Celebrating our volunteers

Cr Elise Wilkinson (Ivan Kemp) 358386_01

Our volunteers are the true heart of our community, selflessly contributing time, skills, and passion to enrich the lives of others and foster a stronger, more cohesive society.

National Volunteer Week (May 20 to 26) is a good opportunity to reflect on the invaluable contributions made by these unsung heroes.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the remarkable volunteers who tirelessly support the diverse array of initiatives within our municipality.

We have our beach guardians at the Ocean Grove Surf Lifesaving Club who ensure the safety of beachgoers and provide vital education on water safety. Their commitment extends beyond the shores, as they engage in community events and initiatives, embodying the values of camaraderie and service.

Equally commendable are the Barwon Coast Volunteers, who work tirelessly to preserve and enhance our precious coastal environment. Through their conservation efforts, they safeguard our natural habitats, promote sustainable practices, and create opportunities for all to enjoy the beauty of our coastline.

And of course, we have all our volunteers involved in various community services like the Lifeline Crisis Supporters, Salvation Army Volunteers, and so many more.

Reflecting on this year’s National Volunteer Week theme of ‘Something for Everyone’, this certainly rings true when it comes to volunteering on the Bellarine.

You can explore the roles available in our region and find out more about National Volunteer Week at volunteeringvictoria.org.au

At the City of Greater Geelong, we are fortunate to have hundreds of volunteers working across a wide range of areas, including at the National Wool Museum, Potato Shed, Visitor Information Centres and neighbourhood houses.

These volunteers are the backbone of countless community programs and cultural initiatives. Their unwavering commitment and enthusiasm play a pivotal role in enhancing the vibrancy and inclusivity of our community spaces.

Our Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine volunteers assisted 15,891 visitors in the opening four months of 2024 and have contributed over 7500 volunteer hours over the last 12 months.

And our L2P Program has been renewed for another two years.

During 2023, 186 learner drivers participated, and 65 learners graduated from the program with their probationary licence.

In this year alone, approximately 1800 drive hours have been completed and 10 learners have graduated with their probationary licence.

The program is always on the lookout for patient and calm volunteers with a licence, who can mentor young learner drivers facing barriers getting 120 hours experience behind the wheel.

Like our L2P volunteer Andrew Cleary, who was instrumental in making sure our new electric L2P car became a reality, from proposing the idea to bringing together Rex Gorell, Austeng, Godings and JB Scott Pty Ltd who are jointly sponsoring the vehicle.

Andrew’s contributions are a great example of the many different ways to utilise your skills, so I encourage you to consider volunteering at the City at geelong.link/Volunteer

On behalf of council, once again I’d like to thank the volunteers who make such invaluable contributions to Greater Geelong.