Organisations across the country are highlighting and acknowledging the many volunteers who donate their time and energy to help their local community, as Australia celebrates National Volunteer Week.
According to Volunteering Australia, some six million Australians regularly volunteer to support not-for-profit organisations.
Among them is Resthaven clinical nurse Julie Tansing, who recently celebrated 50 years of volunteering with Red Cross.
Ms Tansing first became associated with Red Cross when she was 13 years old and joined the Junior Red Cross group at high school.
“The activities that our group undertook were mainly involved with young disabled people at the Strathmont Centre. This included visits at weekends to help feed and entertain the children and making toys for them,” she said. “Throughout my high school years, I continued my involvement and attended national conferences as the school’s representative.
“In the early 1980s, I again became involved with Red Cross as a volunteer and then as an employee. This association continued for about 20 years. During this time, I acted as a volunteer first aider at many community events and on the phones during several disaster situations.”
As an employee, Ms Tansing taught First Aid and advanced life support to various community groups and businesses. She said a highlight was managing a project coordinating volunteers to insert smoke alarms into homes of older and disadvantaged community members.
“I was also associated with the tracing department of Red Cross. This department’s role was to assist people to trace family members who had lost touch due to war or other conflicts. A memorable event was helping an Albanian refugee to find his relative, as they had not had contact for 40 years. SA Red Cross contacted the Albanian Red Cross and worked together to find his relative. A letter was sent via SA Red Cross to this man to reconnect.”
Ms Tasning’s passion for the Red Cross led her to collect a significant stamp collection featuring the Red Cross, about which she gives presentations to Resthaven residents and clients.
Elsewhere, organisations have been taking to social media to highlight and thank their many volunteers:
This week is the 25th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, which runs from 12 to 18 May.
Join the conversation on Twitter #NationalVolunteerWeek