Hobsons Bay volunteers are being recognised for their contributions to the community and celebrated in a touring photo exhibition as part of National Volunteer Week 2021.
The photo exhibition opens at the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre in Altona on Saturday 8 May, and features images of local volunteers alongside their stories about their volunteering journeys.
Over 12,000 people volunteer in Hobsons Bay, according to the 2016 Census, an increase of 26 percent since the last Census (the next census is on 10 August 2021).
People in Hobsons Bay volunteer across a diverse range of topics including supporting vulnerable and/or disadvantaged people, caring for the environment, protecting heritage and celebrating life in Hobsons Bay.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many volunteers and volunteer-involving groups have had to adapt and change, and have provided new and important opportunities and avenues for our local community to connect and support one another, even during periods of lockdown.
The photo exhibition aims to highlight these efforts and showcase the benefits of volunteering.
Neighbours Kate and Daniel share how they started a Community Pantry in Seaholme after seeing first-hand how quickly people’s circumstances can change both financially and emotionally.
Kate shares how the local community keeps the pantry stocked and despite the horrendous impact COVID has had, the sense of connectedness and community has never felt stronger.
Vesna McDonald has volunteered with the Vinnies Retail Shop for almost eight years. She explains how the shop not only sells fairly-priced quality items but also offers a safe and warm environment for people who need to connect with others.
Altona Magic Soccer Club coach Adam Longshaw describes how he re-evaluated his work life balance and committed to volunteering not just as a coach but with general administration tasks, ordering uniforms and working with Council to ensure the club has a safe, inclusive and inviting facility.
Seabrook Community Garden volunteer Bridget Kirsch highly recommends volunteering as a way to be part of the local community. She explains how volunteering builds relationships with those around us and creates a greater sense of connectedness between us all.