Volunteers who give up their time to improve the lives of children and young people will be the focus of this year’s ‘Thank a Volunteer Day’.
Minister for Seniors and Volunteering Margaret Quirk will participate in the celebrations being held today at the Perth Zoo and lead the Western Australian community in showing appreciation for volunteers, in particular those who make a difference to the lives of young people.
“Volunteers play such an important role in our community and without their support, many WA organisations would not be able to offer valuable life skills and assistance to young people,” Mrs Quirk said.
“With almost 429,000 volunteers contributing more than 70 million hours a year in voluntary work to WA, we really do have a lot to be thankful for.
“There are so many brilliant organisations, from the Surf Life Saving Association to the School Volunteer Program, which enable volunteers to provide special services that enhance the lives of children.
“The State Government is committed to ensuring that these people and the organisations for which they volunteer, continue to be supported and valued members of our community.”
The School Volunteer Program is just one of many organisations which directly assist children. Their volunteers help students who are struggling to deal with the pressures of everyday school life, by providing a mentoring service.
Patricia Vaughan has been volunteering with the program for four years and finds it extremely rewarding.
“It has probably been the best thing I have done since bringing up my own three children,” Patricia said.
“You learn to be a really good listener and give encouragement and support.
“It is wonderful to see the children grow from quiet individuals who, over several months, find their own identity to become self-assured and positive in their outlook.”
Volunteers attending the celebrations at the Perth Zoo will be invited to ‘Make their Mark’, by tracing their handprint on a canvas, symbolising their contribution to volunteering. The handprint canvas will be preserved as a visual memento of ‘Thank a Volunteer Day’ 2005.
Minister's office: 9213 6500