Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 29th 2017 Contents PAGE 12 - THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2017
INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY
TUESDAY DECEMBER 5, 2017
VOLUNTEERS – where would
we be without that unsung army
of people who regularly give of
their time, energy and expertise
to help others in so many differ-
ent ways, many of which go un-
If you’ve ever been a volunteer,
you’ll know how good it can make
you feel to give back and help
In fact, altruism and volunteer-
ing have been proven to be a ma-
jor way to increase the happiness
of a person’s life – there is some-
thing about freely giving to oth-
ers which gives a deeper sense of
purpose and meaning to our lives,
thereby increasing our happiness
and level of satisfaction.
And if you’ve never been a vol-
unteer, then now might be the
time to start!
International Volunteer Day was
established by the United Nations
General Assembly in 1985 and is
celebrated each year on Decem-
the work of volunteers and to en-
courage everyone to give it a try.
There is a diverse range of ways
to volunteer, and you can find an
opportunity to volunteer in al-
most any field or interest area.
THE Phillip Island RSL takes pride in pro -
viding welfare support to veterans and fami-
lies within the local community.
There are 80 full-time volunteers involved
in the many different programs and services
One such service is medical transport for
club members to medical appointments on
and off the island.
Andrew Tolley from Welfare Services at the
RSL orchestrates a program where 16 volun-
teer drivers use two cars and a bus to assist
community members to reach their medical
appointments in Wonthaggi and Melbourne.
“On average we have four drives booked a
week, ” said Andrew.
“This week I have six booked. The volun-
teer drivers are retired or semi-retired and
don’t mind driving.
“It’s a social day out for them as they meet
people, and there’s plenty of time for a chat
on the journey.
“They have some lunch while the passen-
ger is at their appointment and then meet up
with them again to drive them home.”
Many of the trips are to Monash, St Vin-
cent’s, Dandenong and the Peter Mac hospi-
tals. Priority is extended to service members.
“We will get service members to their ap-
pointments, no matter what. Even if we have
to pay for a taxi,” says Andrew.
Affiliates who are the family of service
members are also eligible for the service,
as well as social members, if they have been
members for over six months.
The volunteers are generally flexible, and
can service at short notice if needed, al-
though notice is always better.
It’s an essential service for residents who
live far away from medical specialists and
have family who work full-time, or are locat-
ed too far away to assist them.
It’s a difficult drive for an older person, es -
pecially with city parking.
“A bus would mean changing over many
times, and the cost of a taxi is too prohibi-
“Our service charges just $40 to Melbourne,
and $20 to Wonthaggi, paid as a donation.
“Partners are also welcome in the car. Our
members are very appreciative of the service. ”
Andrew believes when the Medical Hub
is established, it will hopefully alleviate the
pressure for many residents.
“A two -hour drive for a 15-minute consul-
tation is ridiculous,” he said.
What drives the Phillip Island RSL?
Phillip Island RSL volunteers provide a driving service for community members needing
transport to medical appointments in Melbourne and Wonthaggi. Andrew Tolley, RSL Wel-
fare Service, is pictured with volunteer driver Peter Skinner.
THERE are 80 volunteers at the National
Vietnam Veterans Museum.
It’s fortunate as the Newhaven attraction
hosted 15,000 visitors last year, and has
just celebrated five record months in a row.
“For a smaller tourist operation, with a
good volunteer association, these are con-
siderable figures, ” s aid Sonia Hogg, sales
and events executive.
She has a background in tourism at the
“We only have two part-time staff, and one
full-time staff member who are paid.
“The rest are all volunteers, so they really
put in so much effort to make this museum
such a success. ”
Sonia says the opportunities to volunteer
at the museum are diverse with roles to suit
all personality types and strengths.
“ There’s administration, customer ser-
vice, tour guides, education, technical sup -
port, restoration, organising collections and
exhibitions, workshops, library, café, gar-
den, and maintenance. ”
Applicants are interviewed and are fitted
in where they are best suited. “Everyone en-
joys the atmosphere here, we are one big
“ People like the feeling to be a part of a
A group of male volunteers taking part in Movember at the National Vietnam Veterans
Museum are pictured with volunteers Tash and Rachel from Dar-Boo Hairdressing in
Cape Woolamai. Left to right are Steve Barber, Peter Stainthorpe, Ray Stallard, Tony
Hughes, John Walton, Peter Woolford, Rod Beale, Dave Edgely. Phil Dressing (second
from right) is the general manager.
Patricia Jamieson (front) pictured with a group recently at the first My Wedding Wish
conference. Patricia became a celebrant this year, volunteering for the charity organisation
which gifts weddings to the terminally ill. The idea struck a chord with her after the death
of her own brother to cancer.
A REGISTERED marriage
celebrant since June, Ne-
whaven business owner Patri-
cia Jamieson attended a Wed-
ding Expo recently and was
enchanted by a stand run by
charity organisation My Wed-
It was the dream- child of
Queensland marriage cel-
ebrant Lynette Maguire, who
decided something needed to
be done to help the terminally
ill be married with dignity and
Wedding suppliers such as
photographers and florists
and wedding celebrants such
as Patricia volunteer their
services to couples battling a
terminal illness who want to
marry, but are unwell, and in
the midst of grief and stress.
One of the most stressful as-
pects for such these couples is
that time is against them.
One month’s notice is re -
quired for a legal marriage
to be conducted in Australia,
and some couples may only
have weeks left together.
Their only option is to re -
quest a ‘shortening of time’
from the Magistrates Court to
allow them to marry immedi-
ately. This takes organisation
Patricia’s brother died in
2010 before he got the chance
to marry Tina, his love of 18
years, and the mother of his
“Tina now says it was her
biggest regret,” said Patricia.
“Back then I wasn’t in the
wedding industry and couldn’t
help them with the relevant
paperwork and information.
“People are in grief. They
hope for a miracle and it
“I t was a difficult time for
Tina with her partner’s pass-
ing as she had complications,
even changing the telephone
service from his name to her
“This is at a time when she’s
just lost the love of her life.”
“But today I can help some-
one else. I can say ‘would you
like me to take care of it?’ ”
Patricia has already con-
ducted several weddings and
funerals and loves to capture
the essence of the people in-
“I t’s gratifying to be a part
Gifting weddings to the terminally ill
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