Elahe wanted to develop her technical skills and gain some local work experience. She started volunteering as a project officer/junior business analyst seven months ago. Elahe then moved into using her skills at the IT help desk for a community organisation. Elahe started her volunteer work two days a week, but soon increased this. She says her role has been challenging and she has learned something new every day. Volunteering has also helped her to improve her English.

A sense of having something meaningful to do is one of the main reasons why local resident, Pauline, volunteers at the Loganlea Community Centre. Pauline serves in many roles and is an integral part of the Logan community. "I was looking for something to do to use my skills and qualifications to help others and it has helped me by giving me something worthwhile to do."

A part of our Students As Active Volunteers Initiative, year 10 students from Silkwood High School travelled to Norfolk Island to volunteer over a period of 7 days. Volunteering Queensland acknowledges the students efforts, as they work towards their CHC34015 Certificate III in Active volunteering. All volunteering hours will go towards their qualifications and of course beautifying glorious Norfolk Island.

During the September school holidays, staff and students from Maroochydore State High School travelled to Cambodia as part of the Students as Active Volunteers Initiative. Continuing their ongoing commitment to humanitarian work, the group of fifteen students and three teachers taught English at the Save the Cambodian Children for Development Orphanage.

Phillip is a 17 year old student at Everton Park State High School who has just completed Year 11. He recently completed his CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering and has very much enjoyed volunteering at the Hills District PCYC where he undertook a major garden renovation which resulted in a beautiful flower garden being created. Phillip also volunteered with the Year 5 children at Stafford Heights State School where he assisted them with arts and crafts, sports and various other activities. He can also be seen assisting around his school with general volunteering duties as they arise.

Chantelle is a 19 year old Year 12 student who is graduating from Parklands Christian College this November. Chantelle has very much enjoyed completing her CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering and has a very impressive list of volunteering activities that she has undertaken this year. Chantelle has worked for Able Care Australia (Caddies) on a weekly basis all year, where she has loved baking cakes, muffins and biscuits. She has also undertaken other cooking for local elderly residents and has successfully looked after the front desk at Caddies where she completed office work.

Claudia Jones is an 18 year-old volunteer who is studying a CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering at Seton College. Claudia supports a wide array of organisations in both her school and wider community. Claudia has been actively involved with the St Vincent de Paul Society covering fundraising duties and recently participated in their 5 cent Challenge, managing to collect 115 five cent coins. Independently from her school, Claudia assists in Buddies Day, a one day event in which children from disadvantaged families have the chance to participate in recreational activities and games.

Logan Costa is 15 years old, and is currently enrolled in Grade 10 at Caloundra City Private School where he is completing a CHC34015 Certificate III in Active volunteering. As young as he is, Logan has already volunteered with many organisations such as the St John Ambulance where he first started volunteering at the age of 13. Logan frequently attends weekly meetings and volunteers at different events on the Sunshine Coast with St John. Antipodeans is another organisation Logan has volunteered for. As part of Antipodeans,Logan spent three weeks in India during December 2014 painting classrooms for young monks. It took 4 days of trekking to reach the monastery, and the experience has gone towards Logan’s Duke of Edinburgh Award. Logan is now at the Bronze level for this award.

During the winter months this year, students from Sheldon College have been giving something back. They have been busy knitting for Brisbane’s needy. The students were taught this almost lost art and have since been coming together once a week to knit squares for blankets to be issued to people experiencing homelessness across Brisbane.

Jordan is a young student from Mitchelton Special School who is currently enrolled in Year 11. Jordan has always found it difficult to speak to others who are not close to her or who she is not familiar with. In 2014, Jordan started volunteering at Meals on Wheels and began delivering food to people in need, specifically to an elderly lady client. Jordan has now been visiting her client once a week for the past year and half.

Selena, a student from the Ipswich State High School, is currently working to overcome some personal issues and difficulties. Selena is presently living independently and completing Year 12. Selena has been involved in many activities surrounding safety awareness, such as the Road Safety Campaign for year 12 students called the ‘Rocky Horror Road Show’ in Ipswich and the Daniel Morcombe Foundation.

Kelsey is a Year 11 student from Murrumba State Secondary College and volunteers with Riding for the Disabled at Pine Rivers. She has been enjoying horse riding since she was three years old, so when the school offered her the optional elective of a CHC34015 Certificate III in Active volunteering (SAAVI), she happily accepted. Kelsey saw this as an opportunity to combine her passion for horse riding with giving back to her community and following in her mother’s footsteps as a volunteer for Riding for the Disabled.

In partnership with Volunteering Queensland (RTO #6020), Queensland Secondary Schools, Special Schools and Alternate Training Programs can offer their Year 11 and 12 students the chance to undertake a nationally recognised Certificate I, II or III in Active Volunteering through the Students As Active Volunteers Initiative (SAAVI). Brittany is one of the students completing a CHC24015 Certificate II in Active volunteering.

Volunteering has had a significant impact on Claire’s life. When she had to leave her paid job of nearly ten years it left her “feeling useless and defective”. Volunteering in her community has given her back a sense of purpose and she feels as though she contributes to society in a valued way.

Noelene is the Coordinator at Helping Hands, an organisation that makes up packages for new arrivals, providing them with all the basics to get settled in our country. She has a history of volunteering, having been involved for around five decades, lending a hand at her church, cancer funds, senior citizens groups, schools, meals on wheels, and she was even part of the original blue nurses door knock appeal.

Carol Brown has been volunteering for 23 years and says that’s what her passion in life is. “I find it’s rewarding to help people for no reward back. I just like to be around people and help them out,” Mrs Brown said.

UQ’s School of Dentistry assists Brisbane’s homeless to access oral health care through Homeless Connect, an event linking isolated members of the community with support services. School of Dentistry students and staff joined oral and allied health professionals in Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds on Friday 25 May 2012, assessing hundreds of guests without a home or at risk of homelessness.

In August this year, the Governor-General of Australia awarded a record 44 National Emergency Medals to the volunteers of Brisbane Coast Guard, for their critical work saving lives and property throughout the worst of the Brisbane Flood Emergency in January 2011. This is a record – the largest number of Federal medals ever awarded to any Coast Guard Flotilla, in the 50-year history of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Association.

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