Volunteers acknowledged - Volunteer Week

Published on Monday, 16 May 2022 at 9:00:00 AM

During 2022 National Volunteer Week, which runs from 16 to 22 May, Shire of Mundaring is proud to acknowledge the contribution of volunteers who make our community a better place.
Thousands of volunteers contribute to local sporting clubs, community groups, organisations, events and services across the Shire every year.
Shire President James Martin said around one in five residents (6725) based in the Shire reported they did some form of voluntary work.
“I want to thank the thousands of volunteers who commit their time to help in our community centres, events and organisations,” he said.
“The time our volunteers give is an invaluable contribution of their work skills and life experience. 
“It makes a massive difference to our community and strengthens our many local organisations, events and services.”
During the 2020/2021 reporting year, volunteers working with the Shire donated more than 2000 hours of their time to the Shire’s libraries, Visitor Centre and Hub of the Hills. Volunteer Bushfire Brigades contributed 125,000 hours, while the 72 Friends of the Reserve Groups volunteered nearly 4000 hours.
The economic value of this voluntary effort is equivalent to over $6.2M.

This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is better together.

For current volunteering opportunities visit the Current Volunteering Opportunities page. 

Celebrating our local volunteers 

National Volunteer Week runs from 16 to 22 May. This year’s theme is Better Together. 

During National Volunteer Week we thank and celebrate our local volunteer heroes. 

Rosemary and John Smith

In the heart of Swan View, a little patch of land shared with the Uniting Church, boasts a vibrant community garden. 
Founding members and volunteers, Rosemary and John Smith, have seen the garden blossom since the first seeds were sowed 11 years ago.
Mrs Smith said it all began when she and a member of the Uniting Church attended a Living Smart course to learn about sustainable living.
“We soon realised that the Swan View Community Association and the Uniting Church community could unite together to establish the community garden,” she said. 
“Community gardens are important spaces for bringing people together. It’s a place where people can come and help, form relationships, learn how to grow basic foods and share ideas.”
Run by three volunteers from the Swan View Progress Association and three from the Uniting Church, the garden boasts an ample supply of seasonal vegetables. 
Volunteers have the pick of peas, broad beans, potatoes, beetroot, silver beet and spinach, with the surplus donated to the Salvation Army emergency food bank. 

Little hands volunteer

On the last Tuesday of every month, a group of little hands and their educators from the Eastern Region Family Day Care, sponsored by the Shire, help to plant and pick vegetables. 
“It is great to see the young children come to the garden. It is really important for them to see how vegetables are grown and they get very excited when they pick the produce, they love pulling the carrots out of the earth and digging around for the potatoes,” Mrs Smith added. 

Want to join the Swan View Garden?

Open to the public every second Tuesday from 9.30am to 11am, the garden has something for everybody including raised beds to user friendly garden tools.
“Everyone is welcome to come along, all they need to bring is their water, hat and gardening gloves,” Mrs Smith said.
If you would like to volunteer at the Swan View Community Garden, please contact John or Rosemary on 9294 1531 or email swanviewgarden@hotmail.com 

Claire Palmer

Offering time and energy to understand the needs and challenges of the Stoneville community saw resident Claire Palmer put her hand up to volunteer on the Stoneville Parkerville Progress Association in 2019.

An enthusiastic volunteer, Mrs Palmer has also been an active member of Save Perth Hills and Stoneville Volunteer Bushfire brigade. 

Now, she is using her passion to help build the Stoneville Community Garden through her role in the association.

The foundation for the garden was inspired by the community garden at the Morgan John Morgan Reserve.

“I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature, it’s where I feel most present, content, inspired and true,” said Mrs Palmer. “I love gardening, especially growing food.” 

When she met the volunteers at the Glen Forrest Community Garden, she was fascinated. Talking to like-minded people and enjoying the succulent fresh strawberries from their garden, Mrs Palmer felt excited, uplifted and relaxed from the garden.

 “I took the idea of the community garden to the Stoneville Parkerville Progress Association and they jumped straight on board,” added Mrs Palmer. 

Volunteering her time

While the hours she commits to volunteering on the association and at the garden are fluid, her time is dedicated to the cause between meetings, activities at the garden and stalls at local events. 

With community gardens proven to support mental health and wellbeing, the Stoneville garden will help the community come together to support each other through bushfires, and address development and environmental issues as a group.

“Building the community garden gives me a feeling of belonging and I enjoy being able to represent our community with their ideas,” said Mrs Palmer. 

“This is an opportunity to be involved in things that make a difference, and approach challenges as a group and a community.”

Volunteering in a community garden is a valuable way to network, share ideas, learn from and look out for each other, and value the community. 

“Local volunteering gives you an awareness of what is happening, why and where. It helps you to be informed, exchange ideas and allows you to bring your own input,” added Mrs Palmer.

The volunteering hat

Like Mrs Palmer, all volunteers take off the ‘other hats’ they wear in their everyday lives to embrace the opportunities volunteering in the garden provides and share in the experience.

“There is no pressure,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how one gardens, everyone is invited to come along to absorb the atmosphere of the garden and the group. Everyone can learn and teach.

Want to volunteer at the garden?

“Anyone can jump into the Stoneville Community Garden anytime you like – it’s an amazing chance to grow such a beautiful shared space.”

If you would like to volunteer at the Stoneville Community Garden, you can email stonevillecommunitygarden@gmail.com

To follow the Stoneville Community Garden on Facebook search SPPA – Stoneville Community Garden.

Prapti Mehta

When Prapti Mehta retired three years ago, she knew her ‘working days’ weren’t completely over.

Having volunteered through her working life for the SES for five years and the Mundaring Toy Library for four years, including two years before retirement, Mrs Mehta was keen to keep busy.

“My background is in HR for local government so I was able to bring my experience and skills in project management, strategic planning, budgeting, and organisational development to the volunteering role,” she said.

Treasurer of the Mundaring Toy Library, Mrs Mehta has project managed and written grant applications, successfully securing grants worth $10,000 from the Federal Government’s Stronger Communities Program and over $5,000 from the Shire of Mundaring

It was her grant writing skills that saw her ‘head hunted’ for a volunteer role writing grant applications for the Mundaring Men’s Shed.

The Mundaring Men’s Shed has been working on developing a new shed at Wandera Crescent. Mrs Mehta was selected to join its Development Committee and successfully secured a $950,000 grant from the Federal Government.

“The grant required a detailed application, project plans and a budget to be developed,” she added. “I am currently working towards a Lotterywest grant for the shed fit out.”

Volunteering has given Mrs Mehta a sense of community and belonging.

“There is a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment of being with people and giving back to the community,” she added. “You get to understand the local issues and understand people and where they are coming from.”

While volunteering one’s time takes dedication, Mrs Mehta warns those interested in volunteering that while it provides a sense of personal satisfaction, people should be conscious of other commitments.

“Volunteering can place a lot of pressure on you so you need to be aware of your own time, and personal commitments – between work and family – but the returns are immense,” she said.



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