VOLUNTEERS have been recognised and thanked for their contribution to the Redlands during an International Volunteers Day Expo at Alexandra Hills.
The expo was held days after Redland City Council held a Christmas celebration to thank more than 180 of the city’s volunteers.
At the expo Rudy Van Lint from Star Community Services, Kathy Huf from Crime Stoppers Brisbane Bayside, Glynis Enright from Bay Islands Multi Sports and Recreation Association and Sandra Davies from Redland Museum received the Greg Cook Volunteer of the Year Award for the year.
They each received a trophy, a $250 cheque in their name and a $250 cheque to the charity of their choice.
The expo – attended by more than 200 people – was hosted by Volunteering Redlands and sponsored by the Redland City Council and Victoria Point Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank.
More than 25 volunteer organisations from the Redlands were present.
Volunteering Redlands chairwoman Nectaria Chronopoulos said the expo was a significant annual event and a celebration of all volunteers and community organisations.
“The spirit of volunteering is integral to the Redlands community,” she said.
Opening the expo, deputy mayor Lance Hewlett praised volunteers for their contribution to the community.
“We are so thankful for the efforts of volunteers who have been battling the bushfires at Stradbroke Island,” Cr Hewlett said.
“Volunteers make our community a better place.”
Volunteering Queensland representative Michelle Lindley said the expo was an opportunity for all volunteers to give themselves a pat on the back.
“Volunteers exemplify the true Australian spirit,” Ms Lindley said.
Redland City mayor Karen Williams said the council’s annual celebration let the Redlands Coast’s dedicated band of volunteers know that their efforts were much appreciated.
“As we can see by the response to the Straddie fire, our volunteers make an extraordinary contribution to our society and we simply cannot do without them,’’ Cr Williams said.
“No community can properly function without the help of dedicated and motivated people who are prepared to offer their time and expertise to help others.
“Councils and other levels of government simply do not have the capacity to do what volunteers can on the front line, particularly during times of need and crisis.”
Cr Williams said it was important for council to thank the volunteers, on behalf of residents, for their selflessness and let them know that their vital work for our community did not go unnoticed.
“The fact that we have so many community-minded residents who continually put their hands up is something we should be very proud off as a community,” Cr Williams said.
Cr Williams said almost one in four Redlanders over the age of 15 years reported doing some form of voluntary work, whether helping the elderly or those less fortunate, assisting injured wildlife, caring for our environment or helping out with kids’ sports and community events.
“This is a remarkable number and a great indicator of the cohesiveness of our community and something for which we all should be grateful,” she said.
International Volunteer Day, celebrated worldwide on 5 December, is designated by the United Nations for recognising volunteer contribution in our communities.
For information about Volunteering Redlands, phone 3086 0000 or visit volunteeringredlands.org.au.