Meet some of the 1,200 National Trust (NSW) volunteers who are making a difference at Australia's oldest and largest independent conservation organisation. No matter how much time you can spare, it all makes a difference.
Volunteer Guide, Old Government House
Former primary school principal, Elaine Lowrey, has taken her love for history and learning to her volunteer work at Old Government House. In her role as Volunteer Guide, she has led visitors from local school children to international travelers through the halls of this World Heritage listed site. To date, Elaine has taken part in history lectures, bus tours, and conducting research with fellow history buffs at the National Trust (NSW).
“I loved it from the day I started. I loved being with people who were interested in heritage, Australian history, the beginnings of the country, and the Aboriginal aspect of it before white settlement in Parramatta.”
Read more about Elaine’s story here.
Volunteer at Woodford Academy
Darug Elder, Chris Tobin, is a researcher, educator and artist who started volunteering at the National Trust in 2015. Since then he has contributed significantly to Woodford Academy by welcoming visitors and providing a meaningful connection to the site’s pre-colonial past.
Alongside his volunteer peers, Chris helped establish a place of understanding at Woodford Academy that transformed the former science room into a space that now exhibits the region’s Indigenous art, culture and history.
Chris’ contribution has given locals a place to enrich their knowledge of Aboriginal sites and pre-colonial history … “So it becomes a place of sharing and a source of new information because I wouldn’t meet up with those people otherwise.”
Read more about Chris’s story here.
Intern at the National Trust
University graduate, Emily Pont, volunteered as an intern to gain an understanding of what goes into fundraising and advocacy for a philanthropic organisation like the National Trust.
During her time at the National Trust Emily spent a large amount of time connecting with members about their ongoing support and capturing their feedback. Emily also worked on the production of the virtual Portia Geach exhibition for the S.H. Ervin Gallery and completed research for the end-of-year advocacy appeal.
“Volunteering at the National Trust is a great way to contribute to the protection and conservation of Australia’s natural and cultural history. Volunteers are really valued and looked after by all staff. Along with the lovely, like-minded people, it is a great organisation to be involved in if you are passionate about preserving and appreciating our environment.”
Read more about Emily’s story here.
Volunteer at Old Government House
Adiba is a heritage consultant by profession and passion, and she strives to enhance community appreciation of cultural values. Adiba moved to Australia in 2014 from Bangladesh and believes that awareness at a grassroots level is vital for caring for heritage. Volunteering at the National Trust felt like the perfect way to play her part in the community and enhance heritage awareness.
“One of my favourite quotes is from the inspirational and humble Mahatma Gandhi, who said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. And that is volunteering. All you have to do is invest a little time from your end, and it has the power to make a difference to somebody you may not know. It doesn’t matter what skills you may or may not have, whatever you have to offer might be helpful and needed. At the end of the day, if it brings you joy, then why not?”
Read more of Adiba’s story here.
Janice and Josephine
Volunteers at Everglades House & Gardens, Tea Rooms
Janice and Josephine first met at Everglades House & Gardens over 12 years ago when they first started volunteering. They volunteer once a week and love welcoming customers to Everglades House & Gardens. They have made many “lifelong” friends through volunteer work at the National Trust, including each other! In recent years they have been whipping up delicious scones for Devonshire Tea served in the Tea Rooms each weekend.