Community & Business

3 March, 2022

Volunteers are the heart and soul of communities

WORKING hard behind the scenes of every community event, organisation and sporting club are the unsung heroes who dedicate their time, energy and experience, completely free of charge.

Photo - Pexels
Photo - Pexels

Volunteers are seen as the lifeblood of rural communities and keep many local organisations up and running. They commit to help wherever they can whenever they can, work day in day out and put in more hours than needed without the thought of being paid. 

Despite their importance, volunteering numbers in Queensland have been dwindling ever since Covid reached Australian shores, and without volunteers, organisations lack the manpower to operate properly and deliver their services. 

Without volunteers, community groups, sporting clubs, events and more would simply cease to exist, there would be no one to run the local op shop selling discounted clothes or serve delicious hot dogs at a local rugby game. 

Organisations are always in need of an extra helping hand and Volunteering Queensland is encouraging people to contribute just a bit of their time to help others. 

Volunteering Queensland CEO Mara Basanovic has been volunteering since she was a child and experienced firsthand, the importance of volunteers, what they contribute to the community they serve and why. 

“I come from a migrant background where the way of connecting to the community was through volunteering,” she said. 

“Going through my life I have been volunteering pretty well full time for different organisations giving whatever time I can. 

“In my experience everyone is a winner in volunteering, I know I myself as a volunteer gained an enormous amount and still do from the organisations that I am involved with.” 

Volunteers provide a good base for organisations to really expand and focus on their mission, whether they be charity organisations delivering services to those in need or sporting clubs focusing on player development instead of worrying about who will run the canteen. 

“I think volunteers bring an awful lot, they bring new knowledge, new perspectives and they enable volunteering organisations to actually spend more of their budget on surface delivery, give them more hands on deck and just generally enables the organisation to flourish,” Ms Basanovic said. 

“Volunteers are really the heart and the connector in the community, because if there were no volunteers, many things would not be happening – unfortunately now we are seeing a lot of burn out and a depletion of numbers so rural communities are really hurting. 

“You get the same people taking on four or five different roles and some of them can be quite demanding, people have such a love for their community and want to see it grow and flourish.


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