Nambucca Valley Mayor says local volunteers are “the glue that holds us all together” Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 20, 2022 This group of local volunteers started and now run the Croquet Club – they prepared the grounds and have raised funds and obtained grants for facilities and equipment. NATIONAL Volunteer Week is held across Australia each year to give communities the opportunity to acknowledge and thank that huge army of people who give their time, energy and expertise, along with a big share of their emotions, to ease the load of their fellow citizens and boost their local areas. As National Volunteer Week 2022 draws to a close, it’s timely to ask ourselves: where would be without the volunteers among us? When News Of The Area put that question to Nambucca Valley Mayor Cr Rhonda Hoban OAM, she expressed her admiration and appreciation with an insight into some of the community activities we enjoy thanks to the work of volunteers. “If you look around the Nambucca Valley, most of the facilities and events we all enjoy are only there because of a long history of volunteering,” Mayor Hoban said. “From the big-ticket infrastructure like the Hospital, the Showground and the Macksville Aquatic Centre to our public halls, sporting facilities, parks, gardens, museums and more, volunteers have been responsible for the vision, raising funds and in many cases the care, control and management of many of our community facilities. “We can all enjoy art, music and theatre and participate in sport and a range of physical activities. “There is an enormous range of volunteer-run clubs and interest groups where you can learn a craft or a new skill and there are service organisations and individuals who do everything from cleaning public BBQs to providing community transport or meals for the aged. “Volunteers are also responsible for many of our community events that not only provide fun and entertainment for locals, but also bring visitors to spend their dollars and support our local businesses.” Mayor Hoban said it wasn’t until becoming a Councillor that she realised just how much volunteers give to this community. “People say you can’t put a value on volunteering, but I once tried to do just that. “I went through the Shire Guide and counted up all of the listed volunteer organisations that look after Council-owned facilities. “I then attributed an estimate of hours and a basic Council labourer’s wage and realised that if all of our volunteers retired the Council would be facing a rate increase of around 30 percent to pay someone to do the things they do free of charge. “And that was only Council-owned facilities. “We are not a wealthy community but we are rich in community spirit and volunteers are the glue that holds us all together,” Mayor Hoban said. By Susan KONTIC At the new hospital, the Mayor unveils a plaque that is dedicated to all the volunteers who for decades have raised funds to support the hospital and improve the lives of both patients and staff.