- Thursday 14 May 2015
There was a time when volunteering was seen as the preserve of retired people looking to do their bit in “giving back”, with young Australians drawing the line at surf lifesaving.
Then came music festivals, which have not only provided a whole new volunteer movement among under-25s – they have become an experiential must for students seeking a creative future.
And major music and arts festivals like Caloundra and Woodford could not survive without a huge effort by volunteers. Caloundra alone will hire about 400 volunteers for its four-day event later this year.
Maroochydore’s Moriah Overell and Nambour’s Chris Dimaggio last year again “did” Caloundra’s Music Festival, and have both worked similar events.
Their increasing experience saw both assist in the fabled Green Room Unplugged, where a lot of the major stars of the festival relax and warm up before their concerts, and perform impromptu numbers for guests and media.
Both have volunteered through the former Sunshine Coast Youth Partnership (now Sustainable Partnerships Australia), while Moriah has additionally done more traditional volunteers work.
“I have collected money multiple times for organisations such as Red Cross, and have photographed for the Homeless Walk in Nambour one year,” Moriah said.
Like Chris, she can see the value in volunteering from a career-enhancing viewpoint.
“I was very interested in events as a future career, and volunteering gave me the chance to explore this more," she said.
“It helped me discover what was involved, make connections, gain skills and heaps more to help with my decision.
“I decided on completing my major in PR because of it. It's now a big passion of mine. ”
Seventeen-year-old Chris is currently finishing Year 12, and the festival experience fitted his itinerary perfectly.
“I want to get into event management when I finish school,” Chris said.
“Not many young people I know volunteer, but if I do I feel I’ll be able to use the experience to get (permanent) work.”
Sunshine Coast Council Community Programs portfolio councillor Jenny McKay said this year’s theme was “Give Happy, Live Happy”, and acknowledged the many volunteers who gave back to the community in so many ways.
“Volunteers make an enormous difference to our community, and the nation,” Cr McKay said.
“Becoming a volunteer offers a tremendous opportunity to return something the community and perhaps learning something completely new and rewarding in your life.
“For so many people, giving is its own reward, and there are no age limits, with people young and old volunteering across many areas.”
Visit Council’s website www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for more information on volunteering.