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Thank You to our Bega Valley Volunteers

Community & Leisure / Community Support / Volunteering

Thank You to our Bega Valley Volunteers

Image of different volunteer groups.


Volunteers. The Heart of our community

The Bega Valley is a volunteering phenomenon. The last census in 2016 revealed we had more volunteers per capita than any other local government area in NSW. That’s a lot of service in the name of community and a lot of acts of kindness reflecting strength and love for one another. Volunteers really are at the heart of our Bega Valley Community.

National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. At this uncertain time it’s more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge our local volunteers; they do important work, giving of their time to enrich communities through sharing their skills or by pitching in when times get tough.

In the last few months our Bega Valley volunteers have done overtime and then some, mobilising tirelessly to steer us through bushfires and now COVID-19.

This year in the Valley we’re saluting them with a virtual Thank You card, 3 O’Clock Conversation videos on Facebook and photographs and stories to be shared far and wide on social media.

Here’s how you can get involved.


Stories of the week



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    Comments (10)

  • Happy National Volunteer Week to all our Bega Valley Volunteers!

    We certainly punch above our weight when it comes to volunteering, with over 300 volunteer organisations based right here in the Bega Valley and the highest rates of volunteering anywhere in New South Wales.

    The theme of National Volunteer Week this year is Changing Communities. Changing Lives and there’s no doubt that our local volunteers have been there for us this year, helping shape what is needed for our communities through a time of enormous pain and suffering.

    The contributions you have made to our community this year have been like no other. You’ve been there for us through bushfires and now COVID-19 and together we will get through this too.

    Having been a Red Cross volunteer for seven years now, I know first-hand the personal sacrifices you all make for this community. But I also know that you love what you do and don’t go out looking for any accolades.

    You all deserve enormous respect and acknowledgement for what you do.
    Volunteering in this community has been one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of my life so I encourage everyone to get involved where you can.

    There are some really heart-warming stories out there at the moment; of random acts of kindness such as checking on neighbours or paying it forward by donating a free takeaway coffee in the local coffee shop.

    It’s this kind of informal volunteering of sorts that will get us through this tough time and absolutely makes a difference, every day.

    I really believe that people in need feel most comfortable being supported by those they recognise as being part of their community. It’s about having confidence in a person you know. When you can actually see the on-the-ground benefits, that’s when volunteering is most rewarding.

    Thank you to all our volunteers for your skills, compassion and dedication today and every day!

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  • I would like to thank the Wharf2Waves Committee (past and present) who volunteer an enormous amount of hours each year to the annual Wharf2Waves Fundraising event.

    The Fun Run, Tarraganda to Tathra Bike Ride and the Ocean swim raises funds for Tathra Surf Club, Tathra Preschool, Rural Fire Services, Tathra Playgroup and Tathra Primary School.

    This important community event commenced in 2002 and benefits the local economy bringing tourists to the area. Each year around 120 people volunteer to make this event happen. They come from all over the Bega Valley and across all ages groups (10-78 years old) some are visible and some are working quietly behind the scenes.

    This year after much consideration Wharf2Waves was cancelled due to the January Fires. Health and safety was the priority. What became very apparent was that many of our W2W volunteers were directly effected by the fires but many were also working hard to support communities affected by these devastating fires.

    I feel so proud to be part of the Wharf2Waves Committee and feel proud to be of a community who helps others.

    Jane Courtney
    Tathra Preschool

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  • I’d like to thank the members of Bega Tathra Safe Ride who have made a huge contribution towards our work to get a bike path built between Tathra and Kalaru.

    I’ve been enriched by their relentless enthusiasm and assistance!
    Together we’ve raised about $30,000; donated about $10,000 back to the community; had 3 successful major community rides between Bega and Tathra; played our role in supporting Council get the first part of the Bega to Tathra Safe Ride constructed; and had numerous meetings and promotions to help focus the community on bike safety and the benefits of cycling for health, the environment and tourism.

    The best part of working with volunteers is building friendships with people of real calibre!


    Doug Reckord
    Bournda Environmental Education Centre

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  • I’d like to thank all the wonderful volunteers at Potoroo Palace.

    Of special mention is Jill King who is a volunteer on many fronts: she has been the guide for evening walks at Potoroo Palace; she makes individual hand towels for the café out of unwanted bath towels that are given to us; she makes notices about different animals and puts them up around the sanctuary; she has taken over being the voice of Sweetie and Sootie, the two old wombats, who get numerous letters from the children who visit; and she has been in the midst of vets and burnt native animals recently, caring for as many survivors as possible.

    Pat Neal, who volunteered at Potoroo Palace from the very beginning. She worked often in the café, wearing a P plate! For years she was Mother Wombat replying to the dozens of letters which children wrote to our old wombats, Sootie and Sweetie. She put a muddy wombat footprint on each reply. She loved to nurse the little orphan wombats too. When she was unable any more to volunteer, the orphan wombats often came to visit her at home.

    And one of our long-term wonderful volunteers at Potoroo Palace, Rae Joyce. She has not only kept the gardens in the front of our café looking exquisitely beautiful, but she has sewed native animal mats for us to sell. She has also looked after all our animal sponsors and written stories of each animal to keep the sponsors up to date.

    Alexandra Seddon
    Potoroo Palace

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  • Thank you for the opportunity to thank our marvellous Community Transport Volunteers.

    Prior to COVID19 we had over 30 volunteers from all around the Bega Valley Shire driving our vehicles located in Bermagui, Bega and Merimbula.

    However, with the restrictions for over 70 year old drivers our pool has temporarily reduced to approx 10 drivers. Needless to say these remaining volunteers are sacrificially volunteering their time over and above their usual roster offerings.

    Some have driven 3 - 4 times a week, where normally they might drive 1 or 2 days a week. Also offering to drive to Canberra and Batemans Bay where normally they might choose to stay within the Shire.

    We have been humbled by their willingness to put others in the community before themselves, even with the full COVID 19 safety and sanitizing policies in place our volunteers are placing themselves at risk for the betterment of our service users.

    They are an amazing bunch of loyal volunteers.


    Craig Hayman

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  • When someone volunteers, everyone benefits. Volunteers provide hope, support, service and comfort to other community members. They truly are the lifeblood of our communities. Thank you to all the Bega Valley Shire volunteers!

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  • A big shout out to our Rural Fire Services for everything you did for all of us over summer.

    Thank You.

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  • A big round of applause for all the knitters in the Bega Valley, who each year produce wonderful knitted wraps to be given to aid agencies and charities to distribute to those needing warmth. In the past 3 years 230 wraps have been sent to Wrap With Love in Sydney from our area. A special thank you to the Eden Knitters group who has been responsible the majority of the completed wraps.

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  • I'd like to give the Rotary Club of Bega a big THANK YOU for all the work they do with our young community. They run the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program, to create awareness of the dangers of driving and issues that students need to aware of when they obtain their "L" and "P" licence. This is so important, particularly out on our country roads. The training is done at the Frogs Hollow Go Kart Track. Last year around 300 students went through this program. So THANKS for looking after our kids ... they are our future!

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  • Volunteers at Tulgeen give freely of their time, advice and energy. Through their dedication, and that of our amazing Support Workers, we are able to enable people with disability in the Bega Valley to Live, Work, Play and Grow.
    Thank you to all Tulgeen volunteers. You are all stars.

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