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by Volunteer Coordinator – Alice Berkeley

Australia’s National Volunteer Week 2017 ran from 8 to 14 May. This year JOY joined with the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and LGBTI peer telephone and web chat counselling service Switchboard to celebrate all of our volunteers and our shared purpose in one huge event: the first LGBTI Organisations Volunteer Event (LOVE)!

Held at St Kilda Town Hall, LOVE recognised the vital contributions volunteers make to the work of the three organisations to support LGBTI communities. While JOY and VAC volunteers   combine forces with the Laird Hotel at Northside Bizarre each October, LOVE was the first time the three community organisations had partnered to recognise and celebrate the remarkable contributions of their volunteers on a grander scale.

In her speech on the night, JOY CEO Tenille Moisel said, ‘JOY is thrilled to work with VAC and Switchboard to recognise our volunteers for the tremendous support they provide our organisations and the broader LGBTI communities.’

‘Volunteers are the lifeblood that keeps organisations like ours alive,’ said VAC CEO Simon Ruth. ‘Without our volunteers, none of us could operate the services we provide to the communities. It is only fitting that we celebrate and formally recognise the longstanding contributions volunteers have made.’

Switchboard’s general manager, Jo Ball, highlighted the collaborative nature of volunteering in our communities: ‘Considering that many Switchboard volunteers also volunteer at VAC and JOY, it only makes sense to hold a joint event. As we all know, we are stronger together, and I look forward to continuing to find projects that VAC, Switchboard and JOY can collaborate on.’

The event featured a performance from the Melbourne Rainbow Band, and invited guests included City of Port Phillip mayor Cr Bernadine Voss. Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) Gabby Tyacke and Travis Costelow hosted, and a number of dedicated volunteers were recognised for five, ten, fifteen, twenty or even more years of service.

It looked like everyone had a great time. We hope volunteers will join us for more LOVE in 2018!


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