help create habitat, to those who love to interact with people and share our important conservation messages or colourful history, and a whole lot in between.

Wendy has been one of the Nature Parks’ frontline volunteers for 3 years, engaging with visitors about Churchill Island’s unique history. Wendy says “After everyone’s hectic Christmas schedules are done, so many people enjoy just sitting on the homestead’s veranda or in the garden. It really struck me that the sorts of pleasures valued 150 years ago are still valid today. Such a dear little island – whether wearing a costume or working in the garden, the pace of the day is slower. Sharing stories and often having a laugh with people is like taking a day off from a busy life. It is lovely to feel I am contributing to the visitor experience.”

“So what is the true value of volunteering? Ask 100 volunteers and you’ll probably get 100 different answers,” said Rachael Ferguson, Nature Parks’ Volunteer Coordinator. “If you ask me I’ll tell you all about the positive environmental, research and visitor outcomes we have achieved, and the opportunities to build a community, develop personal skills and experience, and create real change. But if you want to find out what the true value of volunteering might be to you, you’ll just have to come along and give it a try for yourself.”

Training and inductions for Volunteer Visitor Experience roles are taking place on 23 January, so contact Rachael on 0437 476 833 or volunteers@penguins.org.au to register your interest, and come along to have some fun, meet new people and discover the many benefits of volunteering.

Thank you to all of the Nature Parks volunteers for your hard work and dedication in 2017. We couldn’t have done it without you, and your ongoing contributions continue to inspire us.

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Media Enquiries:
Roland Pick – Communications Executive
Tel: +613 5951 2825 Mobile: 0418 402 161 Email: rpick@penguins.org.au