We couldn’t do it without our volunteers

This week’s column from our CEO Richard McLellan

It’s National Volunteer Week, and thus an apt time to give a ‘shout-out’ to all of the many volunteers from across the NACC NRM Region who volunteer their time and expertise to help make this a better place, and to advance sustainability in our landscapes and communities.

Every year, scores of volunteers turn-up at NACC’s Landcare, Coastcare and Bushcare activities – and those of all of the other local natural resource management groups with whom we partner, support and collaborate – to help-out with  land-, sea-, water- and biodiversity-conservation activities. Whether it be a Big Beach Clean-up, a revegetation tree-planting, fauna monitoring, invasive species management, a BioBlitz survey, or the smorgasbord of the other, similar kinds of activities that are organised, we are always confident that there will be a good showing from our community volunteers.

This was apparent at the recent Coastal Carnival Coastcare Forum that we supported at Green Head, during which “a whole bunch of willing Coastcarers helped turn a patch of bare ground outside of the Green Head Community Hall and Skate Park into a lush garden with native flora. More than 30 guerrilla gardeners joined the NACC Coastal and Marine Team and completed the garden in under three hours.”

The fact that these dedicated individuals turn-up to so many events is an amazing outcome in itself, especially since a recent report from Volunteering Australia showed that there has been a marked decline in volunteering in recent years, with many volunteers “feeling the pressure” from competing demands for their precious available time.

There’s probably not a Landcare, Coastcare, Bushcare or similar community NRM group in our region that hasn’t suffered at least on one occasion (or for an extended period), from dwindling membership, or poor turn-outs at some of their events. Thankfully on these occasions, our own staff, and others employed in the sector in the region, have ‘saved the day’, and pitched-in to help with the community activity.

This selfless attitude, dedication to the task, and year-in, year-out effort is what characterises community volunteer effort in the NACC NRM Region.

I salute each and every one of you, and say a heart-felt, genuine “thanks”. As a volunteer myself for a few community organisations, I know the true value of your efforts, and look forward to seeing you around at our future events and activities.

Richard McLellan

CEO, NACC

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