PREMIER David Bartlett recently hosted a morning tea to thank 100 of Tasmania’s volunteers as part of Volunteer Week.
Mr Bartlett said each volunteer had been selected by his or her organisation for representation because their passion and commitment to volunteering stood out and was an inspiration to others.
“I have often said that though Tasmania is the smallest State, it has by far the biggest heart, and our rates of volunteering have consistently been above the national average,” Mr Bartlett said.
“I have committed $260,000 in recurrent funding for Volunteering Tasmania, to coordinate and re-invigorate volunteering across the State.
“I want to make sure that we build on that commitment, and encourage the next generation of volunteers to follow in your footsteps.
“To foster that spirit of community connection, we have decided to institute Celebrate Tasmania Day, beginning in November this year, and dedicate it to Tasmania’s volunteers.
“This is not about the creation of a public holiday, but rather a chance to celebrate what Tasmania means to all of us each day of the year.
“Celebrate Tasmania Day will be held on a Sunday in November each year.
“The Government will provide APEX, Rotary and Lions clubs with a small grant to create events in local streets and parks across Tasmania – celebrating volunteers and bringing people together.”
Mr Bartlett said that economic estimates suggested that volunteering in Australia is worth about $42 billion every year.
“Volunteering is worth more than money to our lives; it connects and binds our communities together and gives back to the volunteer, it is extremely precious and I thank all Tasmanians who volunteer.
Val Cooke from Bridgewater represented the volunteers from the Bridgewater Library + Online Access Centre at the morning tea.
Val volunteers at the Bridgewater Online Access Centre and during the past six years she has contributed a total of 1624 hours. Volunteers like Val work one on one with adult learners, helping them overcome any fears they may have in using computers and the internet, and making the learning experience a pleasant and fun one. She particularly enjoys working with clients who are undertaking our free eLearn course in partnership with the Tasmanian Polytechnic. Val can be found at the Centre on Tuesday afternoons and Wednesday from 10am to 1pm. Members of the public are always welcome anytime to drop in, use the Library and Online Access Centre or talk to staff about what is on offer that might be just right for them.