dave-tucker-rfs-2This year’s Volunteer Expo in Lismore is shaping up to be the best ever.

Organisers say this is your opportunity to put any question you’ve ever had about volunteering to the 45 stall-holders represented there, including this year for the first time the Rural Fire Service.

“We’re very excited about this Expo,” said Jeanette Tyler, Co-ordinator of Volunteering Northern Rivers, who together with a team of helpers has worked tirelessly to ensure that the day will be interesting and fun for all the visitors who want to chat with the  45 local organisations represented at Lismore City Hall.

“It really is a great day for everyone, with a wonderful atmosphere of community co-operation.

“Volunteer firefighter David Tucker (pictured) will be speaking about his experiences in the recent Victorian bushfires, and what volunteering means to him.

“Every day I speak to people who have often thought about volunteering but don’t know quite how to go about it.

“Well, this is the ideal way to wander around, enjoy the buzz, the colour, delicious food … and find an organisation that matches your talent, passion or lifestyle, without any obligation, of course.

“Finding the organisation that best suits your talents is the key to successful volunteering, and that’s what this Expo is all about.

“You might even get lucky and win the Lucky Door Prize of a therapeutic mMassage or naturopathic consultation from SCU National Medicine Clinic.

“Another aspect people might want to consider, given the current global financial crisis, is that Centrelink, through their Newstart Program, now support volunteering, recognising how it can enhance experience and maybe lead to paid work in the future.
“Volunteers are essential to our community, and many charities would struggle to survive without their support.

“We need local volunteers in so many  areas, including community health care, heritage and arts, environment conservation, emergency services, education, social justice and sports. I think they’re just about all represented at the Expo.”
The Expo is the local highlight of National Volunteer Week (NVW), which runs from May 11th to the 17th.

NVW  is the largest celebration of volunteering in Australia, and provides an opportunity to turn a spotlight on the vital role of volunteers in our communities and to say a big ‘thank you.’

Volunteer Expo highlights

Thursday May 14th, Lismore City Hall, 10am-5pm

11am Official Opening by Mayor Jenny Dowell, followed by presentation to recipients of Volunteer Award

11.30am–11.40 ‘What Volunteering means to me’ by Lorna Allen, Northern Rivers Senior Volunteer of the Year

2pm David Tucker, a volunteer with the Lismore Rural Fire Service, talks of his experiences in the Victorian bushfires. 

2.30 Lucky Door Prize (therapeutic massage), raffle draw, Best Photo ‘Volunteer in Action’, Best Stall.

Did you know?

• 5.4 million people volunteer each year in Australia.
• Volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours per year.
• Volunteering is worth $40 billion per year. 
• Top reasons for volunteering are:
– Helping others or the community – 57%,
– Personal satisfaction’ – 44%,
– Do something worthwhile’ – 36%.
• Volunteers can use their experience to add to resumes and/or portfolios, which can lead to paid work. 
• Centrelink’s Newstart Program recognises volunteering, so if you’re finding it hard to find paid work, Centrelink will support your volunteer work. It will make you more employable in the future.

Who’s at the Expo?

St Carthages Community Care Senior Day Club
Bill Hawkins’ Rehabilitation Team 
Rainbow Region Community Farm
Australian Seabird Rescue
Crowley Retirement Village
Family Support Home Visiting Programme
Cancer Council of NSW
Lifeline NR
North Coast Area Health Service
Red Dove Lismore Uniting Church
Lismore Theatre Co
Friends of Koala
Volunteering Northern Rivers
International Rainbow Club
Community Visitors Scheme
Lismore Neighbourhood Centre
Red Cross
Kids in Community
Northern Rivers Performing Arts
St John Ambulance
Friends of the Rainforest Botanical Garden
Men’s Shed
Police Community Youth Club
Alstonville Plateau Historical Society
University of the Third Age
Aids Council NSW
N/ R Animal Services
Lismore Rural Fire Service
Uniting Care Ageing
2NCR Community Radio
Friends of St Vincents Hospital
LightnUp Lantern Parade
North Coast TAFE
Financial Counselling Service
Lismore Lion’s Club
On Track
Habitat for Humanity
St Vincent de Paul