By Rebecca Thompson
Last Monday marked the beginning of National Volunteers Week, a weeklong celebration dedicated to recognising and appreciating the millions of volunteers Australia wide.
From 13 – 19 May, Volunteering Australia’s Thanks a Million campaign encouraged everyone to pay a special thanks to the six million people volunteering in Australia each year.
Volunteers contribute more than 700 million hours of work to their communities, which yields an annual $200 billion contribution to Australian society.
Students from Bond University and Griffith University are among the many who help out each year as interns at Events Management Queensland, organisers of the popular Gold Coast Airport Marathon (6 – 7 July 2013), Great Barrier Reef Masters Games (8 – 11 August 2013) and Pan Pacific Masters Games (1 – 9 November 2014).
More than 1,100 volunteers will bring their talents to a variety of roles in the lead up to and during the 35th Gold Coast Airport Marathon.
They are recruited through the Suncorp Bank Volunteer Program.
Last week they shared their reasons for volunteering and explained the benefits of the experience.
With a background and keen interest in sports, Bond University Business student Ben Green said he sought out a sports marketing internship because the industry experience was invaluable.
“I enjoy applying the theoretical skills I’m learning with my degree in a practical workplace environment,” Ben said.
Griffith University Events Management student Courtney Upton said her experience working on the Gold Coast Airport Marathon will help her secure a job after university.
“I’m excited to see all the measurements, planning and calculations come together on race weekend,” Courtney said.
“The internship will provide me with the ideal experience when seeking employment following the completion of my degree.”
Events Management Queensland General Manager Cameron Hart said no major event could be conducted successfully without a good team of volunteers.
“As event managers we need to be aware of the needs of volunteers and make sure we can provide them with a really positive event experience, the same as we do for the participants,” Mr Hart said.
“Supporting volunteers is more than providing a free tee-shirt and meal voucher; it’s about creating a positive working environment that they enjoy coming to.
“It has become that there are so many volunteers involved in the Suncorp Bank Volunteer Program, we now have a dedicated staff member to manage them.”
To celebrate and reward the hard work of the 1,100+ volunteers who will be involved in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Events Management Queensland held a breakfast at Cafe Rockpool on Wednesday 15 May to coincide with National Volunteers Week.
If you would like to volunteer at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon or the inaugural Great Barrier Reef Masters Games please email firstname.lastname@example.org