This National Volunteer Week (18-24 May), more than ever, it is important to recognise and celebrate Wyndham volunteers and the profound impact they have on so many in our community.
Wyndham City is putting a spotlight on volunteers by profiling three volunteers and volunteer groups in our community – Karen Hucker, Gurduara Sahib Tarneit and Judith Murphy.
About 22,600 Wyndham residents volunteer their time to serve others, amounting to more than $100 million in unpaid work to the Wyndham community each year.
Message from the Governor of Victoria
Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, has recorded a message of thanks to Victorian Volunteers on the occasion of National Volunteer Week 2020.
Spotlight on Wyndham Volunteers
Karen Hucker has dedicated her life to making the world a more beautiful, clean place to be.
In the last year alone the Hoppers Crossing resident has set up a new litter clean-up group, Love Our Street 3029, that is a part of the Werribee River Association and Beach Patrol Australia's mission to reduce litter from entering our local waterways.
In its first year the group, which meets on the third Sunday of the month, picked up over 510kg of rubbish, including 600 bottles and cans.
Love Our Street 3029 dedicates its focus to cleaning up the Grange Reserve in Hoppers Crossing, Seasons Main Park in Tarneit and the Federation Trail near Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing.
Karen said if you can tidy up a location and make it more appealing, people are more likely to use that space.
“I was looking for something else to do to give back to the community and minimise our environmental impact,” she said.
Karen, who sits on the advisory committee for the West Road Refuse Disposal Facility, also has a long history with the Apex Club of Hoppers Crossing and was formerly on the board of the Werribee Environmental Community Park and the Grange Community Centre.
Other past roles include community representation on Wyndham Council’s Environment and Sustainability Portfolio Committee and the District Advisory Committee.
For more information on Love Our Street 3029, go to www.facebook.com/LoveOurStreet3029
Gurduara Sahib Tarneit
A group of volunteers from Gurduara Sahib Tarneit, a place of Sikh worship, have been delivering freshly cooked vegetarian meals to people in need across Wyndham for free, seven days a week, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team gets together at 2pm each afternoon to begin preparing and cooking food, which is then delivered later in the day in time for dinner.
They have also been delivering essential grocery items to residents, including the elderly or unwell, people in self-isolation, essential service workers, international students and people who are struggling to make ends meet.
The volunteers have delivered about 80 meals a day. A further 30-40 families pick up meals from the temple each day.
The team have also delivered meals to Laverton Community Centre and emergency department staff at Werribee Mercy Hospital.
A spokesperson for Gurduara Sahib Tarneit said while people could not come to the temple due to the pandemic, this was their way of serving the community.
“This is one of the core values of Sikhism – coming together in a crisis.”
The food used to make the meals has all been donated by members of Gurduara Sahib Tarneit.
For more information, call 0421 138 113.
A few years ago Judith Murphy had little knowledge about World War I or the inner workings of the military.
Now she’s practically an expert.
The Werribee resident started out as a Wyndham City Family History Library volunteer, working in the genealogy room at the Plaza Library and helping people who were going through their family history.
“I really wanted something to do, I wanted to contribute something to the local community, so I looked at the Council website to see what volunteers they were looking for and as it turns out they were looking for an additional volunteer to help out in the genealogy room at the library and I thought that sounded like something I’d like to do because I’ve done my own family history.”
Judith then joined the Anzac Project, where she has been researching and writing biographies of all the Wyndham soldiers and nurses who served in WWI.
Starting with service records from the National Archives, Judith painstakingly trawls through newspaper archives, ancestry websites, the Australian War Memorial website and other resources to piece together each person’s history.
“I knew nothing about World War I or the military, so it was a completely new thing for me,” she said.
“It gave me a real insight as to the role of nurses in particular during World War I and the role they played and the horrors they faced.”
“It’s absolutely fascinating.”
Volunteering Victoria is the state peak body for volunteering, focusing on advocacy, sector development and the promotion of volunteering.
- Watch their National Volunteer Week Broadcast - Monday, 18 May 1–5 pm (free event)
- Covid-19 Resources
- Find out more about how community groups and organisations can register with Volunteering Victoria for emergency volunteers
Volunteering Australia invite you to put your hand up and thank all the volunteers around Australia by waving a special smile of appreciation from your own home. Upload your wave photo to social media and share using the hashtags #NVW2020 and #waveforvolunteers, and tag Volunteering Australia.
- Community groups and organisations can download and purchase volunteer appreciation resources
As part of our National Volunteer Week celebrations, we’ve asked residents to “wave” their appreciation for volunteers by sending through a photo, and we were overwhelmed by the photos of thanks and support received.
Here is a selection of some of those photos.
To our volunteers, we thank you for helping to make Wyndham a better place.