Friday 14th June
Your guide to volunteering in Canterbury Bankstown and western Sydney
While the majority of us don’t have a lot of cash to spare, time is something that is just as valuable and volunteering is the best way to do just that.
Benefits of Volunteering
There are so many types of people out there doing it tough and passing on your great fortune, which doesn’t necessarily mean financially, in life to those in needs is the greatest thing you can do in society. Those doing it tough include those struggling financially, mentally or emotionally are often unable to help themselves. Then there are other non-people things that need help like the environment and animals that are always in need of help from humans.
Volunteering is the ultimate good deed and not only can it make many other people feel good, it will release a good amount of endorphins inside yourself. If you’re looking to be a good Samaritan and volunteer, here is a guide on how to do just that.
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week (NVW) is held yearly to acknowledge the great people that are the nation’s volunteers.
The theme for National Volunteer Week 2019 is “Making a world of difference” and be held from 20–26 May 2019. Thousands of events will be held across Australia to say thanks to the estimated 6 million Australians who volunteer their time and effort to volunteering. The week sees events like breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas, and luncheons, as well as open days, award ceremonies, picnics, forums and training sessions held to not only thank the current volunteers, but help those who want to get involved again.
Volunteering Opportunities in Canterbury Bankstown
Starting first with Lantern Club’s local area, Canterbury Bankstown. There are plenty of companies and places in the area that are looking for volunteers. Here are a few:
Bushcare is a volunteer program that encourages residents to get involved - as a community based program, it's a great way to meet other residents while doing something worthwhile for the environment.
Together with the work carried out by us and contracted bush regenerators; Bushcare volunteers are making a significant contribution to the conservation and management of our valuable bushland.
For the full list of sites click here.
Twilight Sports is a program that has free non-competitive indoor sports programs which are to help encouraging social inclusion and participation for 12-18 year olds in the Canterbury area in a fun environment.
Volunteers are needed for a range of things including:
- Team coach/manager;
- Team assistant (helping the coach, experience not needed);
- Catering assistant (food prep & serving);
- General administration (signing in players and volunteers on arrival/uniform allocation);
- Bus driver;
- Bus assistant (navigator); and
- Bus logistics (scheduling the bus run for players catching the bus home).
Justice of the Peace volunteers
Justices Of The Peace – or JPs as they’re colloquially known - are volunteers within a community who are given permission to witness and attest important documents like Statutory Declarations and affidavits.
They are also able to certify copies of original documents; and witness the signing of Divorce documents.
For more information on becoming a Justice of the Peace, click here.
Bankstown Library Volunteering programs
A library is a great community centre in any town and Bankstown is no different. Volunteers are hugely valued at Bankstown Library and they are always looking for people to help with: running knitting clubs, acting as buddies to seniors learning computer skills, helping with English conversation classes, helping with children's story time programs and pPromoting library services to the community.
For more information, click here.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a famous volunteering service in Australia that has been operating for decades. It helps those with mobility issues get nutritious meals to eat. Volunteers at Meals on Wheels also offer other services such as centre-based meals and a Housebound Shopping Service for the disabled residents across Australia.
Meals on Wheels is part of the Home and Community Care program and jointly funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and Council. People who get assistance include frail aged residents, people with disability.
For more information on Meals on Wheels in the Canterbury area, click here.
The NSW Rural Fire Service
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) is the world's largest volunteer firefighting organisation and covers a geographic area of 800,630 square kilometres, about 10.4 percent of the Australian land mass. The NSW RFS has jurisdiction over 99 percent of the State's land area but started back in the 19th century after many landowners were forced to defend their own properties from fires. The NSW State Government formalised control of fire prevention in the early 1900s which led to the formation of the first formal brigade at Berrigan in the NSW's south.
Volunteering in the NSW RFS also offers the opportunity to learn new and valuable skills that will not only assist you in your voluntary role but in day to day life and even your workplace. It now needs volunteers for
- Community Education
- Community Engagement
- Operational Logistics Support
- Welfare Support
- Equipment Maintenance
- Youth Development
The NSW RFS also provides training and education opportunities to all members free of charge, giving you the knowledge and skills to work safely. Once trained, your brigade will provide personal protective clothing and equipment required for your role.
For info on becoming a volunteer with the NSW RFS, click here.
Other Canterbury Bankstown Charities looking for people now
Canterbury Bankstown has a webpage setup for charities to list what volunteers they need right now in the area.
To see what’s available, click here.
