Honouring locals who give back this National Volunteer Week

Tweed Shire Council

Council will use National Volunteer Week to celebrate the significant contribution volunteers make across the Tweed and to spotlight those who so selflessly give back to the community.

National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering, will be held from Monday 20 – Sunday 26 May. The event aims to highlight the vital role volunteers play in communities across the country.

According to the latest Census, nearly 14,000 people in the Tweed reported doing some sort of volunteer work – this equates to 14.3% of the local population.

This year, the theme for National Volunteer Week is ‘Something for Everyone’ which aims to recognise the diverse interests and talents people bring to volunteering.

Council’s Manager Inclusive and Creative Communities Shannon Carruth said it was important the work of volunteers was recognised – especially considering the events of the past few years such as the floods and COVID-19, the effects of which can still be felt.

“I encourage all residents to join me in celebrating our volunteers this week and every week. Whether through a simple thank you, a kind gesture, or a commitment to giving back in your own way, let’s show our appreciation for those who make the Tweed the wonderful place that it is,” Ms Carruth said.

“From the brave SES and RFS volunteers who help us in times of crisis, to the volunteer lifesavers who keep us safe along our beautiful coastline and those who give up their time to take care of our beaches, bushland and rivers. The hard-working volunteers who are the heart and soul of our local sports clubs and community groups, to those helping to build a vibrant community at local events and facilities, and the many compassionate individuals who give their time in our charity shops, animal rescue centres – and everything in between – we say thank you.

“We want to collectively show our immense appreciation for all that you do to help the Tweed’s people and places to thrive.”

Some Tweed Shire volunteers have already been formally celebrated and recognised this year for their tireless work at the 2024 Tweed Shire Council Australia Day Awards. Tweed resident Kate McKenzie, who co-founded Fingal Head Coast Care in 1986, took out the Volunteer of the Year Award (Individual) for her dedication to the local environment.

And the Chinderah Community Hub, established in the aftermath of the 2022 flood, took out the Volunteer of the Year Award (Group) for their dedication to helping those in need across the Tweed.

Past winners of the Tweed Local Achievement Awards during Seniors Week have been long-standing members of organisations such as the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS), people that support local wildlife and environmental organisations, and those that give their time to make the Tweed a more inclusive place.

Council offers a range of volunteer opportunities including at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Centre and Tweed Regional Museum, where passionate volunteers support visitors to have a more positive and enriching experience and are an integral part of daily operations. Other volunteer opportunities exist in events, environmental sustainability and projects.

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