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The BTF celebrates National Volunteer Week

About 80 Bibbulmun Track Foundation volunteers gathered at the Mundaring Weir Hotel on Saturday, May 22 for an afternoon tea in celebration of National Volunteer Week.

National Volunteer Week is an initiative of Volunteering Australia. Held in May every year, it is a time to celebrate the significant contribution made by volunteers to social, cultural and environmental activities.

We were very grateful to Lotterywest for the funding to hold our event, through a grant made possible by Volunteering WA.

Volunteer Manager, Helen Grimm, recognized that gratitude for what the Track has given them might be a large part of volunteers’ motivation to ‘give back’. However, the staff of the Foundation are just as grateful for the volunteers’ role in the maintenance, marketing and management of the Track. The contribution of the sectional Track Maintenance Volunteers and Support Volunteers was recognized by Helen. Office Manager, Ce Kealley, then paid tribute to the Office Volunteers and the Guides. Executive Director, Linda Daniels, thanked the Board, the data entry volunteers and the committee currently working on the Indigenous recognition project. Finally Marketing Manager, Ashley Gibson, acknowledged the volunteers helping with community events, marketing and brochure distribution.

Board Member Tristy Fairfield then spoke about her appreciation of all the services provided to walkers by the Bibbulmun Track volunteer community. She noted that on one level the contribution is practical and tangible – delivering the priorities of administration, maintenance, guiding and governance. But, she said, at another level the practical stewardship is really a bridge to something much deeper and more profound. The gifts of connection that volunteers provide to the community – to themselves, each other and nature – are unique and special. Experiences of connection don’t have to be big, showy or grandiose to be life-changing and life-affirming.

Special recognition was given to long-term volunteer, Jim Freeman, who had been nominated for the Volunteering WA 2021 Volunteer of the Year awards in the category of Lifetime Service to Volunteering. Unfortunately, Jim didn’t make the finalists (there were a great number of nominations and stiff competition), but we were pleased to take the opportunity to acknowledge the many ways he has contributed to the Track over the years. You can read more about Jim’s contribution here.

Leading up to the event, volunteers were asked to provide photos of themselves in action. Here are some of them…