Nillumbik Shire Council celebrated National Volunteer Week with a special event and a full house at the Eltham Community and Reception Centre. With some 160 volunteers attending we acknowledged and celebrated the invaluable contribution all volunteers make to Nillumbik.
A broad cross section came together, from Council’s youth, family and children’s services and Edendale Farm volunteers, to members of the Doreen, Kangaroo Ground and Eltham CFA Brigades, local Men’s Sheds, MCC Carenet, Oxfam, Berry Street, Lions, Eltham Rural Group, OM:NI, The Social Food Project, local sports clubs, and many more, as we recognised the good will, optimism and hard work our volunteers contribute to the community.
The evening began with Nillumbik Mayor, Frances Eyre presenting a certificate of recognition to Marj Mendelson in appreciation of the contribution of her late husband, Ron Mendelson, a dedicated and inspiring local volunteer, described as a pillar of Council’s community transport program, and a long-standing volunteer involved in many worthy organisations.
Guests then enjoyed dinner while they heard from Kerri Wellington, who works with volunteers through Diamond Valley Community Support and spoke of the challenges of the past two years, and the amazing collective initiatives which have grown from that time, drawing together many diverse local groups.
The second speaker for the evening was Peter Talbot, Lions V4 District, Zone 4 Chairman, Eltham Lions President and former volunteer of the year, who spoke of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work Lions does in the community, beyond the sausage sizzle.
The theme of National Volunteer Week 2022 was ‘Better Together’; a reflection on the way volunteering builds communities and creates a better society for everyone. In addition to Council’s hundreds of volunteers, thousands more people throughout the Shire contribute their time to a range of community groups, services, facilities, clubs, causes and organisations.