Volunteer Programs for Visitors to Australia
Doing volunteer programs overseas is common for Australian travellers who go to less fortunate countries in Asia and Africa to help those in needs. But there are plenty of programs right here in Australia that encourages travellers heading down under because despite being one of the luckiest countries in the world, we still have our fair share of people in need of assistance. Examples of these programs include:
Orange Sky Laundry
Orange Sky gives helps the 100,000 plus homeless in Australia with doing regular laundry and a shower service, as well as providing a supportive environment to connect with other people. Orange Sky has 22 locations across Australia doing these services and is always looking for volunteers for weekly or fortnightly shifts.
For more information on Orange Sky Laundry, click here.
Everyone loves koalas, especially overseas visitors. This program is located up in Port Macquarie, NSW (near our sister club, The Westport Club! ) land is the world’s first hospital devoted solely to the rehabilitation of Australia's favourite cuddly animal. koalas, If you want to join the hundreds of volunteers at the Koala Hospital, it runs volunteering programs for both locals and international guests.
For more info, click here.
Previously known as the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience before it expanded outside of Australia, AIME provides mentors for students in joining the gap between high school and university in Indigenous communities. More than 15,000 Indigenous high schoolers and 5,000 uni students have taken part in the program.
If you would like to take part in volunteering as a mentor click here.
The best Australian Volunteers of all time
Frederick Cossom Hollows was born in New Zealand but became an Australian later in life after the ophthalmologist became famous for restoring eyesight for thousands of people in Australia and around the world. It is estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today because of initiatives and volunteer programs started by Hollows and through The Fred Hollows Foundation.
He adopted Australian citizenship in 1989 and won Australian of the Year a year later in 1990. He then accepted the substantive award of Companion of the Order of Australia in 1991.
Early in the ‘70s, Hollows worked with the Gurindji people of Wave Hill in the Northern Territory and then with the tribes around Bourke plus other isolated New South Wales towns, stations and Aboriginal communities as he noticed the high number of Aboriginal people who had eye disorders, especially trachoma. In July 1971, with mother (Shirl) Smith and others, he set up the Aboriginal Medical Service in suburban Redfern in Sydney, and went on to establish medical services for Aboriginal People throughout Australia.
Hollows was also responsible for organising the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists which established the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program.
Hollows then went on to overseas visits to Nepal in 1985, Eritrea in 1987, and Vietnam in 1991 in order to run training programs to train local technicians to perform eye surgery. Hollows also organised intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal to manufacture and provide lenses at cost.
The Fred Hollows Foundation was launched as an Australian charitable foundation in Sydney on 3 September 1992 to continue the work of Fred Hollows in providing eye care for the underprivileged and poor and to improve the health of indigenous Australians. He unfortunately passed away from renal cancer in 1993.
The Foundation now has charity organisations in the United Kingdom (where Hollows) did much of his training) and in New Zealand, his country of birth.
Richard Harold Smith AC is an entrepreneur, record-breaking aviator, philanthropist, and political activist but he’s dedicated a lot of his time volunteering and donating to causes across Australia.
The 1986 Australian of the Year among other things started the famous major annual motoring event, the B to B Bash in which proceeds go to the Children's Charity, Variety. Smith's Bourke to Burketown route through remote areas of the Outback raised A$250,000 while a total of over A$200 million has been raised for the charity by the event in the past 30 years.
Laurie Joseph Lawrence (born 14 October 1941) is an Australian swimming coach and was also a former Wallabies (Australian Rugby Union team) representative but he’s most known for kids swimming programs.
In 1988, Lawrence launched a Kids Alive Drowning Prevention Campaign to help prevent accidental death by drowning for children under five years old. With support from the Federal Government and community service advertising, the program is now one of the most recognisable in the country.
Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay
Ian Kiernan, before he passed away in October 2018, was an Australian yachtsman, property developer, builder but was best known for co-founding with Kim McKay the famous not-for-profit Clean Up Australia campaign in 1989. In 1993 that went on and became the Clean Up the World operation. This annual initiative now has participation from 30 million volunteers in 80 countries.
Clean Up Australia was founded after during the BOC Challenge yacht race, Kiernan was appalled by the amount of rubbish in the oceans. With the support of friends, he organised a community event – Clean Up Sydney Harbour on Sunday 8 January 1989. That had 40,000 volunteers turn out to help and they collected over 5000 tonnes of rubbish.
Since then more than seven million people have taken part in Clean Up Australia Days, Friday Schools Clean Up Days and Business Clean Ups. Clean up Australia's mission is "To inspire and work with communities to clean up and fix up our Earth."
Lantern Club's 2 for 1 coffee offer for volunteers
Lantern Club is offering all volunteers a two regular coffee/tea drinks in MaZi for the price of one. To receive a voucher for this offer, email your name and your organisation to [email protected]. Offer only valid once per person.